What happens when a cruise ends?


The 24 hours leading up to your getting off the ship are crucial for ensuring a safe disembarkation, the crew must be sure to provide the right information to all cruisers and set an schedule to avoid any delays as much as possible.

Disembarkation begins the turn-around day between one cruise and the next for the personnel and crew, making it one of the most challenging work days, but for cruisers who’s mind is on vacation-mode, it can be confusing. Here’s what to anticipate when disembarking on a cruise and how to make the process go as smoothly as possible.


What does disembark mean?

Disembark- or debark- means getting off an airplane, bus, train or almost any other vehicle or vessel. Therefore, to disembark your cruise means getting off the ship at your final destination.

Debark day is the day on which you get completely off the ship, is not like checking out of a hotel, getting off the ship is more complicated, as you must follow a set of procedures.


How long does it take to get off the ship?

There are two types of debark, the one you make at a port call and the one you make at the end of the cruise, both must follow a set of restrictions based on the country and passengers are required to follow a set of instructions to exit the ship in an orderly manner.

If you’re visiting a foreign port on your cruise, the cruise lines let you go as soon as the ship is docked, secured, and the local authorities have given the go-ahead. All immigration processing will be handled by your cruise company, so getting off at a port call should take about 30 to 45 minutes.

Disembarking at the end of a cruise is a bit more complicated, this can take a few hours, depending on the cruise size. At the end of your trip, you will need to take care of paying the bill for purchases made on board, checking out your room and, in some cases, passing through customs and immigration. To expedite this process, the crew will share a debark plan with all passengers, which in some cases includes a schedule that assigns a timeframe of disembarkation by groups.


Avoid making any mistakes on the last day of your cruise and ruin whole experience. From unexpected fares and forgotten items to overweight suitcases, getting off the cruise ship can be very challenging. We advise you make sure to be informed the prior day to debark and listen carefully to all instructions provided by the crew.