Once your cruise is over, you need to consider how you will get to your next destination, be it a hotel or the airport. Many cruise lines offer transfers to the airport. Some, like Disney, will offer transfers to specific hotels. These transfers general are purchased prior to the cruise, but in many cases you can also purchase them onboard.
Various cruise lines also offer a service to get your luggage to the airport for you, avoiding finding your luggage in the terminal. Usually there is a date during the cruise by which you have to register and pay for this service. Your flight must be within a certain window to qualify and must be with certain carriers. You will likely pay for your baggage fees at this point and the cruise line will take care of getting your luggage to the airport for you.
On Disney Cruise Lines, they also offer onboard airline check in. You will get your boarding pass the evening prior to the disembarkation. They will also give you baggage tags for the airline. . Keep in mind that you are never guaranteed that you won’t have to handle your luggage on your own as you could still be flagged by TSA in which case the cruise lines will not be allowed to check your luggage through.
If you have purchased transfers through Disney Cruise Lines to one of the Walt Disney World resorts, you will receive a note in your cabin the night prior to disembarkation about the time to disembark in the morning for your transfers. You will need to collect your luggage in the morning and go through customs. Follow the signs to the transportation to Walt Disney World and there you will check in and get the appropriate shuttle to your resort.
Each cruise line handles disembarkation a little differently. With many cruise lines, you will either be given or select colored or numbered luggage tags. These will determine the order and time that you are able to leave the ship. They are colored or numbered for ease in locating at the port. The port workers will organize the luggage by the number or color and you will go to that area in the terminal to find your luggage. You will not want to leave the ship early as your luggage may not be out yet. The crew will make announcements when you are able to leave based on your color or number.
With Disney, you will go to breakfast at an appointed time and then after you eat, you usually will be able to walk off the ship. Luggage is all out at the time you get down in the terminal so you don’t have to worry about colors or numbers not being called yet.