How Early can you board?
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Cary and Susan
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Regardless of what my documents say, and regardless of what their automated machine says to arrive (sometimes they call in the last day or two before the cruise and leave a message), I always try to be at the port about 10:30. Usually, I'm on board within an hour.Me too! BUT it's still pot luck - once I was the fourth person in line to check in but still didn't get on the ship till after 12. Still, if you want to get on the ship as early as you can, get to the port before 11 for sure (and don't sweat the wait, if there is one - you're on a cruise!!)
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2012 Carnival Freedom to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk!
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Hi, I was wondering how early they will let you board? Our documents say 12pm, but my family cruises a lot and said a lot of times you can go earlier and get on, enjoy some drinks at the bar-just not go to your cabin. Just wanted to check to see what everyone else thought. We are going on the Liberty in November! I am so anxious-I could get in line now to board!
For 4 PM departures that's pretty typical. I arrive at the cruise terminal between 10 and 10:30 but no later. I'm Platinum so I'll be zone 1 regardless but this way I don't have to deal with the crowds!
I cruise, therefore I am...
Me too! BUT it's still pot luck - once I was the fourth person in line to check in but still didn't get on the ship till after 12. Still, if you want to get on the ship as early as you can, get to the port before 11 for sure (and don't sweat the wait, if there is one - you're on a cruise!!)
We also try and get there at 10:30. I'd rather be at the beginning of the line and wait an hour than at the end of the line. The earliest we've been on board having our first meal (I always start good - with a salad) is 12:15. You can't check into the cabin until after 1:00 but a few times we've been able to leave our carry-ons there. It's the first day of vacation so let the fun begin!
Vinny and Barbara
Celebrity Summit July 2017 (Bermuda)
Carnival Sunshine Aug. 2016 (Caribbean)
Norwegian Breakaway Oct. 2015 (Bermuda)
Royal Caribbean EOS Oct. 2014 (Bermuda changed to Canada)
Royal Caribbean EOS July 2014 (Bermuda & Caribbean)
Celebrity Summit July 2013 (Bermuda)
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Oct. 2012 (Bermuda)
Norwegian Gem July 2012 (Florida/Bahamas)
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Regal Empress 2000 (Bahamas)
Compare this to other times when we have arrived at 12pm. or later, stood in multiple lines for over 1 1/2 hours (first the terminal door checking for passports and Funpass, then the security check, then the check in to get your sign and sail, then the photo-op and that dinging sign and sail thing as you boarded the ship...) I was exhausted having stood that long with my carry on and purse hanging from my shoulders. Who knew a bottle of wine and some make-up could be so painful after a couple of hours?
After you board the ship getting on early is even better. When we boarded early we went straight to the Lido deck, staked out our table where we placed our carry-on and proceeded to explore our dining options (yes, one person had to stay back and watch our baggage - I volunteered my husband as he looked the least hungry!) With not a lot of people on board we were able to check everything out without having to wait on long lines - much more relaxing! We then played cards for an hour while we waited for our rooms to be ready. (And yes, we did give up our table when the buffet started to get crowded.)
When we boarded late (got on the ship around 2 pm) the lines were ridiculously long for the buffet, we could not find a table anywhere, and we were starving and cranky! OK, maybe not all of us, but definitely me. Only plus was that my husband could bring the carry on to the room while I searched for food for the kids and myself (my husband is such a GOOD man!)
We have only cruised with Carnival five times - four have been later arrivals and one was early arrival and from my experience, getting there earlier was WAY better!
RC Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean Jan '16
RC Brilliance of the Seas - TransAtlantic May '15
RC Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas Apr '14
Carnival Freedom - Eastern Caribbean Dec '13
Carnival Ecstasy - Bahamas Jan '13
Carnival Dream - Western Caribbean Jan '12
Carnival Sensation - Bahamas Feb '11
Carnival Legend - Western Caribbean Jan '11
Carnival Freedom - Western Caribbean Jan '10
Carnival Triumph - Canada Sept '09
Carnival Glory - Western Caribbean Jan '09
NCL Seaward - Eastern Caribbean '90
NCL Norway - Bermuda Sept '89
NCL Skyward - Eastern Caribbean May '83
We usually arrive aroud 10:30-11 and are on the Lido by noon.Us too(actually 10-10:30 for us, but will be 11 next week)!!!! Full day on the ship then
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Princess to Ensenada Crown Princess 1/19/15
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Magic Western Caribbean 7/9/16
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