Why the Rush? Readers Sound Off on Late Checkout

September 26, 2011 | By | 24 Comments

Seems for many cruisers, ripping that Band-Aid off at the end of a cruise is the way to go. Spurred by Azamara Club Cruises‘ recent plan to test late checkout, we asked fans on our Facebook page if they’d pay to stay onboard for a few extra hours on dreaded debarkation day. We were surprised how many weren’t interested. We thought cruisers might enjoy not having to rush off the ship, having a chance to extend the cruise experience a bit. We’ll say it: We were wrong.
Sure, those who drive to their cruise port have a good reason for getting on the road. Jody Leis Deal said on Facebook: “I’d have to say no ‘cause we have a long drive home so we need to get off early to get on the road.” Fair enough.
A lot of cruisers just want to get home. “I want to get off and go home!!” said Mary Beth Sharples. Tami Atkinson agreed: “I’m usually anxious to get back home to see our pets…” And Frances Taylor said: “No way. Want to get home a.s.a.p. Holiday over.”
We wonder, just a bit, why some folks are even on vacation. Ana Rose Dillabough “I love my family, I love my home, I love my job, and I love my life in the ‘real world’ so vacation of a week is more than enough.”
Then there were those who’d already busted the budget, like Richard Marko: “No…already spent enough on vacation.” Al Nettles falls in two groups: those whose budgets have been stretched, and those whose imaginations have been stretched. He said: “Nope…by this time I am already broke. Plus, there would be nothing to do.”
Lori Nixon Muscato also falls into the latter group. “What would you do on the ship? I can’t imagine wanting to stay later. Maybe I am not thinking clearly – but I think I’d be bored.”
For Janet Reynolds, the answer is never. “The cruise is over and I am just sad to leave the ship, it would prolong the agony!”
So, when it comes to the end-of-cruise experience, Debby Couture summed it up for many: “No, I’d rather rip that Band Aid off a.s.a.p.”
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    24 Responses to “Why the Rush? Readers Sound Off on Late Checkout”

    1. Susan
      September 26th, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

      I don’t necessarily think we want to spend more hours for more $$. Rather, it would be nice if disembarkation day was less cumbersome and bags were picked up the morning of, to allow us to pack our checked bags according to airport security regulations, and not have to “reorganize” items at the airport. I personally enjoyd every minute our last cruise, and I could’ve stayed longer if time and money permitted. I was surprised to hear someone on the cruise say, “You can only eat and sleep so much…” on our wonderful Alaska cruise..All I can say is, YOU MISSED IT, and you could’ve saved a lot of money of that’s all you are inclined to do on such a cruise..!

    2. Jim
      September 26th, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

      I would LOVE to stay a few extra hours, as long as there was something to do. On the Oasis, we sat in our room until we were kicked out, then we had to sit in the dining room util we were called. I would love to be able to do a few last things – eat in one of the restaurants, do some shopping, have a drink, sit on the balcony, whatever.

      We stayed an extra day in the cruise port, so I was in no hurry to leave the ship. I don’t understand why so many people are in a hurry to leave. Not us.

    3. Brenda Marie
      September 26th, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

      I agree. I always have a great time on the cruise ships, but when it’s time to go, I’m ready to get home to my real life. LOL

    4. david
      September 26th, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

      Consider the onboard personnel. Turnaround is their only time for any calm on the ship without having to be “onstage”. Besides, they have a lot to do and would prefer to get it done without passengers in the way. Vacation is over, get off and let them go about their business.

    5. Adam
      September 26th, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

      I agree when the cruise is over im ready to get to the airport and go home.

    6. Scott
      September 26th, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

      If staying and extra night we enjoy not rushing off the ship. Take our time at breakfast, go for one last walk around the ship and hang out with a cup of coffee and a book waiting for the last group to be called. Our bags are much easier to find this way too!

    7. Kate
      September 26th, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

      I was happy to hit the road early and get home with plenty of time to pick up my pets, sort my mail and start laundry before having to get to work on Monday. No need to dawdle on the boat. I would have got off earlier if I could have.

    8. Scott Lara
      September 26th, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

      I would prefer to get off the ship.

    9. Pichu
      September 26th, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

      All I can say is that I’m dragged off the ship. See those nail scratches along the Royal Promenade? Yup, that was me….

    10. Sabrina
      September 26th, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

      Usually, I’d be happy to go home (if I can). I’m the type to only add on to my cruise with a land package before it. And I did the same in Tahiti. However, when I was the Paul Gauguin in Tahiti and our flight was not until 7pm after our cruise, that was different. We had a lovely breakfast on our balcony after sleeping in. Then we wen to hang out at the pool. At lunch, we were served a spectacular pork meal (literally the whole pig carved for us). Of course there were other items for none pork eaters.

      Then we left the cruise ship and went to a resort until our flight. There is nothing to do at that airport, so it is important to plan something.

      Otherwise, I do like going home asap!

    11. Phil Harrison
      September 28th, 2011 @ 5:01 am

      The only reason I’d stay later is if I had a late connecting flight.The only other advantage for me would be to avoid the unholy scrum of getting off,most times on cruises I’ve found people respect Queues(with some exceptions like tendering) but disembarkation is a different matter.For some reason,everyone seems to acquire blinkers that means they can’t see other humans and getting off 30 seconds before someome else they’ve pushed in front of becomes a national sport…
      Maybe I’m just so depressed to be getting off…

    12. janice crowell
      September 28th, 2011 @ 7:30 am

      Sure I’d like to stay longer and relax if time permits. But I don’t want to pay extra for that. I’d like to avoid the mad rush and the long time standing in line for customs.

    13. Carol
      September 28th, 2011 @ 9:28 am

      But have you thought about it from the other point of view? I LOVE to get on really early – as soon as possible I’m boarding so that I can make the most of my time on the ship…if some people wanna stay behind where does that put the timeline for boarding – does that mean we can’t get on until mid afternoon??? NO WAY!!!

    14. Beth
      September 28th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      We usually have a later flight, so we go to the buffet late, have a leisurely bfast, go back to the cabin, pick up our carry ons (which are mostly packed), & go up to the sun deck or pool area, have our pick of lounges, & wait there to disembark. We find no one bothers us & we are in no one’s way, bathrooms are available. Once off the ship, our luggage is easy to find, cabs are available w/o the circus going on. It’s nicer than waiting at the airport.

    15. Karen
      September 28th, 2011 @ 11:02 am

      We recently sailed on RCCL Navigator of the Seas in Europe and they were offering a late checkout for an additional fee (I think 35 euro pp). Our dinner companions took advantage because their flight home was late that day… their luggage had to be out the night before, they had to vacate their stateroom by 9:00 am, there was an area of the ship including a pool, etc available to them for the morning before the new guests arrived…I think they had to depart by 3:00 or 3:30…

    16. Walt
      September 28th, 2011 @ 11:48 am

      We try to be the last ones off.

      We book our return flight home as late as possible to avoid the inevitable crowd that does the mad rush on the last day. (Flying from the East Coast to our home in Los Angeles has the time advantage so there’s no big rush.

      In fact we occasionally book a hotel for the night of disembarkation just so we can plan a more relaxed departure.

      We love sitting out on deck when possible and either read or finish writing our journal. Usually there’s a pot of fresh coffee nearby to keep us entertained.

      It’s a great opportunity to unwind and reflect on the great times we had on the just completed cruise.

    17. Stefanie
      September 28th, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

      First let me say that we are usually one of the last people off the boat to miss the mad dash….and I am NEVER in a rush to get home. But, if I had to choose, I would rather get on the ship earlier the first day, than stay later the last day!
      We usually book a hotel the night before in order to get on the ship early and not have to take a 6am flight to do so.
      Not sure why the cruise line would think people would pay to stay longer when nothing is usually open?

    18. Bonnie
      September 28th, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

      I love getting on board early, I am in no hurry to disembark. I stay as long as possible, enjoying those last moments with sleeping in, a late leisurely breakfast, and book a later flight to avoid the stress of rushing to get to the airport. Pay extra for later disembarkation? It would depend on what amenities are available while lounging on the ship.

    19. Carol
      September 28th, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

      On one of my cruises I had planned to stay over an extra day, expecting to spend debarcation day exploring the town and area (we had booked a tour). Instead, we not allowed to leave the ship until about 3 pm because we didn’t have plane reservations and were stuck sitting on the floor in the entry lounge waiting for our names to be called. Nothing to eat or drink all day! We couldn’t even get off the ship to take a walk! No way would I pay extra to ever do that again!

    20. Chris M
      September 28th, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

      I would just like to not have to rush, I dont like getting up early the last day a vacation, think it makes me dread the end more.
      my t-shirt says “will work for vacation” :)

    21. Ted Rubacha
      September 29th, 2011 @ 9:59 am

      We have been on several cruises and the pattern seems to repeat: well-organized and reasonable organization to board; however, leaving the ship is chaotic and unpleasant. Cruise lines seem to have figured out one, but not the other.

    22. Rebecca
      September 29th, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

      The reason why I’m anxious to get off the ship the morning we disembark (and the reason why I carry my own luggage off to get off the ship quicker!) is because we always plan an activity to do when we get back in port so that the vacation let-down isn’t so severe. Usually we leave from Florida, so we always go to Disney World, Universal, or Busch Gardens for a few days after our cruise.

      Also, the day that the cruise is over, while I’ve enjoyed it a lot I’m ready to get off the boat. Seven days would be about all I could handle as far as cruising goes, the food gets to me after awhile, I can’t get used to eating like that all the time! :D

    23. Joe
      September 30th, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

      We had #12 as our debarkation # on our recent 9 day Explorer cruise, talked to out room steward and he said “take your time.” The only thing he requested was that we put our “make up the room” tag in our key slot when we went to breakfast. We left the ship as # 18 or 19 was being called, got to our luggage in area 12 and we were one of only 2 sets left, real easy to find and easy to go through customs. Going to do the same thing on our 7 day Voyager out of NOLA in December!!!!!!!!!

    24. Joe
      September 30th, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

      Always try to plan the vacays to have at least one free day at the beginning or end.

      On our Dec Voyager we will fly out the night before (Fri dec 9) and then spend Sat dec 17 – Tue dec 20 in NOLA when we debark which will be as late as they will allow us. Then upon arrival at home will be off Wed – Mon(dec 26).

      Nice having six weeks of vacay to play with each year!!!!!!!

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