Ever noticed how on a plane the second the wheels touch the ground passengers begin jumping up to retrieve their belongings from the overheads ……even though the flight attendants are repeatedly asking them to remain seated…..even though the plane has a mile or more to taxi before arriving at the gate?
Well – it happens on cruise ships too! I have no idea why passengers think that if they’re the first in line they’ll be the first off the ship. THERE IS A SYSTEM TO DEBARKATION!!!!
The evening before, cabin attendants provide numbered luggage tags and flyers listing for each number the locations where passengers should gather to await departure call and the approximate time that call will be made. The only thing simpler than the system may be some of the passengers.
On mornings of debarkation, however, despite numerous announcements of “we kindly ask that passengers please refrain from blocking the passageways and stairwells,” often as early as 6:00 a.m. stairways to the departure deck can be impassable, with overflow crowds spilling into cabin areas, and elevators filled with bodies and baggage going nowhere. Hullo???? The ship has probably not even been cleared by local authorities by that time, not to mention that baggage off-loading cannot even begin until it has been.
No – being first in line does not mean you get off the ship first. It only means you are blocking the egress of those who are scheduled to debark ahead of you – those with early flights, guests requiring assistance, passengers “schlepping” their own luggage, and then you – but only after your tag number has been called.
When flying, “please remain seated until the captain has turned off the seat belt sign.” When cruising, “please do not block the passageways and stairwells.” Relax – go find a quiet spot – enjoy breakfast in the dining room – have a second or even a third cup of coffee. You’ll be home and back in the “same old grind” soon enough!