Royal Caribbean Charges For Late Disembarkation

Royal Caribbean has come up with a new fee: $35 to let you stay on board one of its cruise ships after the other passengers get punted on disembarkation day. You have to admire the ingenuity.

So far, the offer is good only on Royal Caribbean’s ¬†European itineraries. Passengers must still vacate their cabins by 9 a.m. on the final day of the cruise. But for the additional $35 per adult ($17.50 per child), passengers may enjoy the pools and some other amenities until 90 minutes before the ship’s next departure.

Traditionally, passengers must vacate cabins and wait in crowded common areas of a cruise ship to be called in groups to collect their luggage and leave.This is the ugly process that my husband and I call “get off my sheep,” in honor of the way Royal Caribbean’s Norwegian captains pronounce the word “ship.” (Not that the captains ever say it quite so tactlessly.)

Passengers who might otherwise have to cool their heels at an airport waiting for an evening flight, or take a post-cruise excursion to pass the time, can now stay on board and splash around. One wonders what the overworked staff, who get only a few hectic hours a week to work without passengers in the way, must think of this. I’m sure they’d be too polite to say.

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