Cruise guest explains ‘rule of thumb’ for last day

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Some cruise guests find the last day of the holiday stressful. Disembarkation can take a long time as there may be thousands of passengers waiting to get off.

A cruise guest asked on Reddit: “How much time do you give yourself to catch a return flight home after a cruise?”

The passenger’s ship was due to dock at 6:30am and the port was about 40 minutes from the airport.

Another passenger said: “Noon or later. Disembarkation doesn’t begin until the ship is cleared by the authorities.

“Regardless of whatever time the ship arrives in port. Add the time in the terminal, airport check in and security lines.”

Cruise ships will have to be cleared by port authorities and passengers may need to pass through border control.

This could take a long time and if passengers haven’t left enough time to catch their flight, they could be caught out.

Another guest agreed saying: “Not worth the risk- noon” while another added: “Common rule of thumb is at least five hours after 12pm.”

One passenger said: “Noon, I don’t want the last night of my cruise filled with anxiety of missing a flight.”

However, one guest said: “Depends where you’re flying from and where you’re flying to. Usually at smaller airports, the check-in only begins two hours before the flight. Bigger and busier airports are more problematic.”

Passengers might not want to get to a small airport too early as there might not be many shops or restaurants.

It’s a good idea to check what time the check-in opens and plan accordingly when booking flights home from a cruise.

A guest said: “Rule of thumb I’ve seen is you don’t want to book a flight before noon.

“While it’s possible to be off the ships and out of the terminal rather quickly, if anything delays the return of the ship, you could find yourself in a world of hurt rather quickly.”

Another guest added: “We never book flights before noon. And we get transfers from the ship to the airport through the cruise line.

“Making sure we’re off the ship and at the airport as quickly as possible.”

Cruise passengers can sometimes book flights and airport transfers through the cruise line.

This should ensure that they have enough time to make their flight and won’t need to worry about transport to the airport.

However, cruise line flights could be more expensive and there’s no guarantee that passengers will make it.

Guests could choose to stay an extra night in the final destination if there are a lot of attractions to see.

This removes the anxiety of missing the ship and gives passengers the chance to extend their holiday.

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