Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top 5 Things to Have on Hand - Debarkation

Now its time to say goodbye to all our company.
M-I-C-  Sea you real soon   K-E-Y-   Why? Because we like you.   M-O-U-S-E.

The saddest sight in the world to a Disney cruiser, seems like we were just saying hello. Time certainly does fly while you're being pampered on the High Seas, but now it's time to make room for the port full of eager cruisers waiting to take their turn.
If you have cruised on other lines before, you know what a nightmare the debarkation process can be. In my book, it is nothing short of miraculous the ease at which Disney has everything organized. In the matter of a few hours they manage to get everyone fed breakfast, pose for a few last pictures, and provide a baggage handler that will stay with you through Customs and into the parking garage! Then, seamlessly they have the boat restocked, cleaned and ready to welcome another couple thousand guests. Amazing, completely amazing!
Disney has done their part, now it's up to you to finish the process. Here are my top 5 things to have on hand to make your debarkation uneventful:
  • Camera - There will be plenty of cruise staff on board to bid you farewell. Did you get a picture of your waiters? Breakfast is the perfect time. You may even have the Captain shaking your hand as you leave, he will snap a quick photo with you. No one wants to have the regret of pictures they forgot to take. Plus, if you want a picture of the world's saddest banner pictured above, this is the time.
  • Key to the World Card - I can not stress this enough! You will need to be scanned out, please have it ready. The couple in line behind us threw theirs away in their stateroom. They were taken out of the exit line and never seen again. Seriously, they had not even come through the line by the time we cleared Customs. Not to mention the cards make a great addition to your scrapbook. Also, as an added tip - keep your family all in the same line, don't split up to race and see who gets scanned first. My husband and daughter did this on our last trip, and wouldn't you know it, our group got through and their line was stopped to allow the crowd in the luggage hall to thin out. We had no idea what happened to them so I pulled out my phone to call them. A Custom's agent told me put the phone away or they take it away (we're not in Disney anymore). My hubby & daughter finally caught up, 15 minutes later. Lesson learned.
  • Customs form - This form is used to declare souvenirs and other items you bought while cruising that you are bringing home. It will be left in your stateroom along with your luggage tags. All you need is one for your family (for all members residing at the same address). Have it filled out and ready to hand to the agent. 
  • Passport, photo ID or birth certificate - Once again, your Customs agent will need to see either a passport or valid photo ID for each adult, and passport or birth certificate per child.
  • Money - Back on dry land, cash is king once again. If you have a porter handling your luggage, I can guarantee they are working their tushes off to make this last part of your journey as easy as possible. From grabbing all your luggage off the tables, loading their carts, following you through the luggage hall, to loading your trunk like a giant Tetris game, these porters deserve every bit of the tips they get.
Whether you are cruising now or planning to in the future, keep this list in mind for smooth sailing at the end of your holiday. For all you seasoned veterans, is there anything you have done to make the end just a bit easier? I'd love to hear about it. Leave me a comment!

Kelly is a Disney Gal who loves finding fun and adventure on the High Seas aboard the Disney Cruise Line. Whether it's pampering, para sailing or the unlimited Diet Coke, she enjoys all the ships have to offer. She is currently wearing down Commodore Tom to allow her to blow any of the ships' musical horns. As of now, he is disinclined to acquiesce. To learn more about Kelly, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Sad as it may be............that was great info. Thanks for eliminating any potential problems.