This is the last in the series continued from: First Time Cruiser? Being in Port or at Sea

One of the saddest parts of the cruise is preparing to go home. The day or evening before you return, you will receive luggage tags for any checked bags. Your checked luggage will be picked up that evening and you won’t see it again until you debark. So, be sure you have clothes to wear when you leave in the morning, as well as have your toiletries, medications, ids, passport, etc. in your carry “off” bag(s).

You will be assigned a time for the morning to debark. There is an option to leave before any other group. You may need to do this if you have an early flight or your need to get on the road right away. If you do this, you must carry all your luggage off yourself. You will not be able to check your bags, since they will not be ready for you to pick up.

Breakfast will be served on the morning you will be leaving. No other activities will be offered.

You may or may not be able to return to your stateroom after breakfast, so be sure to take your luggage if you have been told you will not be allowed to return. You will also be told when you must be out of your stateroom.

While waiting for your assigned group to be called (and it is called by when your luggage is ready to pick up off the ship), you will need to wait in one of the public areas of the ship. You will be told in which areas you can wait.

Know that the elevators will be VERY busy. If possible, use the stairs. If you can’t, be patient. You may want to split up your party, too, letting those who can fit on the elevator and meeting up with them where you decide.

Once you are permitted to leave, you will need to show your card/key to get off. This marks you as leaving the ship. You will then walk off the ship and into the port building where you will get your checked luggage and then go through customs.

Once you go through customs, you’ll leave the building and find your transportation to the airport, or go to the parking lot to get to your car. Yes, you will be on your way home.

But, you can always start thinking about your next cruise. Many cruise lines have specials where you can purchase your next cruise at a discount or with special perks while still on board. Consider that if you know you want to cruise again.