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Old 02-18-2009, 10:48 AM
 
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Can someone refresh my memory of the RCL policy for early disembarkation. Do you have to have an early flight, or can you participate in the early disembarking if you are able to manage your luggage by yourself?

My last cruise was on NCL and pretty much everybody did he early-off regardless of whether or not they had a ton of stuff or an early flight (it was sort of chaotic!)
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:24 AM
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You have to be able to carry everything off the ship unassisted. No requirement for an early flight. One caveat - on my last RCI cruise they were quite adamant in telling everyone planning to do the self-debarkation that only small pieces of luggage (carry on) were permitted. They said Customs was taking a dim view of those trying to muscle big suitcases off the ship. It may have just been the Port Canaveral staff. However, my observation was that they got compliance and thus there were no log jams.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:22 AM
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When my husband and I cruised in January 2008, you were not allowed to carry off your own luggage. (We like this option and had taken advantage of it on a previous cruise.) Everyone had to wait for their color to be called to disembark.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:14 AM
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Self debarkation may not be available at all ports and in the end is really up to Customs. They can (and have) not allowed it from time to time.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:37 AM
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I meant to post this a while ago.

RCI recently revised their debarkation protocol. Now called "As You Depart", this program is similar to those already being done on Princess, NCL, and some other lines.

Specific lounges are designated for color codes. Light refreshments and entertainment provided. When the time comes for your color, a crew member will escort your group to the gangway. You can also remain in your cabin up until the time you were told to be at your designated lounge. Announcements are also being limited to inside the cabins and in the designated lounges. Thus, if you don't follow along and be where you are supposed to be, you may miss important information or even miss your call to leave.

Self-debarkation is still available where allowed, and suite guests and higher level C&A members will have private lounges and priority departure.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:21 AM
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In Tampa recently, my Mother and I were about the last to get off the ship GOS leisurely, and we were off by 9:30am. We had a later flight, no hurry, took a taxi to the Grand Hyatt and checked our baggage. Enjoyed an late morning early afternoon at the pool area and took their shuttle to the airport. Tipped everyone and it was way better and cheaper than 4 hours in an airport.
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