Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Cruises
Reload this Page >

Okay, Love to cruise, but hate disembarkation.

Okay, Love to cruise, but hate disembarkation.

Sep 17th, 2006, 07:53 PM
Posts: n/a
Okay, Love to cruise, but hate disembarkation.

Have done several cruises on big ships (Princess, HAL, etc.) and the very worst part is, and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, is the awful disembarkation procedures. All three times we have done Alaska it has been a nightmare. People standing in halls, in long lines, not sure what to do, getting angry and confused, no sense of order, no help from the crew, who are all trying to get off ahead of you. Last time we opted for 'early disembarkation' which means you must be in the lobby by 7 a.m. and shag your own bags. Since we needed to meet an airplane, we took this choice, got there at least 45 minutes before the time that they mentioned in the newsletter, only to find lines in every hallway already!! Actually, I thought it as a dangerous situation, as people and luggage were standing/sitting everywhere, blocking exits, etc. I am surprised that they get away with this. And it happened each time. Any comments.
Sep 18th, 2006, 01:51 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
Relax, you don't have to rush to get off the minute your 'color' is called especially if you have a later flight. Have another cup of coffee. We have NEVER seen the crew trying to get off before passengers and they usually have their own 'door' off. NCL even says to stay in your cabin and sleep in! Never cruised Alaska but all other cruises from SC & Florida have never had lines all over to get off the ship. When we are in a line, it always keeps moving, no big deal or mad passengers.
bonniejns is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 04:17 AM
Posts: n/a
Love NCL for the easy disembarkation as well!! [Alaska and Caribbean]We stayed in our cabin until our color was called. We even had breakfast with all our family members in the dining room...especially nice way to end the Caribbean cruise since we all live in different states and would not be seeing each other for awhile. It all seemed very relaxed and stress free. Princess was another story but not as bad as you described.
Sep 18th, 2006, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 933
P&O are really very organised, but when we were due to leave the ship at Barbados, our flight was delayed by 2 - 3 hours and we had to sit in one of the ships bars until they announced our flight number. When we got off the bus at the airport it was complete chaos and there were no seats to be had. It was like a cattle market. The queue to buy water was ridiculous and there was no food to be had.
Obviously P&O had to get rid of us because the new passengers were coming on board, but it annoyed me that they just dumped us without telling us we would have to wait another 3 hours on such discomfort before our plane left for the UK!
I always hate the last few days of a cruise as I feel that the staff are busy preparing for the next batch to come on! They start talking about your departure when you still have 2 or 3 days holiday left!
Love cruising though. We have 2 booked - both within the next 6 months!
carylspall is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 890
You may want to try cruising on smaller ships with fewer passengers where embarkation & disembarkation is a breeze.
petlover is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,276
I think "heading home" from any trip tends to run the risk of "ruining" the vacation. I have tried over the past couple of times to keep in my mind the fact that heading home can be stressful and I try to keep a sense of humor about it, but sometimes that's easier said than done.

I am hoping that our disembarkation in LA next March will be a bit less rushed in that we don't have a flight to catch until the next day. I wonder if anyone knows how to direct someone to pick us up there? We will be staying with our younger son the night before our cruise and the night we get back. So he will be taking us to the port and then picking us up again. How difficult will that be? Is there a place to do that like at airports? We are sailing with Princess in case that makes a difference.
jcasale is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
Vancouver is the worst I have ever experienced for debarking.

I tend to stick with smaller ships and/or ships where one of the frequent guest perks is early on/off.

Suites also get priority.
kfusto is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 187
The only reason I hate disembarkation is that means end of fun. I sailed large ships from 70,000 to 140,000 tons and never seen crew members trying to get ahead of me. But disembarking 3,000+ plus passengers does take time, wouldn't you think?
spur is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,388
I love disembarkation on NCL too. It is so pleasant to wait comfortably in your cabin until your colour is called - rather than trying to find a seat in an over-crowded, noisy lounge.
I hated disembarkation my non NCL cruises.
semiramis is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 12:18 PM
Posts: n/a
Also, I think not having to catch your flight the same day helps for a more stress free experience. We decided we prefer staying in a hotel the day the cruise ends and taking our flight home the next day. We had more choices for flights as well.
Sep 19th, 2006, 04:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,663
Just off the HAL Maasdam. They have really improved disembarkation - they too now allow pax to remain in cabins until departure. Since we were remaining in the port (a great idea!) we chose last off. Leisurely breakfast in the dining room with family members, then back to the cabin to gab and wait for our color. When we went to get our luggage there was only ours, so we were last off (around 10 AM). We could see the long line of early boarders - already at only 10 AM! Taxi to our hotel, and away we went.

Much better than having to vacate the cabin!
joan is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 67
I attempted to love disembarkation on NCL. It was pleasant to wait comfortably in our cabin until our colour was called - rather than trying to find a seat in an over-crowded, noisy lounge. BUT ..and it is a big but, disembarkation once off the ship was a horror. Vancouver really needs to sort their procedures out. We didnt know where to go and then waited 2 hours for a taxi - it was so lucky that I took my wheelchair with us as I just could not have walked so far or stood so long. Is it beyond the realms of possibility to pre book taxis or a bus to downtown? A real downer after a great holiday.. sigh
screamer is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 142
I don't know why everyone is in such a rush to get off the ship. I stay till the last possible moment. I avoid stress by either booking a very late flight out or by staying an extra day in the port city (or occasionally driving to/from the port). While the rest of the cattle are standing in line and fuming because of the crowds, I'm taking one last leisurely walk around the ship with hot coffee in hand. The trip is short enough - why make yourself miserable by fighting to get off the ship first?
bjboothman is offline  
Oct 12th, 2006, 01:04 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 104
I never fly home the same day as leaving a cruise. It just makes you miserable. I think you're probably reacting to the fact that the fun is over, no more getting spoiled and back to reality.
jecrow is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1
The only bad taste in my mouth (I've cruised Carnival) is getting off the ship. I loved it and couldn't bear to leave. The lines were messy, but everyone was in a great mood, so we just sat around and relaxed. In fact, I'd like to stay on the boat as long as possible, but then they wanna kick you off. I've also found the staff rather helpful and really friendly.
gChinkin is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 167
Have never cruised, but I am looking at one....when you refer to chaos on disembarking, you seem to be referring only to end of trip...but how is disembarking for the port stops along the cruise...it seems these would also be bad? Maybe not as bad, because of no luggage, but still...can you comment on your experiences?
swissgirl is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 276
We cruised on HAL's Oosterdam last week, and had the easiest disembarkation ever. Waited in our cabin until our color was called, walked right off the ship and found our luggage in 2 seconds.

Getting off at ports is a very different experience. It's much easier when there is a dock & you can pretty much walk on and off when you want to. Tendering is a different story - you might have to wait a bit.
Arizona07 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 309
If you listen to every complaint, you'll never go on a cruise. Had the disambarkation been so terrible, nobody would take a cruise. Just go out, try it and get addicted.
spurs is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,711
swissgirl.....Not everyone goes ashore in every port.There are those who stay behind for various reasons.There are those who may wait couple of hours and have only one or two particular things to do.Go on the cruise.You'll be happy you did.
BeachBoi is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 167
We are looking at HAL for a Baltic cruise...where did you cruise to? How was the ship? Do you have children? We have a 14 and 10 year old and have gotten mixed reviews on HAL's teen activities...any experience with that?
swissgirl is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:40 PM.