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Best way to disembark cruise ship

I realize that not many questions are about cruise ships, but I am a little concerned about disembarkation of my ship. We are in the Haven which has priority disembarkation, but have a 5 hour window for my flight. Does anyone think that we should still carry off our own baggage, or will be okay if they take it down the night before. I will have a car waiting for us when we get off the ship, but am still afraid that we have cut it too close. We are also flying first class, which hopefully will buy us some extra time.
Please any thoughts! The port is in Copenhagen.

Posted by
1166 posts

My two cents:

Carry off your own luggage - we always do this and you walk right off.
When they start disembarkation, depart ! I know they leave you color coding for bag tags to give you a time to depart, but no one has ever stopped us from being the first group off the boat.

Hopefully, that will help you get to your plane on time !

Posted by
23466 posts

We always travel light enough (3 carry-on size bags total) that we can handle our own luggage on disembarkation. If your ship takes your luggage it will have some type of color or zone coding so that your bags are placed in a location but you still have to find your bags in that location. Disembarkation is always a time controlled event. Don't know what your priority disembarkation means but our experience is that the independent travelers not using ship transportation often gets push to the back. If you have all of your luggage then you can walk off anytime. With that tight window I would take care of my own luggage. But you need to be able to easily handle your luggage if you do.

Posted by
504 posts

All my experience has been with river cruises, but I never had any problems letting the cruise line take care of my baggage.

Posted by
23466 posts

Dav, there is a huge difference via a few thousand people between river cruises and ocean cruises. Not comparable in anyway.

Posted by
2393 posts

I thought the Haven comes with a personal escort on & off the ship. Send your bags down and your escort will take you to them - no lines - no waiting.

Posted by
1259 posts

Consider what level you are on. If you are on a high level, you may have a long wait for an elevator with enough space for luggage. Or you will have to drag your luggage down all those stairs with the crowd.

I would put the luggage out the night before. If you ar concerned, you can go to customer service and let them know that you will be in a rush in the morning and theh will give you an early disembarkation time.. The ship will unload all luggage and have it waiting on shore before people disembark.

Posted by
15678 posts

First, remember that the crew wants you and everyone else off the ship as quickly as possible so they can get everything ready for the 1-3 thousand people arriving in the afternoon.

You won't be leaving directly from your cabin either. They'll have an early breakfast buffet at least an hour before docking (probably no room service that morning), and will often assign public spaces for different groups' waiting areas (remember, they want you out of the cabins!). If you don't have someone personally handling your luggage, then it depends on how quickly you can move with it. You'll get color-coded (for priority) luggage tags. The crew collect the bags and sort them by color. They are quickly off-loaded in order of priority and will be waiting for you in the passenger terminal. It can be a bit of a walk through the ship and through the terminal to the luggage area; if you only have a wheelie each, it should be simple to keep your bags with you. Priority is assigned based on two factors - first, people who have special privileges (like frequent cruisers), second by time of connections. So people who have less time to get to airports and train stations have higher priority. People who are hanging around or have later travel plans will be stuck on the ship.

Posted by
1 posts

We have done it both ways. If your flight is before noon disembark yourself. Most of the time you will leave directly from your cabin as soon as the ship has docked. Otherwise you will have moved to a common area so the crew can clean the cabin for the next cruise. Sometimes the ship will be late docking because of weather or other ships in the harbor. If in the afternoon enjoy a leisurely breakfast and wait for your group. Other things to consider is your age, physical strength and the amount of luggage. Most ports are pretty easy but once the tide was low and the ramp was pretty steep. My wife struggled with her way to much luggage, requiring my assistance and slowing the line. Another consideration is the escalators which are more cumbersome than the ships ramp. Thus far every port has had elevators.

One other possibility, depending on your cruise line and port, is Luggage Direct service. Put your bags out the night before and pick them up in your home airport baggage area.

Posted by
6670 posts

This is NCL, right? If so, I'd suggest asking your concierge what's the best plan. For those not planning to take their own bags off the ship, our experience has been that they offer color-coded luggage tags for various disembarkation times, starting about 8 or 8:15 AM. You can pick these up in the atrium a couple of days before the cruise ends. (For the Haven, they may be delivered for the time you request.) I'd say get the tags for the earliest disembarkation time you can and leave the bags outside your door the night before. You'll be among the first to disembark (perhaps with the concierge leading you to the front of any lines) and get your bags in the entrance hall.

I agree with others that "self-disembarking" hauling your own bags can be slow and difficult. Even if you're packing light, you'll be held up by those who aren't. But your concierge will have the best advice -- and that's one reason you're paying that big Haven price!

Posted by
928 posts

We always carry on and carry off. Make things very easy. If it was my wife and I, we would be the first one's off the ship and getting into our transportation which was pre-arranged. We have yet to have a cruise line hold us up on disembarkation.


Posted by
10354 posts

The Haven on NCL-- talk to your concierge. Certainly you'll be well taken care of.