What do we do on the last day of our cruise?
Our travel book said that we get off the ship at 9 am on Friday morning. (THis sure is awful early) Do they allow you to eat breakfast before deboarding? Can you stay on the ship longer if you want if your flight is not until late afternoon?
There is really nothing to do on the last day. Yes, you can have breakfast before departing. This is one day that you will be getting up early...As the ship has to be ready to take on the next cruise that will leave that afternoon, and as you know, the new ones arrive around 11:00 AM, you will be off the ship by 10:00 am or earlier.
You will be given color coded tags for your luggage that corresponds to your flight time. The night before departure you will have to put all of your luggage (ones that youre not carrying) outside your cabin. The crew come and collect it for the morning. The day of departure, you will have to be up early and they ask that you vacate your room by 8 or so if I remember. That way the cabin steward can clean and prep it for the next cruise. I forget, but I think the only place to eat is Windjammers (isnt the main dining room closed?). You can wait in lounges throughout the ship. The shops will be closed, as they are in all ports. You will be told when you can leave the ship based on your color coded tags. You cant leave before that. Its all done systematically to help speed up the process, and when you think about it, its really amazing how quick they turn things around. You will then get off the ship, collect your luggage (Miami seems to be the easiest as its on moving belts like at an airport. Ft Lauderdale was a nightmare of suitcases just piled up in marked areas, so be sure to mark you suitcase so that it stands out), and clear customs. If you paid for a transfer, you will hop on a bus along with all your luggage and head to the airport. If you drove, youre free to go. If you have a late flight, why not sign up for one of the tours. You will get off the ship earlier, see the sites, and then be dropped off at the airport with your luggage. If flying from Miami, once you get to the airport if you use RCI transfer you will be taken to a covered area out back where you get off the bus, take your luggage and check in. Its so nice to have their own check in area and avoid the lines out front. Then you go through a side door to the security area (this is where the line starts). Ft Lauderdale was a nightmare and isnt equipped to handle a bunch of cruise ships at once!
The last day on the ship is always short. You will request you to be out of your cabin by 8am, but I pushed it to 9am on my last cruise. Everything on the ship is pretty much closed with the exception of the breakfast buffett, and the main dining room is usually open for breakfast. It is actually a good place to go because you can have a nice breakfast and take your time and have another cup of coffee while you wait for your color to be called. Other than that, it is pretty much just sitting somewhere on the ship and waiting for your color to be called.