We just returned from our FOS cruise on Sunday. We had an early flight (10:30), so we needed to self-disembark. The procedure is as follows:
The room steward will give you a form to fill out towards the end of the week asking for the details of your departure. There is a box that you can mark for self-disembarking.
The last day of the cruise you will receive all of the paperwork required to go through customs and disembark from the ship. You will also receive color coded tags depending on how you filled out the card from earlier in the week. These should only be put on your bags if you are leaving them in the hallway the night before departure.
We kept our bags in our room (this was nice because we didnít need to pack everything and plan ahead for the next day like everyone who put their bags in the hall early Saturday evening). Sunday morning we met our friends for breakfast in the windjammer by 6:45 and were finished and ready to get in line by 7:30. We were not light packers. We had four suitcases a backpack and a small carry on. The suitcases had wheels and we were able to combine them into two in order for both of us to just have one each to pull.
When we got to the line to leave the ship, it looked like it was going to take forever, but it turned out that they had a few problems with several passengers sea pass cards not working right and it held things up for a few minutes. Once that was taken care of it went really fast and we just walked off the ship and waited to go through customs. That took less than 10 minutes and we were done we took the elevator down to the first floor and then went out to meet up with our airport shuttle that I had set up before leaving on our trip. We arrived at the airport by 8:30 am and had plenty of time to get checked in and hang out until our flight left at 10:30.
If it is always this easy, I would definitely take this option again. The only draw back is that you do have to leave the ship earlier than everyone else, but they are all just sitting in the designated areas waiting for their numbers to be called, so it isnít like you are missing out on anything, except maybe a few minutes more of sleep.