The saddest day of the cruise is debarkation day, well, unless you got seasick and were ill the whole time. I know you don’t want to prepare for this, but you need to do so.
Disney really has everything very organized for debarkation. The night before debarkation, you will receive instructions with luggage tags. These tags will have a character on them. This will coincide with the area you will need to go to find your luggage. Be sure to put the tags on all luggage you don’t want to carry off yourself. The instructions will tell you what the latest time is for you to put your luggage OUTSIDE your stateroom door. If you don’t put it out in time, you will have to take it yourself.
You don’t have to use this service, but it sure makes leaving the ship easier – just like getting on the ship without all that luggage is easier.
Know that you won’t see your luggage again until after you get off the ship. That means you need to keep everything you’ll need for the next day. Be sure to have your passport/id, clothes, socks, shoes, any toiletries you may need, etc. Don’t be the person who ends up having to wear a towel off the ship. I don’t know if anyone has ever had to do this, but I suppose it could happen. I do know some who didn’t have shoes, though.
If you need to get off the ship as soon as it docks and is cleared, you may do so, but you will need to take all your luggage with you. It takes time for them to get the luggage to the bins, and yours may be the last. So if you have to get off to catch a plane or something else, don’t set your luggage out. You may also miss breakfast, so know that, too.
You will also have a customs form to complete. Fill one out for everyone in your stateroom. There will be instructions, and if you have any questions, you can go to customer service to get help.
Also be sure you have your ship’s bill taken care of with Customer Support. I check our tab each day to make sure everything is in order. I also have a credit card on file with customer support so I don’t have to worry about this on debarkation day. I’ve seen the line for customer service on that day! I’m glad I never had to be in that line.
The buffet is typically open early for those who must leave the ship early.
You will be assigned a time for breakfast as well as a restaurant. You will eat with the same people you’ve been having dinner with each night. While the breakfast has a lot of options, it is a limited menu, especially if you’ve been eating at the buffet each morning. The food is still good, though.
When you go to breakfast, be sure to take everything with you. You will not be allowed back into your stateroom. We left our larger luggage outside the restaurant along the wall. The smaller items we took into the restaurant with us.
After breakfast, don’t forget to take your luggage with you. You will be directed to the lobby to debark the ship. It can be a long walk down, so be prepared. Depending on how fast an eater you are, you could end up with a short line leaving the ship, or a LONG line. We’ve hit it both ways.
Before you get off the ship, you’ll need to show your passport and your Key to the World card to get off.
After you get off the ship, you’ll see the luggage area. I hope you remembered what character was on the luggage tag, because that’s the luggage area in which you need to head to find your luggage (unless you carried everything off yourself). There are porters around to help if you need/want it. Be sure to tip them! After you get your luggage, you’ll get in line for customs.
Be sure to have your passport (or ID), and your customs form for the agent. It usually doesn’t take very long. Then you head out the building.
Transportation will be right outside the door, no matter which transportation you will be using to get to where you need to go.
As you leave, take a long look. I hope you booked your next cruise while on board.