I believe you will disembark based on your travel plans which you should have given to the front desk before you leave. You can not carry your own luggage off the ship, it must clear customs. You get a color like all other passengers and wait your turn. Good luck
We were on the Dawn Princess couple weeks ago and disembarkation was a disaster. They were late letting us of the ship, when we got off, there were no taxies available, so they offered to put us on the busses with people who purchased the transfers for an extra charge. BIG MISTAKE.
The bus driver was an idiot, he drove really slow and then make 2 circle around the airport because he had nowhere to park = knowing that most of us were going to miss our flights. He then dropped us off a mile from our terminal and needless to say that running with our baggage didn't help and we along with most others missed our flights (10:45am). I'd wait for the taxi.
This is interesting to me. We live in Fort Lauderdale and therefore have no need to catch a flight. We've always been up front about this...and we've been just about the last ones off the ship. Not that it's a hardship sitting around the ship for an extra couple hours! But I've wondered if we could/should fib about catching an early flight...just to get home sooner. It isn't like we'd be grabbing a taxi from real travelers--a family member picks us up. Any thoughts? Would this bog down the process to an unacceptable degree? (Surely we aren't the first to do this.)
J & T
Joyce: we live in the mid-west, so have to fly to the port city. Princess requires our flight number and schedule in advance of our cruise. I believe that's how Princess determines the times of disembarkation for passengers. Our return flights usually leave around 11:30 or noon, so we're usually in the first group off the ship.
I have gotten off a Princess ship on my own many times. I arrange with the Purser for the hour I want to disembark and I get the proper luggage tags. When my color is called, I take my luggage and get off. As far as customs is concerned, I have had no problems, I clear through them just as though I just got my luggage on the pier instead of pulling it behind me off the ship. True, no one will be at the gangway to help you as you get off so be sure you can handle all your luggage yourself. If you need transportation from the pier, try to arrange it proir to your cruise of take a cell phone with you and call a local cab well in advance and arrange for a place to meet it, if you can. Good Luck...
I think it is referred to as EXPRESS DISEMBARKATION not self-disembarkation. Best bet is to check cruise line prior to cruise. Otherwise, check with Pursers' desk upon embarking/or first couple days of cruising. Some cruise lines offer this option; some do not. In this senario, you don't place your luggage outside the cabin for collection the night before disemarkment. YOU carry ALL baggage off ship to customs line when disembarking the ship. You are still assigned color & number/coded luggage tags to identify what group (early) you are in.
My husband, two children and I will be disembarking one day before the end of our Northern British Isles cruise in July. We want to explore Paris and so will disembark in Le Havre. I assumed the OP was describing just such a situation. I hope all will be well and timely (?).