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12 Disembarkation Day Mistakes People Make When They Get Off the Cruise Ship

Disembarkation day is perhaps the most dreaded day for cruisers. Not only does it mark the end of your vacation, but it also entails a rush of activities, such as waking up early, having breakfast, and disembarking the ship. Given the hectic morning rush, many things could go wrong, leading to a stressful day. Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make on disembarkation day.

1. Taking the Elevator on Disembarkation Day

Don’t make the mistake of taking the elevator on disembarkation day. The elevator tends to get very crowded and moves slowly, stopping at every floor. If possible, use the stairs instead. By doing so, you can avoid adding the slow elevator to your already hectic day.

2. Forgetting Your Luggage Tag Group Color

Forgetting your luggage tag color can be a hassle on disembarkation day. When you check in your luggage, you will receive a luggage tag with a unique color and group number. This information is vital as it determines when you need to disembark the ship and where to collect your luggage. 

The port staff arranges all luggage based on the color of the luggage tags, making it easier for passengers to locate their bags. Not remembering your luggage tag color can create problems. You will have to sift through countless bags at the port to locate your own. That’s why it is crucial to note your luggage tag color or take a picture of it before leaving your luggage in the hallway.

Cruise disembarkation day mistakes

3. Book an Early Flight 

A common mistake that many cruisers make is booking an early flight after their cruise. They often assume that if the ship docks at 7 am, they’ll be able to catch a noon flight. This is a risky assumption to make. 

Just because the ship docks at 7 am doesn’t mean you’ll be off the ship then. It often takes a few hours for the passengers to disembark. You’ll most likely be off the ship by 9 am, and then you’ll need to add in the time it takes to get to the airport, check-in at the airport, and go through TSA security. To be on the safe side, it’s better to book an evening flight. If you can’t find an evening flight, stay at an airport hotel and fly out the following day.

4. Wrong Luggage Tag

One common mistake new cruise passengers make is using the wrong luggage tag for their check-in bags. On the last night of your cruise, you’ll be given luggage tags with a color and group number indicating when you’ll leave the ship. 

Simply being assigned a particular luggage tag doesn’t mean it’s right for you. For example, if you need to leave the ship early to catch a flight, you’ll need the earliest luggage tags. In this case, you should go to guest services and exchange your luggage tag. This way, your luggage will be ready for you when you disembark, and there will be no delay at the port.

5. Not Leaving Your Luggage in the Hallway the Night Before

Some first-time cruisers are unaware that they must leave their check-in luggage outside their cabins the night before their cruise ends. This allows the cruise staff enough time to collect the luggage from all cabins and prepare it for disembarkation when the ship docks at the port. 

If you fail to leave your luggage out the night before, you’ll have to carry it off the ship yourself, which can be quite challenging and inconvenient. It’s best to let the cruise staff take care of it for you. So, don’t forget to leave your luggage outside your cabin the night before disembarkation.

6. Forget to Pack a Change of Clothes for the Next Day

A common mistake that people make- packing everything in their check-in luggage and forgetting to set aside clothes and shoes for the disembarkation day. As a result, they end up with nothing to wear the following day. 

Setting aside a separate set of clothes and shoes for the disembarkation day is important to avoid such an embarrassing situation. You don’t want to be the person walking out of the cruise port in your pajamas and slippers, so make sure to plan ahead!

Cruise disembarkation day mistakes

7. Don’t Check the Final Bill

A common mistake that many newbie cruisers make is not checking their final bill on the last night of the cruise. To avoid this, take the time to go through your final bill carefully. 

Avoid the guest services line if you can, since that can be long on the last night. I suggest checking your cruise app or cruise TV folio for a copy of your final bill. 

Look out for discrepancies; if you spot any, head to guest services to get them sorted out. Don’t wait until you’ve left the ship to raise concerns about charges since it will be too late by then. Make sure to settle everything before disembarking!

8. Leaving Your Cruise Card in Your Cabin

It’s common for cruise passengers to forget an important item on the day of disembarkation—their cruise card. Sometimes, they even mistakenly throw it away. But what they don’t realize is that the cruise staff will still need to scan their card one last time when they disembark the ship. That’s why keeping your cruise card, passport, and other travel documents with you is important to avoid any last-minute trouble.

9. Leaving Your Passport In Your Checked-In Luggage

One common mistake made by cruise passengers is packing their passports and travel documents in their checked-in luggage. This is a major mistake since you will still need your passport to enter the cruise port. 

Never leave your passport in your checked-in luggage! Instead, make sure to carry it with you when you disembark from the ship to avoid any unnecessary hassles.

10. Not Thoroughly Checking the Safe 

You need to thoroughly check the safe before getting off the ship! The interior of a safe can be quite dark, which makes it tough to spot items. Use a flashlight while checking the safe so you don’t miss anything. This way, you can inspect every nook and corner to make sure you are not leaving anything behind! Keep in mind that recovering lost items on a cruise ship is quite challenging, so if you leave something behind, consider it lost.

11. Not Preparing Small Bills for Tipping

Don’t forget to set aside small bills for tipping. At the cruise port, you’ll encounter porters who will assist you with your luggage. Keeping some cash for tipping will help you show your appreciation for their service. Also, if you require a wheelchair, the cruise staff who assist you will also appreciate a tip. 

12. Not Buying Your Cruise Photos

Make sure you buy any cruise photos you want on the last night of the cruise. Waiting until disembarkation day is a big mistake since all the stores, including the photo studio, will be closed. 

Sadly, if you don’t buy them on time, you won’t be able to track them down since the cruise lines usually discard the photos. Make sure to buy all your cruise photos on the last night of the trip to avoid losing them.

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