Embarkation times

Do you abide by the suggested embarkation window? Do you think issues with crowding and boarding delays are caused by too many passengers all arriving around the same time? It may not be an issue on all cruise lines but any thoughts on what might ease the situation?

12 Answers

We are generally observant of the suggested boarding time. That changes when we fly in on the same day as the sail date. There is little to do between landing and embarkation, especially with an early arriving flight. When going on European cruises, we jump on an excursion that originates at the airport. Otherwise, we hang out at the United Lounge for a while and then head over to the port. At least the airline lounge is more comfortable than the port's waiting room. If we stay over the night before the sail date, we have a nice breakfast and then check our luggage to be sure we have the stuff we need in our carry-on. A little bit prior to our recommended arrival time, we head over the port.

Follow the exact instructions on your Boarding Pass. If you have special access (Disability, Priority Boarding, etc.), It will state that on the Boarding Pass. It will state a time frame to board. It's the people who get there way too early or are unprepared with their documentation that hinder the process.

Read the Boarding Pass - Follow Instructions.

I have never had a significant delay boarding on Princess

With Princess, we make sure that we do everything up to boarding through them. They dropped us off at the airport to afternoon before, made sure our luggage was at the hotel. bought breakfast and escorted us on board...can't beat that. And there were three bus loads at the time.

On NCL we took a cab from the hotel to the dock and then only waited a short time to bboard. But we made arrangements prior to the cruise.

Not always. I've never had a really long time boarding but I also go with the expectation that it may take an hour. It's never taken me longer than that. I don't stress, I'm going on vacation.

I tend to see the time as a speed limit and more of a "suggestion" which is bad, because I see the other side (as a check in agent).

I can tell you for Boarding time, it all depends on the Debark process and where they are ate. IF the debark is delayed, then yes, there will be a back up with embarkation. The lines and congestion definitely does not help with any side of the coin.

I have had numerous cruisers praise the staggered check in for carnival and have seen a smoother process and ease of going through the lines.

I like to get to the ship early to explore the ship and have lunch. It is my first day of vacation. I do watch the times, on my last cruise they were doing carpeting on the ship so boarding was delayed until 1:00, Carnival did move the check on very quick that day I was surprised at how quick it went.

We usually prefer an early boarding time and fortunately NCL allows you to choose your boarding time through their on line portal. I am not sure if they limit the numbers for each time slot or not as we usually look after all these particulars long before cruise day. Our preference is to check out of the hotel about 10 ish and depending on where we are board at either 10 or noon ish. Noon is a good time as it allows us to have a nice lunch, explore the ship, and then check in to our room to relax a bit before sail away.

Carnival has addressed this by doing staggered check-in. Passengers have an assigned time, and cannot check-in earlier unless they have priority boarding or FTTF.

No, never!

We have not bothered paying attention to the times in the past, however with being a new cruise customer on Princess, we will do our best to follow the times assigned to us. For our Carnival sailings, we are in the VIP boarding and I don't worry about it.One of perks we really like and use. If we try another cruise line (hopefully soon) we will again follow the guidelines given,


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