Consecutive or Back-to-Back Cruising: It Sure Beats Going Home

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The last night of a cruise always leaves me with touch of melancholy. Before the evening ends, I know I’ve got to pack and have the bags I do not want to have to take off the ship myself ready and outside my door typically by no later than 11:00pm and then prepare to leave the ship in the morning.

For those who find no joy in disembarkation, consider back-to-back cruises. Consecutive cruising turns the angst of a cruise’s last night into joy. There’s nothing better than sitting down for breakfast on the morning of disembarkation knowing your cruise is not over. After eating breakfast, you can sit back and watch the long parade of sad passengers leaving the ship.

a whale swimming in the water
Yes that is a whale seen from a cruise ship!

If you’re thinking about taking back-to-back cruises, there are a number of things to consider. With Royal Caribbean (RCI), each cruise requires a separate booking. If you book early enough, you can keep the same cabin and it makes things much simpler.

If you can’t book the same cabin, don’t be dissuaded. Your cabin attendant will already know you’ll be moving at the end of the cruise. One very nice thing with Royal Caribbean International that I have observed is that your cabin attendant will bring you a wheeled valet cart and congratulate you on your good fortune. Moving takes only 10-15 minutes. Transfer the items hanging in your closet to the coat rack on the valet cart. Place all other items in your suitcase and place it on the valet cart. When you get to your new cabin the valet cart will be there waiting for you. Other cruise lines may have similar services and may vary depending on whether you’re booked in a regular cabin or a suite. As ThatGuy posted be sure to tip for this extra and much appreciated service.

Typically, only a small percentage of passengers cruise consecutively. On RCI prior to the day of disembarkation, the group will be assigned a time and place to meet, other cruise lines may have different provisions for guests who book back-to-back cruises. After all of the other passengers have disembarked, an officer will take the small group off the ship to customs. After a quick turnaround, the officer will give everyone their new cruise documents and escort the group back on board. General boarding for all other passengers will begin an hour or two later. Consecutive cruisers who decide to go ashore may return to the ship anytime during general boarding, skipping the usual check in process when they return.

a sunset over the ocean
All sunsets should look like this!

95% of my 7-day cruises have been back-to-back 3-day and 4-day cruises. Frequent Floaters who receive cruise perks will receive the same perks for each cruise if booked back to back. As an added bonus, they’ll also get to meet a new set of passengers. I once sailed for ten days on 3-4-3-day consecutive cruises. It was a blast!

How does your favorite cruise line handle back-to-back sailings? Are they very different from Royal Caribbean? – Freshman

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Have not cruised since our daughters were young..We have done the barge cruises instead with 12 of us taking over the entire boat..need to get back into cruising again,,,

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