It seems me and Mrs. Thomas are always the last tag color called to debark. I hate being strapped to the ship that just delivered you from paradise back to reality with all your carry-on bags, souveniers, etc. and you are trying to mentally return to real life. It's like being stuck with a lover in traffic who you are taking to the airport for your final good-bye. You just want it over with!
Do we get the last color because we drive to the port? Should we start filling out our paperwork declaring an early flight out so we get the first call? Is there some way to get an early color?
Are you a repeat cruiser? Many repeat cruiser Clubs (ie.Captains Club on Celebrity ,) have early debarkation as a benefit.
Otherwise I would relax , go to breakfast, have a seat in a lounge and wait until all the crazed people who didn't leave themselves enough time to get to the airport are off the ship.
On the Viking Serenade was our worst time -- indeed the last color called. But what was even worse is that customs delayed the *start* of disembarking for more than an hour.
We ended up being out of the cabin by 8 a.m. and not getting off the ship until after 11:30 a.m. Further, in the Hello Dolly Lounge we watched the same segments on Headline News *over and over* till I finally said, "If I see this story one more time, I'm gonna scream!"
Usually I am not a whiner during the disembarking wait, but this was one time when I said, "Sweet Jesus, just let us off!"
We were waiting for our color to get called on the pride. They had already called 4 colors and then one of the employees came by and said that all colors can go now. They didn't make any annoucements on PA, but sure enough, everyone left in one big
swoop. We still waited for a few minutes just to let it clear out. It still when pretty smooth.
I do suspect that you were the last color called mainly because you did drive to the pier and didn't have a flight to catch, its a little nerve racking when you do have a flight and have to go through all the security and check-in at the airport. I sure do love the days when we could check-in at the pier and let them take care of the luggage from there, that was so nice!
Instead of whining about "being the last color called," maybe you should first appreciate the fact that you were fortunate enough to be able to take a cruise to begin with. Please get a grip on life and what is important. - Rob
It is simply impossible to disembark several thousand people all at the same time. So... after prioritizing the early flight people, the premium accommodation people and the various levels of past passengers, there is generally an arbitrary assignment of disembarkation priorities, based on a computer model for the most efficient pattern on the specific ship.
Many of us in the Industry, when not escorting a group, will not seek out the caos of early disembarkation. Quite the contrary. We will have a leisurely breakfast in the Dining Room. (A quiet word to our cabin attendant the night before will keep our cabin locked with any carry on luggage comfortably ensconsed therein)(I didn't say that!) After breakfast we return to our room at a leisurely pace, freshen up and wait for our number/color to be called. We catch no longer crowded elevators down to the disembarkation deck, which is no longer in a state of total confusion and walk off the ship without being shoved and pushed... and... low and behold... when we get to the cavernous luggage hall, most of the luggage is gone, we find our's easily and have no trouble finding a porter to assist. And... when leaving the parking garage we no longer have that 15 minute wait to get up to the pay booth either.
That's the way we do it. Considering that generally there is a 2 hour window from the time the first passenger disembarks to the last, we prefer to continue the elegant ambiance of the ship until we reach our car rather than have it come crashing to an end clawing and fighting our way off the ship early.
When I was on Paradise, it was 20 minutes from the time the first color was called until the last color. I know I was the last color called because the cruise director said over the PA system, "And the last color, TomS's color!" (it was red, just having some fun here). I was actually given the wrong tags though, becasue according to the plan in the previous night Carnival Capers, I was supposed to have purple. The line between red and purple was only three cabins forward of where I was, so I didn't think it would upset them too much if I didn't ask for new tags, so I didn't
Thanks Ernie for the tip. We never thought it was possible to enjoy some comforts of your cabin while disembarking as we always went to the corral with everyone else and waited with luggage in hand.
We always drive to the port and believed that by doing so we were given the last color called. And I understand this is the proper thing for the cruiselines to do for efficient disembarkation. I just needed confirmation of this.
Just a thought... Could a suggestion be made to the various cruise lines to offer a bit of entertainment for those who are waiting? Nothing fancy, maybe a pianist or a small ensemble to play some soothing tunes to make the wait time a bit more enjoyable and to help prepare us for the dreaded return to civilization.
Disney does it different...colors are only used to distinguish what area your luggage is in on shore....The last morning the early dinner group goes to breakfast at a certain time and in the same restaurant they ate in the night before, (during breakfast they announce the ship has cleared) as they finish breakfast they get off the ship......2nd seating dinner goes to breakfast at their time and when finished eating they walk off....there is a little bit of a line, but nothing drastic (in 5 minutes you are off)..... I guess since everyone finishes eating at a slightly different time it breaks up the crowd......and the luggage is placed in your color area in cabin numerical order, so it's easy to find.....
I wish people would stop blaming the cruise ship for the dissembarkation problems. I was 'fortunate' to spend 5 years standing on gangways answering countless of daft questions from passengers regarding the operation.
1. After repeating ourselves until our face was blue for people not to gather around the gangway until their colour was called as this slowes down the disembarkation, no-one moved. Instead they stare into space as if to say "That doesn't apply to me".
2. The main reason colour groups are called is due to the fact that you are arriving from a foreign country and have to go through customs with your luggage regardless of how strict or loose the local authorities are. This is a law and cruise lines have to obey or recieve huge fines. Therefore the cruise ship not only at the custom officers but also at the mercy of the local baggage handlers. Some cities (not mentioning any in perticular - Los Angeles, New York!!) have baggage handlers who seem to stop every five minutes for a breather!
3. Having 2000 people running down the gangway because their flight isn't till 6pm but they may miss it as its already 9.30am would be a mess!! Therefore the people with earlier flights have to go first.
My advise to anyone travelling on a large ship; don't worry about it!! You won't miss your flight, the ship staff DO know what their doing, relax in a lounge away from the gangway, make sure you can hear the PA announcements, get a coffee and start planning your next cruise!!!!
I see a challenge here, doggone it! I say you could stow away after a cruise and get away with it!
Suppose you return to your cabin after it has been cleaned and prepped for the next passengers until debarkation is final. You hide in the closet or under the bed until the next passengers are boarding. You leave the cabin and filter in amongst the crowd. During the cruise, you never get off in any of the ports, you always eat at the buffets, you shower in the spa or gym, you buy some extra clothes from the gift shop as needed, you sleep during the day in the deck chairs and if you are caught, what happens? They put you off at the next port? Do you think the cruiseline is going to go to the expense to prosecute? A corporate lawyer costs the company roughly $1800 everytime he appears in court.
I'm thinking after a few stow aways on the same ship the employees will start to assist you.
You'll be a ship specific novelty!!!!!
I see you've given this a lot of thought! (Too much thought?!)
You're plan does have the potential to work, except that I'd really rather sleep at night. After dark, when the lounge chairs on deck are tied up, where would you sleep? I guess you could untie one of the lounge chairs and sleep on deck, but the security personnel might come by and object.
But the main obstacle to all of this is that the security personnel undoubtably know exactly how many passengers boarded the ship on embarkation day, and undoubtably count exactly how many passengers disembark at the end of the cruise. My guess is that if more passengers embarked than disembarked, they would turn the ship inside out looking for you and me!
Obviously Neil could give us better information, but it's been my experience that the security personnel, while not always seen, seem to know exactly what's going on aboard ship. If they didn't I'd be a litte worried.
But hey, let's keep working on a plan -- who knows, it could work!
Wouldn't it work if you stowed on a ship with a self service laundry? You could wash your clothes and it seems to me that staying on board would be worth the sacrifice of no $$ beverages. Hmmm...then you need to figure out what to do with your luggage....especially all those shoes :o)