Guests embarking on a cruise experience will have the opportunity to do so in style with Royal Caribbean. Here are some tips on enjoying your last moments of freedom before heading home.
Typically, it will take over an hour to disembark a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship. The final morning of your trip, when you’re leaving one landmark and boarding another, is just an example of how seamlessly Royal Caribbean moves its customers around the world with ease!
If you’ve just returned from cruising across the ocean aboard a luxury liner like Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Liberty, you’ll probably be eager to catch up with family and friends who haven’t seen you since you left port. However, once you’re off that boat, things change. You won’t always be able to go straight to dinner because you may stay overnight in another city — perhaps even several!
This article will help answer questions about what happens after deboarding a cruise ship. Let’s consider some key points as soon as you land.
When you arrive at the terminal where you plan to check into your flight home, you should receive special instructions from the airline representative, usually someone wearing a name tag. This person will direct you to baggage claim and allow you to collect your bags while they wait.
If you don’t see anyone waiting by this area with a clipboard, ask one of the airport employees if they know what happened to your checked luggage.
The same thing applies to getting through customs. As long as you brought nothing illegal aboard the ship (like alcohol), border control agents shouldn’t hassle you too much. They’ll want proof of citizenship so they can stamp your passport correctly.
On rare occasions, particularly during international travel, customs officials may stop you and search your bag, but don’t worry. These searches often involve looking for drugs or weapons, which would violate laws against smuggling contraband items aboard commercial vessels. In addition to being confiscated, such things could also result in fines or imprisonment.
Tipping Staff Members
While tipping isn’t mandatory in most places worldwide, we highly recommend doing so wherever possible. The easiest way to tip people without cash is to use traveler’s checks, although you can also pay in local currency. When using traveler checks, keep track of how many you have used, especially if you lose yours.
Most cruise lines offer their own set of guidelines regarding gratuities. For example, Princess Cruises states that “a 15% service charge [is] automatically added to each guest’s bill.” On cruises that include taxes, guests must add 16 percent to cover federal and state sales taxes. Keep in mind that these amounts vary depending on location.
For services provided by crewmembers, the standard amount per day is USD 5 ($10/day total) for cabin stewards, USD 2.50 ($5/day total) for dining room attendants, and USD 1.00 ($2/day total) for housekeeping personnel. These rates apply to passengers only.
Crewmembers provide additional services, including laundry, barber and beauty shop work, babysitting, cleaning rooms, etc. Customers aren’t expected to tip for delivering these services unless stated otherwise.
Donate money to charity instead of giving away souvenirs. Some charities rely heavily on donations.
Tip less than the suggested rate and donate the rest to a charitable organization.
Be generous toward fellow passengers and treat everyone respectfully.
Take care of yourself first — no matter how tired you feel. Rest and eat well before leaving the ship.
After stepping onto U.S. soil, you’ll find that digital cameras and cell phones come in handy more than usual. Taking lots of pictures of loved ones is easy and convenient, but there are still important considerations you’ll want to think about before snapping away.
First, remember to turn your flash off whenever you can. Not only does it cause glare, but it reduces battery life. Also, try to avoid taking snapshots of people’s personal information. While it’s OK to take candid shots of others, privacy policies prohibit capturing images containing private and confidential information of fellow passengers, cruise staff, or sensitive ship information.
It would be best if you also watched out for children playing near busy streets, events, venues, and attractions. Parents may become upset if you snap a photo of their child posing harmlessly beside traffic. Also, beware of kids running wild — parents tend to blame us rather than themselves for these situations.
Finally, remember that you can delete photos online later. No worries.
Postcards For Friends At Sea
Postcards are a great way to send updates to faraway pals and relatives once you’ve safely ashore and settled into your next destination. Post offices typically accept mail addressed to individuals on boats; unlike mailed letters, you can attach handwritten messages inside. Just grab a few extra dollars and buy a pack of envelopes and stamps.
Of course, sending actual physical postcards via regular postal delivery is faster. But in case you miss a window envelope slot, here’s something interesting to note: U.S.-based addresses ending in.com and.net cannot be sent overseas. And if you live outside the United States, you can’t write directly to foreign countries either. So don’t bother trying.
Instead, use email to email address labels printed abroad. Or, better yet, purchase an official Postal Abroad Card for mailing to friends and family while traveling.
What Else Do I Need?
Sometimes returning home involves purchasing new clothing, toiletries, household goods, electronics, furniture, etc. Don’t forget to bring your boarding pass, confirmation number, and cruise line papers like itinerary and passenger list.
If you didn’t already notice, you’re now officially on vacation. Make sure to relax! Go shopping, visit museums, stroll to the beach, play tennis, or indulge in spa treatments. Enjoy time alone to freshen up and explore.
Also, start planning activities for the following days. There’s plenty to do nearby, whether visiting historic landmarks, seeing art galleries, attending concerts, touring attractions, or eating out.
Remember to stay safe! Stay alert, follow posted signs, and observe basic rules of good etiquette.
Do I Have Any Other Costs?
There are two types of expenses that you should expect to encounter after checking out from a hotel. First, you may have to pay for transportation between hotels and airports. Second, you may incur charges on various credit cards, especially if you bought shore excursion packages.
Let’s talk about transportation fees first. Generally speaking, these occur when you book flights ahead of time. Depending upon where you’re headed, ground transportation options may include taxis, shuttle buses, limousines, rental cars, vanpools, shuttles, private transfers, etc.
However, there are times when prices drop significantly if you choose to fly within 48 hours of arrival. Remember to call companies beforehand to compare fares.
As for shore excursion surcharges, they depend on specific locations. Typically, these are charged when booking tours or participating in events. Prices range anywhere from 10 cents to hundreds of dollars per activity.
Before signing up for any excursion package, read reviews and ratings carefully. Many sites exist to warn consumers about ripoffs. Before buying anything, contact customer support to ensure you understand everything included in the price.
Some cruise lines require you to sign paperwork agreeing to hold the company harmless if certain conditions occur. Read the small print closely, then decide whether the benefits outweigh the potential risks.
And finally, if you purchased tickets to return home in advance, chances are you paid for airfare. Be aware that airlines sometimes raise ticket prices during peak seasons and holidays. Shop around for bargains.
Where Is My Luggage Going?
Your luggage should show up at baggage claim, assuming you followed directions and retrieved your carry-on throughout the trip. Otherwise, lost luggage handlers will likely load your belongings into carts and whisk them away.
Depending on where you’re headed, you might need to rent a vehicle to drive to your final destination. Find out detailed driving restrictions ahead of time.
Lastly, your luggage will eventually reach an airport office called Baggage Claim if you’re flying home. At this point, you should retrieve your duffel bag and head right for the exit doors. After clearing customs, you’ll meet your friend standing patiently by the door, holding a sign with your name. Welcome home!
Is There WiFi Onboard?
Yes, but it tends to be spotty. Check out our guide to finding WiFi hotspots anywhere.
We hope you never run into problems accessing the internet access. If you did, though, you’d probably spend more time complaining than browsing. That said, let’s recap some helpful hints for maximizing your journey.
Turn your phone off manually, not by setting it to airplane mode. This forces apps to store data locally until you switch them back on.
Set up automatic downloads for music and video files. Set up download schedules based on a WiFi availability. Then select Download Over Cellular Network to prioritize streaming videos and audio tracks.
Use public computer stations instead of charging your laptop every night. Charge devices at designated outlets to ensure proper cord connections and power.