In the excitement of preparing to cruise, remember that a little preparation will help embarkation day – the first day of your cruise, when you board the ship – go smoothly. Here are some top tips.
Be sure to complete any requirements the cruise line has for health vaccinations, screenings, and tests, including any related to COVID-19. These are subject to change, so ask your professional travel advisor to keep you updated about the current requirements for your cruise line and ship.
If you can, check in early. Many cruise lines encourage passengers to complete an online check-in process a few days before embarkation. Completing required forms in advance, as well as printing your boarding pass and luggage tags can save lots of time when you arrive at the ship.
Before you leave home, double-check that you have all the documents you need. These may include your passport or other photo ID, cruise boarding pass, COVID-19 vaccination records, and test results, as well as a visa if your destination requires one. Your professional travel advisor can help you make a list of everything you need.
Arrive at the port of embarkation a day early. You don’t want a delayed flight or a traffic jam to cause worry about missing your ship. So come in a day early, get a good night’s rest, and enjoy breakfast at your hotel before heading to the cruise ship dock.
Plan how you’ll get to the ship. This is one of those details that can cause last-minute panic if you don’t have a plan, so decide in advance how to get from the hotel or airport to the dock; options may include a shuttle bus, public bus, taxi, private car, or rideshare service. If you’re driving your own vehicle to the dock, check out long-term parking options before you leave home.
Keep your travel documents and any medications with you. When you get to the ship, porters will be ready to take your tagged luggage, and it may be a few hours before they deliver it to your cabin. So, pack a small bag with your travel documents, medications, and other truly essential items, and keep that bag with you.
Arrive at the ship promptly. Many cruise lines assign boarding times to help prevent long lines and wait times in the cruise terminal. Showing up at your assigned time will help things to smoothly not only for you but for everyone who’s boarding the ship.
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