For discussion: How does embarking early affect the cabin stewards?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 10:20 AM.
3,778 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
I have read various posts from people who stated they embarked as soon as they were allowed even though it was earlier than the "stated" time in their docs. Many have stated their rooms were not ready, so they just dropped off their bags and began to explore the ship.

Part of me thinks, it is like an airplane where the cabin crew will inform the gate it is ok to begin boarding and therefore the pier would not allow it if the cabin crew aboard ship were not ready. I wonder how that affects the cabin stewards who are having to clean around some new person's "stuff" if that particular cabin is not ready.

We will be in Vancouver two days before our cruise and with check out from the hotel, of course we will love to get on board as soon as possible. In this particular instance, I really want to do the right thing.

If they let you on before your room is ready, do you shlep your carry-ons around the ship or do you dump them at your stateroom?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Jewel of the Seas 12-14 * Uniword 7-14 * Oasis of the Seas 3-14 * Norwegian Breakaway 11-13 * Pride of America 12-12 * Allure of the Seas 10-12 * Amacerto 10-12 * Disney Dream 2-12 * Eurodam 11-11 * Carnival Dream 9-11 (Western Caribbean) * Eurodam 2-11 (Eastern Caribbean) * Celebrity Millennium 7-10 (Alaska SB) * Norwegian Epic 7-10 (2-day pre-inaugural) * Crown Princess 2-10 (Western Caribbean) * Oasis of the Seas 11-09 (2-day pre-inaugural) * Radiance of the Seas 11-09 (Mexican Riviera) * Celebrity Century 10-09 (Western Mediterranean) * Freedom of the Seas 9-09 (Eastern Caribbean) * Liberty of the Seas 12-08 (Western Caribbean) * Celebrity Solstice 11-08 (2 day pre-inaugural) *Jewel of the Seas (NE/Canada) 9-08 * Disney Magic (Eastern Caribbean) 12-07 *Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean 13th Anniversary) 01-07 * Celebrity Infinity (Eastern Caribbean 12th Anniversary) 01-06 * Rhapsody of the Seas (Western Caribbean 11th anniversary) 01-05 * Celebrity Infinity (Inside Passage-Alaska) 09-04
McDonough, Ga
6,418 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
I haven't really thought about this being a problem for the stewards before. We ALWAYS get onboard early, we're usually at the pier by 11:00am. We usually go dump our carryon's in the cabin as soon as we can. We only carry on 1 small bag each, though and put them in the closet or somewhere out of the way. I never had anyone act like it was a problem for them but I suppose it could be annoying.

Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sugar Land, Texas
742 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
I can only speak to my own experiences - we usually get on fairly early, but I have yet to encounter my cabin not being made up. I usually unpack immediately, but if the room were still being made up, I'd just go hang out elsewhere after I dumped my carry-ons.

It's always struck me as odd that the lines show 2PM as the embarkation time, I'd think they'd want people embarking as soon as practical.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Last cruise: Equinox Western Dec.2010
Next cruise Constellation Sept.2011
After that: Who knows?
2,371 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
We always get on the ship as soon as we can.

First stop is the stateroom, and we know it won't really be 'ready'. If there is someone there in the room working, we ask if it would be ok to drop the bags. The response has always been yes. I think this is something that is 'normal' (people dropping their bags off, even if the room isn't ready).

I would say, get on board, drop the bags, then head for a ship exploration.

No problem.
1,227 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We love boarding early. We begin our day with a lesiurely breakfast and then head off to the terminal. In April we arrived at the pier in Ft. Lauderdale about 10:30 or so and had to wait for awhile before anyone was allowed to board. I love getting to the port early and watching everyone getting ready for their trip -- it's better than being in the hotel room waiting. We are CC members and usually have a CC or suite so we are among the first to check-in. In April I think we were among the first on the ship -- it's so much fun to think that the ship is just waiting for you to board! Once we boarded we headed off to find our room which was "almost" ready; we asked our cabin attendant (who was wonderful) if we could drop off our bags. He said of course, we dropped the bags and were off exploring.

We also like boarding early because we always stop by the spa early and ask spa if they need spa models for their spa tours later on that day. Last cruise I had a facial and my husband had some kind of massage. That's fun to do and a great way to start of the cruise relaxed plus you get a free spa treatment.
Bolingbrook, Illinois
5,476 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Celebrity does ask you to wait in common areas when you board early before the rooms are finished.
Flagger - they originally (back in the early 90's) did boarding after the entire ship was ready. Everyone was given a card with a number when they arrived at the pier. Captain's club were given a letter card (A). When the ship was ready they would let A's board before they started calling the numer groups. The earliest people would get cards with 1 until so many cards were given out, then they would give out 2's, and so on. Each time they called a number group they also included the A's for any later arriving A's. On our first cruise, we got to the pier at noon and we had number 12. Boarding started about 1 pm.
Their new method is much nicer - however, if you do board early and want a white glove escort to your room, you will have to go back to the main boarding area. Otherwise, when they announce the cabins are ready, you can go to your cabin yourself.
We have found that our cabin was ready about 50% of the time when we boarded early. Even if it's not, we put our carry-ons in the closet and then head out to get our soda sticker, re-acquainte ourselves with the ship, and grab a bite at the buffet.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Zenith-Western Caribbean-6/92
Zenith-Eastern Caribbean-6/93
Century-Maiden Voyage-12/95
Galaxy-Southern Caribbean-11/99
Mercury-Northbound Alaska-6/00
Millennium-Westbound Transatlantic-9/01
Horizon-Western Caribbean - Adults only cruise-11/02
Millennium-Westbound Transatlantic 10/26/03
Century - Western Caribbean 1/31/04
Millennium Back to Back
- Celebrity Millie Trans two day "Barcelona land cruise" (due to drydock extension)-11/18/05
- Millennium - Westbound Transatlantic-11/20/05 & Millennium - Cruise to Nowhere - 12/2/05
Zenith-Special Caribbean - 11/3/06
Millennium Back to Back - 28 DAYS ONBOARD
-Millennium - Mediterranean 11/18/07 & Millennium - Westbound Transatlantic - 12/2/07
Celebrity Century-Caribbean-01/03/09
Upcoming: Celebrity Constellation- Westbound Transatlantic - 11/24/13
Minneapolis Minnesota
916 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
I always board early, can you imagine if they waited till 2:00p with a 4:30 departure.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carnival Fantasy 2/96 Carnival Fantasy 2/97Carnival Facination 1/98
Dawn Princess10/98
Sun Princess 11/99 Celebrity Century 10/00
Dawn Princess 5/01 RCCL Adventure 3/02
Dawn Princess 9/02 Grand Princess 9/03
Star Princess 1/04/Celebrity Summit 10/04
Coral Princess 11/05 Dawn Princess 10/06
Emerald Princess 5/07 RCCLMariner 10/07
Costa Mediterranea 3/08 Celebrity Connie 09/08
Emerald Princess 1/09 Caibbean Pincess B2B 1/10
Island Princess 1/11 Carnival Dream 10/11
Star Princess 1/12. Celebrity Solstice 9/12
Celebrity Silhouete 3/14. Celebrity reflection 11/15

997 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
we always board early but steer clear of the cabin till the "all clear" announcement comes, which has been no later than 1 pm in our four X cruises so far. Last time, for the first time ever, we did try popping by the cabin to drop off our carry-ons -- it was about 11:45 am -- our steward was still working on the cabin and while he was gracious and pleasant, I felt we had interrupted, so next time we will go back to keeping the carry-ons with us till the cabin's fully ready ...

Millennium 12/12/04
Mercury 4/04, Infinity 8/03, Century 3/03 & 9/02
197 Posts
Joined May 2002
In March, we got onto Royal Carribbean's Grandeur of the Seas at 10:30 and, with no notice to the contrary, went to our cabin. The door was open and it was in the process of being cleaned. The cabin steward appeared to be very angry that we had appeared so early and at first told us she would throw out anything we left in the cabin. Eventally, she calmed down and let us put our carry-ons on the couch. We then went to a lounge area to await the noon lunch. While we appreciate that the cabin staff has a lot of work to do between one horde of passengers and the next, we were taken aback by the rudeness of this particular individual. Perhaps she was having a bad day since she endeavored to be pleasant thereafter. If there is fault here, it seems to rest with the management staff. When passengers are let onto the ship, they should be told what they can and cannot do. This should not be a negotiation between passengers and the cabin staff. After all, as my wife said to the individual at the passenger relations desk, we are here on vacation. Our next cruise is on Celebrity.
Jacksonville, FL USA
48,679 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Flagger, I have never had a problem or encountered a less than smiling cabin attendant .
Of course, it is always "just me", one bag, and then I am gone very fast .

Depending on the exact moment you might not even see your attendant until later in the day! (If they are at the other end of the hallway while I drop my carryon off).

The ship is always calling my name after I board, especially those areas where food and drink are being served
Home of the OKC THUNDER
18,621 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
We have never had a problem dropping off our carry-on's and begin the process of exploring the ship.

RC has a new policy on some of it's ships that you can't go back to your stateroom until 1pm. They will have the fire doors closed that go back to the stateroom least that is how it was for us on the Brilliance. We still were able to go back through the fire doors and drop off our carry-on's.

Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Nordic Prince 8/87-Bermuda
Viking Serenade 3/93-Baja, CA
Enchantment 3/01-Eastern Caribbean
Rhapsody 9/02-Western Caribbean
Splendour 4/03-Western Caribbean
Rhapsody, 9/03-Western Caribbean
Brilliance, 4/04-Panama Canal partial;
Caribbean Princess, 11/04-Eastern Caribbean
Infinity, 4/05-Hawaii
Vision, 10/05-Mexican Riviera
Mariner, 4/06-Eastern Caribbean;
Radiance, 10/06-Panama Canal Transit
Jewel, 3/07-Eastern Caribbean;
Grandeur, 10/07-Canada/New England
Voyager, 4/08 - Western Caribbean
Voyager, 4/08-Western Caribbean B2B
Explorer, 10/08 - Canada Atlantic
Maui Land Tour 08
Pacific Princess, 8/09 - Alaska
Europe Land Tour 7/10
Eurodam - 10/10 - Eastern Caribbean
Star Princess - 4/11 - Eastern Caribbean Voyager
Jewel of the Seas - 10/11 - Boston to Tampa Repo
Golden Princess 4/12 Hawaii
Zuiderdam 10/12 Eastern Carribean
Emerald Princess 4/13 S. Carribean

Concord, NH
129 Posts
Joined May 2003
2 weeks ago on the Carnival Miracle my wife and I got on the ship by noon and went to our cabin (a CAT 11 wrap around Suite) and there was a Travel Agent tour in there, when we showed up the TA's joked about being the welcoming committee.

When we asked our Cabin Steward for ice he said that they weren't expecting passengers so early and the ice machine was being sterilized.

Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

*******Proud member of O.A.T.C.******

8/2005 Celebrity Constellation sailing The Baltics
6/2004 Carnival Miracle sailing the Bahama's on our 2nd Anniversary
6/2003 Carnival Legend sailing the Eastern Caribbean on our 1st Anniversary
6/2002 Celebrity Mercury sailing in Alaska on our Honeymoon