12 Major Cruise Disembarkation Day Blunders To Avoid

12 Major Cruise Disembarkation Day Blunders To Avoid


What are the 12 biggest blunders that cruisers make when it
comes to disembarking the ship? I’m Gary Bembridge. This is another of my Tips for Travellers. These are 12 things that
I want to share with you to make sure when you
next leave your cruise, you don’t make the same mistakes
as lots of cruisers make. Starting with this one. First of all, never go
for self disembarkation unless you are really sure that you can manage all of your luggage and potentially having to carry it down multiple stair
levels and multiple decks because the elevators
could be really full. Self disembarkation is great because if you can carry
your own bags off the ship, you’re normally first off the ship, so you can get off the ship really early and you can get off at back home or off to connections or do whatever you want to do. However, you will be
given no help whatsoever. You have to be able to carry everything, so you need to bear in mind the elevators might be really, really busy and you might have to carry those bags right down to the gangways. So really, before you
go for disembarkation, make sure that you can
carry all of your bags. Next is making sure that if
you have put your bags out to be collected and taken
onto the pier for you the night before, that you have actually kept enough clothes to get off the ship on. There’s many jokes about people having to madly scramble
around to find clothes or have to leave the ship with a bathrobe because they’ve packed their clothes. Absolutely make sure that
you’ve left enough clothes to get off the ship, and particularly if it’s
going to be hot or cold, you’ve got the appropriate clothes. The other thing that I recommend you do is always make sure that
you’ve got a nice, big bag. Just some sort of hold-all bag that you can just chuck everything that you might have left behind or forgotten to put in your bags that you can then repack
once you get off the ship. But be really, really careful. Make sure that you pack the
right and enough clothes to get off the ship. The other big blunder that people make is they book their flight home or to the next destination either too early or too late. A cruise ship will normally get into port seven or eight o’clock. However, you’re not going to
be able to disembark until the ship is cleared. So depending on your grade and status, you might find that you’re only getting off
the ship quite late. Most cruise lines will
give you a recommended time that you book a flight. I would normally say aim for noon or later because even if you’re getting
off the ship quite late, you’ve still got time
to get to the airport and get on board. The other mistake that people make, and this is one thing that I do particularly when working with agents, is they try and book you on
a flight that’s too late, so you waste a complete day. Most airlines only open
their check-in desk two hours before a flight, so the danger is if you’ve got a flight late afternoon or early evening, you could be sitting at
the airport for many hours hanging around until check-in opens before you can go through. So booking your flight
too early or too late is really, really a big
blunder that people make. Getting the right time, around about noonish time if you can, is the optimal time for a flight. The next blunder that people make is they just accept
the time they’re given. So normally when you disembark, you’re given a colour code and you put that in your bags to put out, and then you use that colour
code to get off the ship and you’re given an allocated time. If the time doesn’t suit you, it’s too early or it’s even too late, go and try and negotiate because you’ll normally
find that the guest services has some flexibility and they will let you
go on a different time. So you might want to get off early because you want to go sight
seeing or get to that flight, or you actually might want to get off late because you’re checking to a hotel and you can’t check in until
two o’clock or whatever. So always go and negotiate, just don’t accept the time you’re given and try and negotiate a
time that works for you. The fifth big blunder that people make is not carefully checking their statement before they get off the ship. Now normally, you can check it online. There’s lots of apps you
can go to get services and check it during the cruise, which I recommend you do so, because any errors you can
pick it up quite early on. Normally, you’ll get a statement
delivered to you overnight. Check it really, really carefully because once you’re off the ship, trying to correct errors
is almost impossible. It’s really difficult to do, and I have stories from so many people that have ended up with
all sorts of charges which they dispute, but they
didn’t check really carefully. Nowadays, because of technology,
you can check as you go. If you don’t have an app, I always go and get guest
services to print me out an invoice at various points in time. But check, before you
get off, that invoice. Really, really important. The sixth blunder that people make, and we’ve all kind of done it, is leaving stuff in the cabin. Now there’s two really,
really critical things. First of all, check the safe. Because that’s where you’re
going to have your money, your passport, valuables, your medication. Really make sure that
you’ve checked the safe. Now, one of the tips that
I got from someone once is put something that you’re going to have to wear the next day, so one
of your shoes or something in the safe if you want to
keep stuff in the safe, because when you get ready in the morning you’re going to be looking for the shoe and it’s in the safe. So that’s a really good tip. The other thing to do is do a triple check
in every single drawer. Cruise cabins have loads of storage, lots of little nooks and crannies, and never to believe
you’ve put some chargers or something you haven’t really used, some clothes perhaps, that you
brought but you didn’t use. And so many times I’ve found
on a triple check of a cabin, stuff in little drawers
that I’d forgotten about. So when you’ve packed,
before you put the cases out, if you’re travelling with someone get them to do a double
check in every single drawer. Before you leave, literally
go and double check so you don’t leave stuff behind. Because once you’re off the ship, it’s really hard to get it back. Sort of linked to that, another
blunder that people make is not getting their passport. Depending on where you’re cruising to, you might actually have
to hand your passport in to guest services, which they keep as you go through the
different immigration checks in the different countries you go to. And then on the last day, you can go and fetch your passport. Sometimes you can fetch it the day before. Really, really important. Make sure you get your passport. I have been on trips before where people have got on the
excursion bus or the transfer, and realised they haven’t
got their passport. It’s a real hassle
getting back on the ship, so absolutely make sure. What I always do is I write
a big note for myself, I stick it on the safe
or put it in the safe, put it on my bags to remind
myself to fetch the passport. The next blunder that I see people make is forgetting what colour
their luggage tag is and not keeping the little receipt to help you get off the ship. So you’re given those coloured tags which you put on your
bags, which you put out and you ask to keep the little tag and that’s what you
show, often to get off, or to show that you are
in that particular time stopped to get off the ship. And often, you have to show that because they control you and without that they won’t let you off the ship and they make you wait until later. The other big issue, of course, if you’ve forgotten your colour and you walk in to where all the bags are, where there could be thousands
and thousands of bags, and you then have to try and remember what colour you are and
where your bag could be. So really important, make
sure you remember the colour and little tag. One thing I do, is you normally
get a little piece of paper when you get those luggage tags, which will tell you your colour on that. So I just file that with my
passport or my documents, so even if I have
forgotten the little chit, you’ve forgotten what colour, I have the original document that tells me what colour I am and I know
which colour and find my bags. The next big blunder, although it’s not the end of the world, is people leaving their
key card in their cabin. You know, when you leave a hotel, if you’ve self checked out you can just leave the card
in the room and off you go. That doesn’t work on a cruise ship, you need that key card
to get off the ship. So if you’ve left it in your cabin, when you get to get off the ship, you’re going to have to go all
the way back to your cabin and find the steward
if your cabin is closed and get the key card. So always make sure you’ve
got your key card with you right through until you’re off the ship. One of the big challenges
that you’re going to face on disembarkation day is elevators. Lots of people, particularly
if you’re on a big ship, are gonna be trying to get off the ship. So everybody’s, because they’ve got their bags
with their self disembarking, or just got their hand luggage, are like to be using the elevators and they’re gonna be really busy. So a couple of little tips and tricks if you don’t want to walk down the stairs. First of all, avoid the midship elevators, because normally you’re going to find that’s the most busy of all. So use the elevators at
either side of the ship. But the best tip of all is push up. Go up at least one level because the life going up is
going to be not very busy, so go up to come down. And that’s your best
chance of getting in a lift with luggage and being able to get down. It would probably drive people crazy because that’s how you do it, but it’s an absolute must
if the elevators are busy. Another big mistake that people make is they take things from the cabin. The most obvious of these are
things like the bathrobes, the umbrellas, things
that are in the cabin supplied as part of the cabin amenities. If you take one of those items, it’s a big mistake because you
are gonna be charged for it and the price that they put on
those things is pretty hefty. So don’t bother taking
things from the cabin. Now, the probably big exception to that is if you’re also on one
of those cruise ships that haven’t moved to
refillable toiletries. You’ve got the little
miniatures of toiletries, if you really wanna take those
with you, my best advice is take some of those halfway
through the cruise. Put them to one side in
a cupboard or something, and they’ll be replenished so you know that it’s gonna be okay but be very careful about
what you take off the ship because you will probably
be charged a big premium for taking those off. Another big tip /
blunder / opportunity is there are different cruise
lines that are making it even easier to get off
and disembark easier. Obviously, one of the
obvious ways of doing it is if you’re cruising in a suite to get preferential disembarkation early. As you are more and more
loyal to a cruise line and you work your way up
the different tier levels, you’ll also find that you
get early disembarkation. But they are increasing
a number of cruise lines that are starting to
build in other things, so you can sometimes buy a specific pass which gives you early
embarkation and disembarkation. But you’ll find, in
some ports for example, at the time of recording, on some Royal Caribbean cruises, you’re able to actually check
in your bags on the ship and the bags are then taken to the airport and to the airline so that you don’t even have to
worry about taking your bags off at all and taking them to the airport. You’ll also find, for
example, on Disney cruises, if you’re staying in
their parks in Orlando they will do an arrangement
where you can check your bags in there and they will be
taken to Port Canaveral and onto the ship. So increasingly find out if
there’s any little opportunities that you can have from the cruise lines to ease through the whole
process of disembarkation. There’s a whole bundle of blunders that people make that end up making disembarkation day quite stressful. These are some of the things that I do to basically make
disembarkation much easier and avoid some of the
blunders that people make. I have loads more videos packed full of cruising advice and tips, so why don’t you watch another
one of those right now?

27 thoughts on “12 Major Cruise Disembarkation Day Blunders To Avoid

  1. These videos are helping me towards my first cruise. Thank-you sooo much sir ! Maybe one day I will see you aboard. Cheers!

  2. I've been binge-watching your videos on cursing tips, even though I'm not planning on going anytime soon. (Although I've done an Alaska cruise a few years back.)

  3. I understand early embarkation. But I really don't get the hype around early dissembarkation. Why would you want to end your vacation any earlier. Just sit back and enjoy the last morning on the ship

  4. On the last sea day in March I went to a lecture where they said there would be hardly any taxis available in Hong Kong. They advised we buy the ship's transfer to a MTR station. We decided to do this and by then the only spots available were at 6:40am. YIKES!!!! We were staying in a hotel for a few days and had planned on staying on-board until the very end. Luckily, the hotel gave us our room at 8:40am.

  5. I’ve been binge watching all your videos in preparation for my NCL cruise for my 22nd birthday in January. Your vids are always so informative and helpful, thank you!!!

  6. After, I colored tags my luggage, I take a picture with my phone. πŸ‡¬πŸ‡ΎπŸ‡¬πŸ‡ΎπŸ‡¬πŸ‡ΎπŸ‡¬πŸ‡Ύ

  7. Great tips! I do have an interesting story about bag forwarding though. After a great Alaska cruise with Norwegian earlier this year, I disembarked in Seattle. My flight to Chicago was much later in the day which gave me lots of time to wander around and see Seattle on a nice sunny day. Norwegian offered me a service that would forward my two bags directly to Seattle-Tacoma airport for the exact cost the airport would charge for checked bags. This seemed perfect because I did not want to lug two bags all over the city for the better part of a day so I paid for the service. This ended up great for me . . . until I arrived back at O'Hare Airport in Chicago. Only one of my two bags made it back to Chicago. The other one, which contained most of my clothes, was missing. Eventually Delta Airlines found my missing bag and sent it home to me – 24 days later. While no personal items were missing and Delta refunded both bag fees plus gave me a small gift bag, it was a really disappointing experience. Has anyone else tried luggage forwarding and had problems? I'm going on another Norwegian cruise in a few weeks with a late flight back from San Juan, PR on disembarkation day and I'm nervous about trying this again.

  8. What time of the day do ships normally stop serving cruisers food and drinks once docked at the end of the cruise schedule?

  9. Nice list. My husband and I make a game out of making sure we have cleared everything out of the cabin. I do the packing and its a challenge for him to find something I may have missed or overlooked. This makes me pay more attention and makes it fun altogether. Thanks for sharing.

  10. More great tips as always. Thank you Gary! Love the up elevator suggestion. I will remember that for my b2b cruises in January πŸ₯°

  11. I will never leave my luggage out in the hallway unsupervised for disembarkation. I’ve been on over ten cruises and used to pit my luggage out the. Ignite before until one cruise, I put out our luggage and never saw it again. It was a San Diego to Ft Lauderdale Panama Canal Cruise right before Christmas. I had lots of Christmas gifts tucked into our luggage. I am very suspicious of our cabin steward as he told us he was leaving for a vacation that day too. It could have been someone mistakenly picking up our luggage pier side after getting off the ship but we waited and there were no luggage that looked like ours left on the pier. Try self disembarkation. You have to handle your luggage sometime during your return home.

  12. We went on an optional city tour of San Diego on the way to the airport on disembarkation day. Great time with multiple stops. A lady realized that she wasn't going to make her flight. That cut the tour short. Inconveniencing all of us because one person didn't get the time right!

  13. Gary, 12 noon flights could be disastrous for any number of reasons. We suffered from a horrible disembarkation today in Miami. Multiple layers of incompetence by a host of players could leave you holding a worthless plane ticket. IMHO 2pm would be better choice.

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