As the saying goes – all good things must come to an end. We never look forward to the end of our cruise however it’s an unavoidable reality we all face after what has been a great and memorable holiday.

While disembarkation day is generally a sad and hectic day for most guests, there are some key things you can do to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. From ensuring that your paperwork is correctly filled out to listening to announcements, we have compiled some of our favourite tips to ensure the end of your cruise doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Settle your onboard spend account early

On the morning of your last full day aboard (the day before you disembark), pay a quick visit to the Guest Services desk and request a print out of your onboard account.

Then, take the time to go through it carefully to ensure no nasty account surprises or charged have popped up prior to disembarking. It will also give you a chance to ensure any surplus cash paid onto your account can be refunded without delay, as guest services have been known to periodically run out of cash on disembarkation day.

If you’re paying with cash, settle your account and ask guest services to then associate a credit or debit card to your account for any final day purchases and to ensure you aren’t cut off from a few farewell drinks or some last minute shopping before heading home.

Attend the disembarkation talk

Even if you’re an experienced cruiser, have cruised on that ship before or arrived into your disembarkation city before, each “turn around” day as cruise lines call it, can be different.

Based on the planned arrival time of your ship, different disembarkation schedules may apply; sailing specific policies and procedures may be different to your last sailing or other arrangements may be in place for your disembarkation. It is therefore quite important to attend any disembarkation talk hosted by your Cruise Director as it will provide an thorough and clear insight into the easiest and most hassle-free way to disembark your voyage.

This briefing will also give you handy tips and tricks to ensure you and all of your luggage disembark the vessel at the right moment and are quickly reunited.

Be careful to fill out your disembarkation paperwork correctly

After your cabin steward has finished cleaning and setting your room on the day before you’re due to disembark, it’s highly likely you’ll return to find luggage tags, customs forms and other paperwork to facilitate your departure.

When these forms arrive asking you to think about how you’re going to leave the ship, pay very close attention to the options you’re selecting. Inadvertently selecting the wrong option – or selecting options different from your travelling companions can lead to a world of hurt, stress and confusion the next day.

Cruise lines allocate limited spaces to each group, so making an incorrect selection initially will most likely see your group split up.