How depressing the end of a cruise can be -- no more midnight food buffets or interesting shore excursions. Don't get so caught up in your pity party that you ignore the disembarkation procedures. You need to know what steps to follow to get off the boat when you arrive at your home port. When you sail with Carnival, you'll receive a list of procedures the night before you disembark; on some ships, the television in your cabin will provide the instructions as well.

Zone Assignments

Carnival Cruise Lines will issue each passenger a zone assignment. Your zone is a number, and that's how you'll know when and how to disembark from your ship. The zones will be called out over the PA system. If you have an early flight home, or you are in a hurry to get off the ship, let the staff know as far in advance as possible so you can be assigned an early zone or scheduled for self disembarkation.

Self Disembarkation

Self disembarkation is a procedure Carnival allows when passengers do not want to wait for help with luggage. If you choose to disembark on your own, ahead of general disembarkation, you'll be responsible for carrying all of your luggage off the ship yourself. You also have to be prepared early. As soon as the ship is cleared by customs and immigration officials, self disembarking passengers will be the first guests off the ship. You won't have to pick up your luggage because you'll have it with you.

General Disembarkation

After the self disembarkation group gets off, the general disembarkation zones are called. To keep the procedure running smoothly, Carnival instructs passengers only to get off the boat when their zones are called. Your zone number also tells you which exit to use. Once you are ashore, follow directions to the luggage area, where your baggage is securely kept and waiting for you.

Luggage Procedures

Carnival guests taking advantage of self disembarkation do not have any special luggage instructions. If you are zoned for general disembarkation, you receive luggage tags that identify your zone number. You'll get these from your cabin steward the night before you arrive at your home port. Take off any other luggage tags that Carnival may have given you when you checked in, and replace them with the zone number tags. Leave your tagged luggage outside the door of your stateroom before you go to bed so the luggage can be collected ahead of disembarkation.

Paperwork and Money

Settle your account the morning of your disembarkation. Carnival's purser's office will provide you with a statement of charges; if you left a cash deposit instead of a credit card deposit, you can obtain your refund or make any necessary payments. Carnival includes gratuities on your statement, and they'll let you know if any specific tips are not included. As you disembark, Carnival will need to check your Sail and Sign card, your identification and proof of citizenship, and your customs form.