In one of my last posts about last years cruise on the Norwegian Epic in the Mediterranean I wanted to touch on debarkation. I have one more post on Palma, but I thought this was a more timely topic since the ship is not stopping at Palma this year.
For those who have never cruise before, this is how a typical debarkation goes. The night before your last morning you need to pack your bags up and leave them outside your cabin door, typically by midnight. Then the staff comes around and picks them up, takes them to the cargo areas until the ship is in port. When you leave the ship in the morning you will find your bag in the terminal waiting for you.
You do have the option of walking off with all your luggage the last morning too, but if you pack like me, that’s not much of an option. For the rest of us, you’ll need to have a second, smaller bag for your last minute stuff – PJ’s, toiletries and anything you wouldn’t want in your main luggage (valuables, glass, etc).
On the 5th day of the cruise Norwegian made luggage tags available for debarkation, this was announced with an information packet on debarkation that is left in your room. The tags are color coded depending on when you anticipate leaving the ship. By the time I actually went to get my tags all the late times were gone. Since I was staying in Barcelona 2 more nights I didn’t need to be off the ship at 7am, I believe we were allowed to stay until 9am.
I tagged my bags with the 7am tags, but decided to sleep in and leave the ship around 8:30. Having cruised before I know the chaos on the ship on debarkation morning. Everyone trying to get breakfast and say goodbye to new friends, with their small luggage. Forget the buffet unless you enjoy crowds!
Not interested in the chaos I opted to get up, dress, and finish my packing. I then went to the studio lounge and had a continental breakfast. I would have preferred a full breakfast, but this was much more civilized. I met a few cruisers and chatted about the cruise, I made arrangements to meet a girl who was staying at the same hotel as me so we could share a taxi. The only issue I ran into with this was that I had no idea it was cold and rainy that morning until I was outside the ship freezing my arms off.
After breakfast I grabbed my small suitcase and got off the ship. Although it was well after the time my luggage expected me, it was there waiting for me under a sign that said 7am. I had not been the only person to leave their luggage waiting.
My new friend and I met in the luggage area and then waited on a long, but quick moving taxi line.
Overall the debarkation seemed very civilized for a ship of this size. I didn’t have to deal with the crowds in the buffet, but did see that the elevators were crowded and you would have to wait a bit for one. This is one time when being on a lower deck can be a pain, by the time the elevator gets back down to you, it’s usually full. But the luggage area was big and roomy so you could navigate with your luggage.