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This is the Essential Cruise Tips Podcast with cruise expert and author Gary Bembridge. Full of tips, advice and ways to plan and get the most from your cruising vacation.

Jul 30, 2014

Gary Bembridge author of "The Cruise Traveler's Handbook" provides another 60-Second Cruise Tip. For more visit and

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Disembarkation off a cruise ship at the end of your cruise can be a long and frustrating experience, especially if you are travelling on a large ship carrying several thousand other passengers. Unless you are cruising in a premium suite or have high status in the cruise line frequent traveller program, you could find yourself sitting about in public rooms for many hours after 8am, when you have to vacate your cabin, waiting for your turn to disembark.

Many cruise lines offer a self-disembarkation option where you carry all your luggage off the ship yourself and can get off the ship first. You can be off the ship within half an hour to an hour after docking and being cleared by the local authorities using this option. I like this as it means less time hanging about, a chance to miss the crowds and ability to catch earlier transfers and flights home. When packing plan to take clothes and suitcases that you can comfortably carry. For example use four-wheel cases and hand luggage you carry on your back, like a rucksack, as there could be lot of walking through the ship and port terminal.