Embarkation day is the first day of your cruise when you arrive at the cruise terminal and board the ship. It’s a great day because your wonderful cruise vacation is all ahead of you. Still, there are some things you can do to ensure that embarkation day goes as smoothly as possible – look at our tips.
Complete your pre-cruise check-in. Most cruise lines have an online, pre-cruise check-in process that you should complete well before embarkation day. This helps ensure the cruise line has the information they need to serve you well. Enter your information carefully; for example, make sure the name on your reservation is exactly as shown on the identification you’ll bring with you (more on that in the next tip).
Print and bring all the documents you’ll need. Most cruise lines provide online access to some important documents to print at home and bring with you, such as boarding passes and luggage tags. You’ll also need to bring the identification documents your cruise line requires, such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, or passports. If you’re not sure what documents you’ll need to bring, check with your professional travel advisor.
Consider pre-cruise purchases. You may be able to conveniently purchase certain extras – such as beverage packages or shore excursions – before you leave home (but you can purchase them after you board the ship, too).
Pack a small carry-on bag with essentials like medications and small toiletries; keep this bag with you and give the rest to porters at the cruise terminal (they’ll be delivered to your stateroom). Some activities will be available as soon as you board the ship, so you may want to pack a swimming suit and athletic attire in your carry-on, too.
Arrive on time. Many cruise lines assign specific boarding times to help avoid big crowds in the cruise terminal. You’ll have the smoothest experience if you arrive promptly.
Get ready for your close-up. Most cruise lines will take a photo of you and your companions as you board the ship (you can purchase it later).
Explore the ship. Once onboard, take a look around: find your stateroom, check out the fitness center, sign up for tournaments and kids’ clubs, or stretch out on a lounge by the pool until it’s time for the sail away party. And if you’re in the mood for a little pampering, check on embarkation-day specials at the spa for a relaxing start to a fabulous cruise.
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