(3:30 p.m. EDT) -- Cruise travellers fall into two camps when it comes to the preferred way to end a cruise. Many wish to disembark quickly and reacquaint themselves with reality, while others try to prolong the experience by staying onboard as long as possible. Recently, Royal Caribbean and Azamara Club Cruises began to address those in the latter category by offering late-debark options, available on many of their Europe-based ships (depending on customs regulations and staffing at each port).
Now the lines' sister, Celebrity Cruises, has jumped on the trend with its own program. The line has begun a late check-out program that takes effect immediately for the remainder of the current European season on Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Silhouette. The for-fee Extend Your Stay program will continue for future European cruises.
Passengers who choose this option must be out of their cabins by 9 a.m., yet may remain aboard as late as 90 minutes before the next cruise sets sail. The cost is $59 per adult, $29.50 for children ages 3-12, and is free for children under 3.
What does the fee get you, other than a few more hours onboard? The program includes non-alcoholic specialty coffees and teas from Cafe al Bacio, lunch in the specialty restaurant Bistro on Five, a chance to catch a film in one of the ship's theaters, and access to the pool and fitness center. Passengers can also purchase spa services at AquaSpa or buy drinks via credit card.
Celebrity's Extend Your Stay departure times may vary by ship and itinerary based on local immigration regulations. Passengers should inquire at Guest Relations for availability of late disembarkation on their cruise.
--by Jodi Thompson, Cruise Critic Contributor