Making Your Embarkation Day Perfect
Once you step into the ship, you do not need to wait but can immediately start your vacation on the embarkation day. You may start exploring the ship, jump into an open deck pool or enjoy lunch at a buffet.
But before that, you have something to prepare in advance.
The embarkation day is a busy day. Imagine, thousands of cruisers are getting on the ship and leaving on the same day.
If the port is big, some cruise ships dock at the port. The passengers have to go to different check-in counters and need to find the right ships. Anyone can easily get confused.
So what you need to prepare for the busy embarkation day?
Here is the deal.
In this article, you will find the top 12 cruise embarkation tips for cruising on the embarkation day. Get some ideas. You can then make your embarkation procedure go smooth and more enjoyable.
The embarkation day is a busy day for everyone. It is one of the most important days for you because it will never happen again in your lifetime.
Your feeling is also different. It’s profoundly adventurous and exciting. Take some cruise embarkation tips. Prepare your vacation thoroughly with cruise tips. Have a good start on your embarkation day and maximise cruise!
1. Plan airport and cruise port transfers before you leave home
How do you transfer to the cruise port from the airport or the city centre you stay in? Will you hire a taxi or use the cruise line’s grand shuttle?
The very FIRST thing you need to think about the embarkation day is your port transfers.
The problem is that the cruise line’s grand shuttle service, as well as a local taxi, can be costly.
If you plan the cruise port transfer with public transports in advance, you can save money. Visit my Port Transfer Guide and find your embarkation port transportation information.
What you can do is not only saving money and time but also making your embarkation day easy and more creative.
2. Get a flight arriving a day early
Welcoming passengers are really enjoyable because they are excited and are generally very happy. However, I saw some really stressed people.
I asked why they looked unwell and if I could help. They told me that they are really tired after long hours of flight. They had just arrived in the port city in the early morning.
It is an embarkation day. It is unnecessary to be stressed out.
Book a flight arriving at least one day in advance.
If you use a flight, book a hotel in advance and stay at least overnight in your departure port city. Don’t allow yourself to be stressed out. It’s your holiday!
It also does not make sense to worry about missing the ship due to some delay. A flight delay happens. Public transport extra time is normal.
3. Prepare foreign currency in advance
You can get some local currency before you leave home. ATM machines can be found at any international airports. You can withdraw some cash.
However, I always prepare some local currency in advance because it is still uncomfortable to use my card at a public space in a foreign country I do not know well. It is also inconvenient for me to find an ATM and get cash while I still have some luggage with myself at an airport.
Each cruise ship has an ATM machine but they charge a lot. If you would like to save money, prepare some cash in advance.
You do not need to prepare a lot of cash though. All the payment can be made by your cruise card which is associated with your credit card. Cash is not accepted at any shops, spa, bars and many places on board.
Or you do not have a credit card? No problem. You can put cash as a deposit at the reception once you get on board.
You only need local cash for the airport and cruise port transfers, some drinks and meals before you get on the ship.
4. Check-in online before you leave home
Make online check-in at days prior before you actually get on the ship. The days depend on cruise lines. So check it out with your cruise line. This online check-in makes your embarkation procedure faster.
- You can go online and access to your cruise line’s website.
- Follow the instruction and fill in the boxes.
- Choose your arriving time for checking in your luggage.
- Print out your boarding pass and luggage tags.
Other than that:
- Register your children for the youth club
- Dining times
- Book spa treatment or shore excursions if necessary
5. Check out the cruise line drink packages
It’s a holiday. Everyone enjoys drinking alcohol on the cruise ship. If you are a hardcore beer drinker, definitely you need to purchase a drink package before the days of embarkation.
You are uncertain whether the cruise drink package is right for you? First, find out Royal Caribbean drink prices and simply calculate how many drinks you would have a day, for example.
You are cruising with Carnival?
Find out Carnival drink prices and compare with its famous cruise drink package CHERRES! The different cruise lines have different deadlines for the drink package to be purchased online. It is usually 72 hours before the cruise embarkation.
The cruise lines drink packages will help you save a lot of money. Onboard drink prices are incredibly expensive. Find it out today!
6. Set up your iPhone and be ready for WiFi
One of the greatest things during a cruise is to be away from all the internet activities. You will be miles away from ashore. Now you have a great excuse to unplug your phone and social media. It’s a vacation in the middle of the Ocean.
Still, you need to get connected. You need in touch with your loved ones, friends and families. Let them know how things are going with you at sea.
If you purchased the cruise line’s pay per minute WiFi package, make sure you have set up your iPhone properly while you still have a free connection. Otherwise, you will finish a 50 MB WiFi package for less than 10 minutes!
Or you only use the internet for a very short period of time. You are looking for a way to get free WiFi?
I was a seaman before. I know about all the trick at sea.
Visit my article onboard internet access and find out everything how WiFi works on the cruise ships and set up your iPhone.
Or you really need internet access on a cruise ship? Royal Caribbean Voom is an internet package and is unlimited for usage. It is currently the fastest speed in the industry. Find it out today and cruise cheaply.
Are you cruising with Carnival feet? No problem. Set up carnival Hub App on your mobile. It is free to use. Download the app before you get on the ship. It will help you plan what to do onboard. You can communicate with your mates where you are and where to meet at the ship. Find out further details at Carnival Hub App article.
7. Embarkation Day Outfit
What to wear when embarking on a cruise?
Casual wear and comfortable shoes are just fine. On the embarkation day, you can expect to make some queues with a little patience and put your heavy luggage onto a security scanning machine. If it is summer, the air conditioner might not work well. Be hydrated.
The cruise line’s staff photographers will take your embarkation photo. It is not obligatory to purchase it so why don’t you take a photo for fun? If so, be ready for the embarkation photo and imagine what you want to dress for the image. Now you know how to dress when boarding a cruise ship. The first-day cruise outfit should be casual and comfortable.
8. Organise your documents and make sure where they are
How do you board a cruise ship?
Apart from your large suitcase, ideally carrying a small luggage carrier and a small shoulder bag is the best. I saw people who are carrying some plastic shopping bags with other bags and with some documents at hands.
That is super inconvenient!
Put them into a small luggage carrier and be ready for the embarkation procedure.
So what you need to do here?
You will have to find out your check-in counter and the place to bring your luggage to a porter after security check. Then you have to find the ship after the checking-in.
When you are not sure where you should go next, don’t hesitate to ask the terminal staff for the directions. They are assigned to be there for you. They will welcome you with big smiles and are very happy to help you.
Must be ready with your boarding pass and so that they can immediately guide you where you need to go. Put the boarding pass and other important documents into a small shoulder bag. Make sure and know where they are.
You can easily find the documents whenever you need. In this way, there is no confusion.
The documents you will prepare are:
- Passport and visa if necessary
- ID with a photo
- Boarding pass you printed out
- Health questionnaire or other paperwork the cruise line requires
- Luggage tags
A picture of your face will be taken at a check-in counter. You will receive a cruise card with a photo of you. This cruise card is your ID and room key at the same time. You will also use it for any payment to make onboard.
9. How early can you board a cruise ship?
What time should you arrive at the departure port for the embarkation?
Check-in time varies. It can start very early morning or even in the evening. Or even the embarkation could be completed within 3 hours. In that case, you can expect long queues.
Every cruise is different. It depends on the hours the ship can dock at its departure port.
However, it is unnecessary to arrive earlier before your embarkation time. The ship needs to replace the disembarking passengers first.
On your embarkation day, the thousands of passengers are also disembarking the ship before you get on. Then the crews need to prepare all the new passengers to welcome. Everyone is so busy on the embarkation day.
So how early can you board a cruise ship of Carnival for example?
Cruise lines try to avoid overwhelming crowed if it is especially a large ship. Carnival is one of the most popular cruise lines. Carnival and many cruise line companies consider the safety of the embarkation day very seriously. They prepare for your cruise ship embarkation as:
- Cruise lines’ job is to make sure that the embarkation goes smooth without much waiting time. For this reason, you can choose your embarkation time when you book a cruise or filling out an online check-in. So you can arrange your check-in time.
- When you check-in online, pick up the appropriate time with consideration to your travel plan. If you would like to get on the ship early, then take the early time. Embarkation day is a fun day!
- Boarding a cruise ship is one of the most exciting onboard experience. It should not be confused and stressed. You go to the ship’s terminal as the time is arranged.
10. Hand in your luggage to a porter
Once you arrive at your embarkation port, you can hand in your luggage to a porter. It normally takes at least 3 hours to be delivered to your stateroom.
All the luggage need to put a tag with your name, ship’s name, cabin number and departure date. Prepare them in advance.
In order to take this service, you need to arrive at the port in advance at least 2-3 hours before the ship disembarks. Check this out with your cruise line and arrive at the departure port before the time.
11. Embarkation Day Carry On
What will you put into a small luggage carrier?
If you have a small luggage carrier with you, it is unnecessary to carry a heavy shoulder bag while you make embarkation queues and wait for the lines. You would get tired quickly before you start a vacation.
It is also good to keep some important medication or valuables with you while other checked luggage goes with a porter. You can also bring a swimsuit and so that you can immediately go to an open deck and start swimming.
12. Don’t try to hide prohibited products
Before you step into the ship, there is a security check. Cruise line’s security staffs will check luggage. You will also go through a scan. Don’t even try to hide drugs, alcohol or weapon. These items are prohibited to bring into the ship. The security staffs are also professionals and will find them out.
You can also check out the cruise line’s alcohol policy online. It is different dependent on the cruise lines.
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