Princess Check-in @ The Pier (what’s your MO?)

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Diablo, California
1,961 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Just curious, do you check in early to beat the crowds and enjoy an early lunch or leisurely stroll on as the deadline time nears and saunter to Crooners for a welcome aboard cocktail?

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Davidson, NC
1,425 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Always try to go early to beat the rush and get on board to have lunch either in the dining room or Alfredos. I'm always anxious to get my cruise started as soon as possible.
427 Posts
Joined Apr 2017

We get thereabout 12:15 and are in our room by 12:30 then down to lunch at 12:45
WA state
3,774 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Depends on the port as to what time you'll load and how stuffy the room is. Some have more space than others and some let you load earlier than others. Also depends on whether you have priority boarding of one sort or another as to how soon you'll get on.

Lake Stevens, WA
1,223 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
There's always the "crowded day at Vancouver" version: sit in a crowded room for two hours waiting to check in, then another hour in the security line.

Let's just say I'm not in a hurry to do a one-day sailing out of Vancouver again any time soon...
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3,346 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
We usually book longer cruises and arrive a couple of days early. So, "getting started" to us isn't as important as avoiding waiting a while to board. Even though we're eligible for preferred boarding, we still dislike waiting around. We'll take a late checkout from our hotel and saunter over to the pier around 1:30PM to 2:30PM depending on how late boarding goes. We typically breeze right through check-in and initial boarding. No need to rush to the MDR (it's closed anyway) or the buffet although hitting Crooners or an on-deck bar is a great way to kick off the cruise.
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Land of Bad Comedy
3,984 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
1) Get a late checkout from the hotel

2) Go to lunch at a local restaurant. (Yes, I can afford to buy a lunch instead of lunch on the ship)

3) If I know someone at the pier (Crew, Passenger, Port Staff), call them to see if boarding is on time.

4) Walk straight onto the ship around 2;30 pm without issue. Go later, if there is a problem with boarding.
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87 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Cruised out of San Francisco last July. Stepped out of cab at 12:00 walked into our cabin at 12:30, hope things go as well in December
14,025 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
We usually check in early. I want to savor every minute in anticipation of boarding. I don't mind waiting and have met lots of other nice passengers that way. What a better crowd to hang with for awhile?!
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1,083 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Get to the port about 10:45. Get in the suite/priority area. Board with the first group. We don't always go to embarkation lunch in the MDR (though occasionally we do). It's more about savoring all our time on board.
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Washington State
2,923 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I like to get on the ship as early as possible. We try to arrive around 10:30am. It's no big deal sitting in the terminal for a bit. That's part of the excitement. When they start calling out boarding numbers I feel that the cruise has really begun.
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198 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
I'm with NeverBeen. I don't worry about grabbing lunch on board.

I get to the pier around 2 p.m., go straight to the check in, go through security, board right away. I'm on board in plenty of time to go to the Safety At Sea Drill. Some day I'll take the time to grab a hot dog to go with the Mustard Drill. (Sorry, I can never resist!)
Chelsea MA
5,412 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by Sea Hag
Our strategy is simple: go early, get on early.
I agree we always go early. Most of the time it’s around 11:30 am.
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16 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Anytime before 4 o'clock is a good idea as far as I am concerned. If I get there early I relax and talk with people in the terminal knowing that nothing terrible happened to delay our arrival and that eventually we'll get on board.

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8,667 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
We have done both, but our preference is early. We don't enjoy sitting around the hotel until the noon checkout time. Rather be on the move and wait at the pier. We don't find it difficult. We are on board pretty quickly once boarding begins. We unpack our carry ons, usually grab something at the International Cafe or by the pool. Once our checked luggage arrives we unpack and we're set.
Toronto area, Ontario, Canada
1,015 Posts
Joined Sep 2001

We like to start enjoying the ship as soon as possible!! Every minute counts for us We start at the international cafe, drop our carry ons, then head for the pool! By the time muster comes we've relaxed some and started to unwind and thaw out as we usually travel during the kids' March Break and its cold at home!
As there are 4 of us, I like to start unpacking before dinner and getting on early means our luggage usually arrives very early to allow me to start the process. Its day 1 of our vacation! We don't want to delay the start any longer than necessary!
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Central California
512 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Early! It's counted as day one of the cruise. We feel we miss out on a day if we are not on board as early as possible.
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