Hot on the Forums: Disembarkation Walk of Shame?

April 25, 2014 | By | 12 Comments

Here’s the scenario: It’s the last night of your cruise and you’ve celebrated, possibly a bit too much. Suddenly, you remember that you’re supposed to have packed and put your suitcase outside the door before retiring for the night, for porters to collect. A mad dash round the cabin ensues, stuffing everything in and shoving the bag into the corridor before collapsing into bed.
In the morning, all the magic of the cruise has evaporated. The ship is alongside and there is nothing to look forward to except disembarkation and the journey home. The corridors and lounges are heaving as thousands of passengers squeeze into breakfast before lining up and trooping down the gangway to identify their luggage in a vast customs hall.
And now, at the thought of luggage, the awful truth dawns.  You forgot to leave out any clothes. They’re all in your suitcase, in that customs hall. At best, you’ve got to go to breakfast, amidst the masses, in your pajamas. If you don’t wear any… well.

A maritime legend? Not at all. This actually happens. Cruise Critic member dgparent posts on the forum from a Celebrity ship: “We were in Michael’s [Club] this morning a couple apparently packed either in their bathrobes or nude. They packed everything, had their luggage taken after they left it outside of their cabin and when they woke up they realized they had no clothes to disembark with. The concierge told us they had to ask to disembark in bathrobes find their luggage and change in the bathroom before hitting customs.”
Member drarill adds: “It happened to my girlfriend on the last cruise she took with her ex-husband. She went to bed while he finished packing, the next morning she found out that he packed all her clothes. They divorced a couple of months after the trip.” And back in the day, a ‘professional’ travel writer (who ought to know better) had to rouse the store manager on QE2 at 6 a.m. to avoid disembarking in the buff. He and his wife walked down the gangway in Cunard tracksuits and slippers.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on a cruise? Let us know.
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    12 Responses to “Hot on the Forums: Disembarkation Walk of Shame?”

    1. Scott M
      April 25th, 2014 @ 11:02 am

      I’ve heard the stories, but have never seen it in person. On the bright side, the cruise we just came back from, we took our own luggage off the boat in the morning so we could get off at 7:15 am in Miami (as we were driving back to Chicago). It was very nice to do that, as it would have been several hours before our group would have been called.

    2. Gary Haas
      April 25th, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

      This happened to a friend of mine. They had a balcony cabin. After a nice evening, they retired to their room and decided to enjoy a night cap on the balcony. It was late and dark, so they went out on the balcony in their underwear. Somehow when the balcony door closed the latch was in the half lock position and the door locked behind them, something we all know could never happen, but it did. They spent 15 minutes wondering how it happened, and then how will they get into their room. Although it was late, they could see over the wall separating the balconies, one of the neighboring rooms light was on although the curtains were pulled. Standing on the small table, precariously, my friend reached as far as he could, over the separating partition and pounded on the ship hull as close to the door as he could, with his hand. After several attempts of doing this, he noticed the neighbor man opened the curtains slightly to peer out side. Seeing nothing through partial open curtains, he looked puzzled and close them again. Again my friend pounded incessantly until his hand hurt. A few minutes later, the same reaction, of the man opening the curtains slightly looking out into the night. He was obviously puzzled about the sound he heard outside, but didn’t open the door. All the time my friend was yelling at the top of his lungs, but was not being heard. A third time this happened and finally the neighbor opened his balcony door. After finally getting his attention, my friend explained the situation, and asked them to call the ships Purser and explain the situation. Once the ships maintenance crew arrived, the next problem was when my friend had closed their room for the night, they set the locks to their room for the night, and the ships maintenance were unable to open the door from the hallway. Now they had to open the partition between the balconies, so the maintenance people could attempt to open the balcony doors. Both he and his wife were in their underwear, while the maintenance people worked on the balcony door, so the neighbors brought out some blankets so they could wrap in until the door could be opened from outside. His lesson to me was never believe when you are told, it is impossible to lock oneself out on the balcony on cruise ships, or at least wear a robe out on the balcony.

    3. Janet
      April 25th, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

      After Dinner on the last night I ALWAYS change into the outfit I plan to wear home the next day and pack up the rest of my clothes. That way I can stay out all night and don’t have to worry about it.

    4. Franki
      April 25th, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

      A friend of mine packed her shoes and had to walk off the ship barefoot.

    5. renee
      April 25th, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

      I always pack another set of clothes in my carry-on tote anyhow – mainly because I want them on the plane ride home… every since someone’s toddler knocked a coke over and it spilled across his tray table and into my lap, I ALWAYS have an extra set of something in my carry on bag.

    6. Laura jones
      April 25th, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

      The worst I have done is forgotten to leave out a clean pair of underwear. I had to wear the used ones all day and those were the days of being scheduled on late flights home!

    7. Patti
      April 25th, 2014 @ 4:38 pm

      My DH and I came back to the room and finished getting our luggage ready. We finished and put the luggage outside our door. We were watching TV and about 2 hours later it dawns on me that all of my shoes were in the suitcase. DH opens door and luggage is gone. He heres some noise, walks down toward the elevator and there are the guys with our luggage.
      He gets them to stop. I run out in my bathrobe and just start grabbing for any shoes that match. Finally find a pair, the guys with the luggage are laughing, we are laughing, a crowd had formed and they were laughing.
      Haven’t forgot anything since then. :)

    8. Patti
      April 25th, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

      excuse my typing errors

    9. melinda gehring
      April 25th, 2014 @ 5:48 pm

      On my first cruise I set out a skirt and shirt. The skirt fit before the cruise, but not on day 7! Lucky I bought one of those huge scarves in one of the ports, so I just wrapped that around my waist and off we went! lol

    10. Kathy B
      April 25th, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

      My aunt told the story of accidentally packing the slacks she planned to wear for debarkation. She had everything else. She worried that she would have to disembark in a bathrobe, then remembered that a friend she had met on the cruise wore her size. A call to her cabin and it turned out that indeed the friend had an extra pair of slacks. Crisis averted. :)

    11. Bob
      April 25th, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

      Our first cruise on what was then the Renaissance R1, Istanbul to Athens. We packed, made sure we had clothes for the next day, and left our bags outside the door. The next morning, my wife had her shoes, but I didn’t have mine. We were to tour the city, climb to the top of the Acropolis, see the Parthenon, then go to our hotel. I envisioned walking up the long hill in socks. I searched the suite again, and discovered my shoes on a shelf in a closet. Who puts shoes on a shelf? Well, I did – but only once!

    12. Kelly
      April 25th, 2014 @ 9:58 pm

      A friend of mine did this on their last cruise. Her husband was haggling her about getting it all done. Well she forgot to lay out pants so she had to wear her bed shorts (booty shorts) out the next morning and in port it was cold

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