the last cruise my wife and i where on ( grandeur Nov 07) we where given orange tags for our luggage, we where the last people off the ship, (it was that bad people where starting to arrive for the next cruise). I noticed that in the centrum there are luggage tags you can just take. My question is what tags get you of the quickest or does each ship do its own thing ???
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You should have the option to "self-debark" on most or all RCI cruises now, which means you don't put your luggage out on the last night but rather cart it off yourself in the morning.
But if you need to have your luggage removed from the ship for you, I suggest you simply inform guest relations that you need to debark early. Having a late flight shouldn't require you to be stuck on the ship until late in the morning. There are many good reasons for needing to debark early, and many of them do not involve your homeward transportation schedule. For instance, I drive to cruises from the Port Of Mobile but that doesn't mean I should wait until the last call to leave the ship. That could be an hour or more of precious drive time lost. I also have family living in south Florida, and even though I had late afternoon flights from Miami, I've requested and received early debarkation so I can visit the relatives for a few hours.
Just tell them you need to leave by "whatever" time and they will accommodate you.
Take the Express departure...but be aware that you have to carry all of your own luggage and the ship's personal won't help you...It's the only way I depart now...most of the time you can leave starting around 7:00 or 7:30....and most of the time you get thru customs much faster that way too....Happy Cruising...
We were told that this option was for people with small bags or minimal luggage. Not sure how this was defined, we saw people doing the walk off option with much more luggage than we had. After seeing that we are going to try it next time. WE have to manhandle our luggage everywhere else, getting it off the ship alone is not that much more hassle.
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We are going to use the Luggage Valet service on our next cruise. It is worth it. $20 per passenger for two bags. But the service is better for Seattle and some other ports than it is for the Florida ports. I don't see the allure for those ports where you have to go through Customs with your bags. In Seattle our luggage will go from the ship to the airport and we won't have to retrieve it.
We carried off our luggage. Did NOT put it in the hallway the night before we got off the ship. We breezed through all of the lines. We just told the folks in charge that we had all of our luggage with us. They let us go on through.
I joined the "tote it yourself" club on my last sailing even though they sent notices discouraging the practice on RCCL. It was much quicker and I was in a cab approx 2 minutes after they opened the gate in San Juan. Its the only way I'll ever do it in the future.
Dave, I was struck by that too. Wish i'd kept the disembark instructional paperwork. I can't remember how they worded it but it was definately advising that self tote was not an option they wanted anyone to opt for. I was happy they gave such advise as I was one of the only people rolling luggage off the ship and it made for a very nice, quick and easy exit.
Another really cool thing about the sailings from San Juan was the Customs process. They did it onboard in the dining room before we ever got back to San Juan. When they announced that everyone had to bring their key pass, passport and/or photo ID birth cert to the dining room 5th level between X time and X time, I was expecting crowds and a lengthy frustrating process. They had enough staff and hand held scanners that the line never stopped. You passed by each station on the fly as they scanned your info and it was done in just a few minutes. Best system I've ever seen for post cruise processing of passengers. When we did hit San Juan everything was done.