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Hi Matt:

I went on Symphony of the Seas last August departed Rome doing the 7 night Western Mediterranean Cruise.

Enjoyed a Junior Suite & had an awesome time.

I also went on a 5 night Bermuda Cruise out of Bayonne, NJ this past June.

I live on 30 minutes away from the port, so it was a great perk for me.

This is my question:

Can you please give us some advice on departure day on whether we should have the bellmen take most of our luggage the night before.

Which way is the most efficient & less stressful?

I love your You Tube Channel & all of your advice. 

Thank you very much,

Angela Roman

Paterson, NJ

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We typically cruise out of Port Canaveral Florida... personally for us, we like to get going ASAP so we choose to self disembark. We have about a 6 hour drive home so we like to get an early start. For most folks, I think its either a convenience thing, a timing thing, or a personal preference thing. Lots of factors to think about. Flights, how many bags, traveling solo or as a couple, or as a family. etc. 

I'd say if you are not in a hurry, and want the easiest time getting off the ship, I would let them take your luggage. That is one less thing to carry/worry about while you can go grab a casual breakfast and wait to disembark. 

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If you don't pack excessively and can manage, I would keep all your luggage and self-carry it off.  That is what we always do.  We stick to the rule that each person can only pack as much as they can physically carry.  We don't leave our luggage out the night before (unless it's for luggage valet) and we take it all off with us.  We find this faster as we now don't have to stop to search for our luggage and less chance of it getting lost or taken by someone else.

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10 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

getting lost or taken by someone else.

This is why we always walk our own bags off now (except for Luggage Valet, too).  Since we sailed out of Galveston last summer and lost our big bag we have been carrying off our own luggage even if we wait and disembark after the self assist folks are done.

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7 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

This is why we always walk our own bags off now (except for Luggage Valet, too).  Since we sailed out of Galveston last summer and lost our big bag we have been carrying off our own luggage even if we wait and disembark after the self assist folks are done.

It's actually your experience that I think of every time we take our own bags.  And we don't leave super early either.  Depending on our flight, we usually leave the ship between 8-9am.

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2 minutes ago, FroggyFlo said:

Do you have to disembark at a mandatory time decided by RCCL or can you chose when you want to wake up and go? 

They need everyone out of the cabins by 8am or so.  This is so that cabin attendants can clean and sanitize the cabin for the next guest. 

In North America everyone has to off the ship by around 9:30am.  Federal authorities won't clear the ship until all guests are off and there is a terminal full of new cruisers who can't board until the authorities clear the ship.  

The reality is there isn't much to do during the morning of debarking.  Breakfast will be available early but not as long as the regular times because they need people to leave.  

So you can wake up and go as long as you are out of the cabin by 8am.  

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19 hours ago, ANGELA ROMAN said:

Can you please give us some advice on departure day on whether we should have the bellmen take most of our luggage the night before.

Which way is the most efficient & less stressful?

Without a doubt, there is less stress and overall easier if you put your luggage out the night before and take your time disembarking. Moreover, when you get down to the terminal to pick up your luggage, use a porter. It will not only save you a lot of energy, it will save you time too (porters have their own line for customs).

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It only took one cruise to realize that my pathetic back wasn't made for carrying/hauling heavy 

luggage all around, not to mention standing in lines.

by my second cruise, I learned that the porters are one of the best things ever.  As @Matt said, 

they have their own line to go through customs and it is waaaaytooo  😎 easy and quick!!  

Now, some guy took my hanging bag on our last cruise, but RC found them and we eventually got it all fixed.

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