If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them.
- Yes, you can board starting at noon. They will take your bags to the cabin and you will wait in the lounge (there are snacks available). Don't try to check in. That happens at 3:00 (very efficient).
- Before the cruise, we stayed at a "perfect" hotel for this trip (for us) - Mauro Mansion. It's #1` on TripAdvisor for good reason. It's in a 17th century a canal house practically across the street from the port. (It's on the Geldersekade canal - which becomes the street that goes beneath the train tracks to the port.) The rooms are nice (super high ceilings, antique wood paneling and a (non-working) fireplace in our room. The hosts are extremely helpful and eager to please. A couple of kinks (pun intended) - the hotel had previously been a kink/leather hotel called The Black Tulip. Evidence of the past can be seen in some of the rooms. In our room. there was a steel ladder leading to a space above the bathroom with jail bars. The other catch is that they require 3 days minimum for a stay (and given its popularity, reservations fill up fast)
Upcoming Queen Mary 2 - RT N Atlantic crossing - 2018
Queen Mary 2 - RT crossing + Bruges - 2017, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2016, Celebrity Infinity - S. America - 2015,
Star Princess - Pacific repo - 2015, AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011,
Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010, Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009, Eurodam - Baltics - 2009,
Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008, Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007,
Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007, Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005, Star Princess - Mexico - 2002,
Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001, Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000,
Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000, Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999, Zenith - Bermuda - 1998,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997, Celebrity Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993,
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993, Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991, Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989, Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987