Your Arrival Time at the Embarkation

When you are taking a cruise, how early do you arrive at the terminal?  Do you arrive when the cruise line tells you or do you disregard their advice? 

Tags: Arrival time for Embarkation

21 Answers

If I am taking a plane to get to a cruise ship, I arrive as soon as I am able to with my flight schedule.  If I am leaving from a local port, I try to get there at least by noontime, the latest, usually sooner.  Some of my friends want to skip the overcrowded Lido buffet and arrive around 2:30 or so.  I have received emails from the ships advising me to arrive later but I have my own schedule.  The longest line that I ever waited on was 45 minutes on a Crown Princess cruise.  HAL came in a closer second on my Grand Voyage.  Both waits caused a bad feeling when we started the cruises.  Cruise lines should do whatever is possible to keep lines short as this is the first point of face to face contact with the actual cruise that passengers have.

I used to arrive early between 11 and 12. Now I get there when I get there. I usually shoot for 1:30 to 3. I don't do the buffet on the first day anymore. It is getting crazy in the buffet on embarkation day anymore. 

You are absolutely right, the buffet is a circus on Embarkation day.  Everyone has suitcases and no one leaves because they can't go to the staterooms.  Tthey don't obviously want to tote around hand luggage. 

 

It depends on the trip,   If I check my bag then I'll get to the port at about 11 to get lunch on the ship.   When I get there early the line is not to bad,  if it is the pool grill is not as bad.    If I'm doing full carry on I will not get to port till after 1:00 when my cabin is ready to drop off bags and then get lunch.

That at sounds like a good plan.  I always bring a swimsuit in my carry one.  Many times I actually use it on Embarkation Day..  If not I know that I have it in case my luggage gets lost.

 

 

My answer is - it depends and our approach has changed in the last year.

If we arrive a day or few prior to departure of the cruise or the cruise leaves from our home port, we arrive at the cruise port based on the provided timeframe by the line. However, when we fly in on the same day that the cruise departs, we go straight from airport to cruise port. It is nice when our flight schedule syncs up with the boarding time of the cruise, but we can't always count on that being the case.

In the past year, physical limitations have forced us to be a bit more careful in how we approach transfers and boarding.  My husband uses a scooter so it is not quite so difficult for him but once the throngs arrive, it makes getting around the ship quite challenging so often it is best to board first/early, grab a bite to eat, and then find a quiet spot to chill until our stateroom is ready.

 As we get older, we have to adjust to our limitations.  I find that the earlier I get on the ship, the less crowded the buffet is.  Finding a quiet place to chill is an adventure.  Still, cruising has so much to offer that we keep returning to it.

quote=CruisingCM]

My answer is - it depends and our approach has changed in the last year.

If we arrive a day or few prior to departure of the cruise or the cruise leaves from our home port, we arrive at the cruise port based on the provided timeframe by the line. However, when we fly in on the same day that the cruise departs, we go straight from airport to cruise port. It is nice when our flight schedule syncs up with the boarding time of the cruise, but we can't always count on that being the case.

In the past year, physical limitations have forced us to be a bit more careful in how we approach transfers and boarding.  My husband uses a scooter so it is not quite so difficult for him but once the throngs arrive, it makes getting around the ship quite challenging so often it is best to board first/early, grab a bite to eat, and then find a quiet spot to chill until our stateroom is ready.

[/quote]

 

Same here... cruising affords us a wonderful opportunity to see the world, comfortably. We don't plan on stopping any time soon.

I'm still "young" in my sailing career, so I usually show up before we are even allowed in the building! (It's MY vacation, I want on the boat NOW! Big Smile)

This backfired on the Carnival Magic trip out of Galveston last year. Got to the port about 9:00. The ship wasn't even there yetCrying

Finally got on board about 5:00 PM. (the harbor was blanketed by fog, and the incoming Magic had to be rerouted to New Orleans for a medical emergency before continuing to Galveston). Not a great beginning, and for me set the tone of the trip to come. I did not enjoy it as much as I should have -- looking back on it, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the cruise, only my poor choices.

In the future, not before 10:30.

So sorry to hear about your embarkation problem.  It will probably never happen again - just one of those things.  We have arrived as early as 10:30 at our local port but you usually can't get on before 11:30 or so.

 

 

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