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The morning of disembarkation, you must vacate your cabin immediately after breakfast. (The crew has only a few hours to get ready for the next group of guests). Count on spending two to three hours in one of the ship's public areas while customs clears the ship. Be patient. Read a good book. Reminisce about the cruise. Plan your next cruise. Your time will come. Waiting is a good time to check your customs form and make sure it is complete and correct. Be absolutely certain you are not bringing home any restricted items that will delay your progress through customs.
Some cruise lines often offer expedited disembarkation to guests who can literally “take themselves off the ship.” This means you must be able to handle all of your luggage with no assistance and arrange your own transportation from the port to the airport and you cannot be traveling on cruise air. Expedited disembarkation is ideal for travelers who drive to the cruise port and another good reason to travel light! Check with the cruise pursor's desk before the final day of the cruise to arrange expedited disembarkation.
If you do not qualify for expedited disembarkation, when your color code is called, exit the ship. Claim your luggage and clear customs. Again, be patient. There are lines for immigration and customs. Don't make jokes or complain. Their work is serious and customs officials are not known for their sense of humor. Suffice it to say, disembarking is not as much fun as embarking! Soon, you'll be home telling everyone about your wonderful cruise and planning the next one!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|