You won’t be able to get off the ship until it is cleared by Customs and other authorities, a process that usually takes 90 minutes or more. It’s important to note that disembarkation rarely ever starts at the published arrival time shown in the brochure; if it says you’re arriving into port at 7am, it literally means the ship will be tying her lines up at 7am
If you’re planning to fly home on the day of disembarkation, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get off the ship, go through customs procedures, collect your luggage, and make your way to the airport. In some ports, like Galveston, the nearest airport is a good 70-minute drive away. In general, we don’t recommend flying out any earlier than noon on the day of disembarkation; it’s just not worth the stress.
In most cases, you’ll be asked to vacate your cabin by 8am and wait in one of the ship’s lounges. If you have a flight home on the same day, you will disembark based on your flight departure time. Passengers with mobility problems, and those who booked suites are also often treated to early embarkation. Guests who will be staying on at the port and have no pressing arrangements will typically leave last, unless they’re on a ship-sponsored tour.