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We check out of our hotel in Houston the morning of the 10th. Then a 45 minute ride to Texas City to drop off the rental car. And another 15 minute Uber/taxi to the port. Are there any reasons we would want to rush to board at 11:00? If we can't get into the room until 1:00 why would we want to be on board any sooner? We're supposed to be on board by 3:00. Are there any potential issues with waiting until 2:30?  I'm simply looking for opinions to plan our morning. Thanks.

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With regard to waiting too long to board, Royal has required guests to check-in 90 minutes prior to scheduled departure.  If you cut it too close, and there's a traffic problem, you could be in trouble.

 

Some people enjoy being on the ship and want to maximize their time onboard, so they board as early as possible.

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2 minutes ago, FrankNBrew said:

We check out of our hotel in Houston the morning of the 10th. Then a 45 minute ride to Texas City to drop off the rental car. And another 15 minute Uber/taxi to the port. Are there any reasons we would want to rush to board at 11:00? If we can't get into the room until 1:00 why would we want to be on board any sooner? We're supposed to be on board by 3:00. Are there any potential issues with waiting until 2:30?  I'm simply looking for opinions to plan our morning. Thanks.

Not for us. We typically board after the rush around 1230-1300. Crowds have mostly gone to their cabins. I think the Drink Package has a lot to do with the mentality to board early and start getting those drinks. 

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1 minute ago, Host Clarea said:

With regard to waiting too long to board, Royal has required guests to check-in 90 minutes prior to scheduled departure.  If you cut it too close, and there's a traffic problem, you could be in trouble.

 

Some people enjoy being on the ship and want to maximize their time onboard, so they board as early as possible.

 

I plan to be in Galveston early. In your experience, at what times between 10:30 and 2:30 would the boarding area be most, or least, busy?

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My mindset is we paid for that first day, so we might as well get use out of it. It really is the preference of the person. 

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3 minutes ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

Not for us. We typically board after the rush around 1230-1300. Crowds have mostly gone to their cabins. I think the Drink Package has a lot to do with the mentality to board early and start getting those drinks. 

So you would say 1:00 is your sweet spot?

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Just now, FrankNBrew said:

 

I plan to be in Galveston early. In your experience, at what times between 10:30 and 2:30 would the boarding area be most, or least, busy?

 

Later would be less crowded.  I'd plan for 1:30pm, that way staterooms are open.

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1 minute ago, FrankNBrew said:

So you would say 1:00 is your sweet spot?

Because 1300 is generally the time the cabins are open. Cruisers with carryons like to drop them off in their cabin. The crowds in the WJ and other locations thin out about this time. 

 

When boading around 1300, no lines or groups to board. Just walk right on. 

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1 minute ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Later would be less crowded.  I'd plan for 1:30pm, that way staterooms are open.

That sounds great. My wife has health issue which require her to get plenty of rest. We need to be up rather early on Saturday to catch our flight. I'm planning for her to nap when we get to Houston, but we are meeting friends that night and may be out later than normal. I want her to sleep in Sunday morning as late as possible. Thanks!

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2 minutes ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

Because 1300 is generally the time the cabins are open. Cruisers with carryons like to drop them off in their cabin. The crowds in the WJ and other locations thin out about this time. 

 

When boading around 1300, no lines or groups to board. Just walk right on. 

Sounds perfect. Thanks!

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There is no rush to get to the ship.  When I fly in the night before and I am not doing anything in the morning, I head to the ship to get rid of the luggage and start to relax.  There's the pool or lounges to hang out in until the room opens. 

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After a number of cruises rushing to get onboard early, we finally realized that 1:00-1:30 worked best for us. We do late dinner so don’t need to be in the WJ crowd when it opens. Can go to the cabin, drop off carryons, then go to nearly empty WJ for a late lunch. Not for everyone, but we all have our own vacations. 

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We are of the we paid for the day why not use it.  We usually do warm weather cruises so bring bathing suits, or wear under our clothes, and head to the pool until the rooms are ready.  If we are really hungry will grab some food and bring it out by the pool.

 

Have boarded later when cabins are ready and while it's nice to drop off our extra stuff always felt like that first day wasn't really part of our vacation.  Of course of mobility is an issue that changes things.  Glad we all have options.

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7 minutes ago, molly361 said:

The earlier we can board the more we can drink

This is so surprising coming from you. (insert halo here)

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7 minutes ago, molly361 said:

The earlier we can board the more we can drink

Poster is sailing out of Texas which means limited selection of drinks until you are out at sea . 

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Generally we stay in hotels that have a free shuttle to the port. Nearly all the hotels we have stayed at the shuttle has left pretty early.

 

Also check out from the hotel can be early too.

 

I personally like to get on board and have lunch. We usually have our swimming suit on under our clothes. The day we board is usually the only day we get a lounger by the pool 😉

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8 minutes ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

Thanks for proving my point in post #3. 

Never have had a beverage package

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Last cruise, we arrived at the terminal just before 11AM.  Checked in, walked on board, went to WJ for lunch.  Relaxed until the rooms were available.

 

We may have had a drink while waiting.

 

We forgot to put suits on under our clothes, otherwise we would have been in the pool.

 

Went to room at 1PM, when it opened, unpacked, and hung out on the balcony waiting for the muster drill.

 

 

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There is no right answer, except you must follow RCI's cutoff for check-in. other than that it's your preference.

 

Getting onboard early works for us.  We generally have to fly in the day before and stay in a hotel.  If we are up at 7AM, what is there to do until checkout?  Light breakfast and then we end up watching TV.  They kick us out of the hotel @11-12. Then what do you do without a rent-a-car?

 

It's just simple logistics.

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30 minutes ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

Then I just don’t understand your post # 12. 

I agree. If you want to drink that early, why not drink before boarding, somewhere where it's way cheaper? 

 

I've done enough drinking for a lifetime in my younger years. 6 1/2 days of opportunity to drink is way more than I need, or want. 

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Agree...there is no right or wrong.  Board when you want.  Just be sure, as mentioned, you do not cut it close on the 90 minute rule.  

 

We enjoy arriving at the terminal around boarding time, having lunch, then relaxing in one of the lounges until cabins open.  And yes...there are some that actually pay for their drinks as they order them..as in what I think Ellen meant.  Drink up sweetie!  😉 

Edited by island lady

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No rushing for us. We are onboard early as the lines aren't long yet.  Not being able to go directly to our cabin isn't a big deal for us. We eat at the pre-cruise hotel so we don't worry about getting something to eat. Grab a drink, sit and chill out. Agree that boarding early is a personal preference. 

Edited by davekathy

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