In my docs NCL states I should arrive at the port at 1 p.m for a 4 p.m. sail time. I mentioned this on another site and was told that a 3-hour window to board 2000 passengers is pretty tight. I agree but being that this my first cruise, I have no idea how much earlier than 1 p.m. I should arrive. I'm thinking that perhaps I should arrive by 11 a.m. -- would this be too early? Do we run the risk of being turned away if we arrive too early?
They will most likely start boarding earlier than 1:00, so if you get there at 11:00, you may have to just wait in line, but you should be one of the first onboard. They normally start around noon, all depends on how the previous debarkment went.
what port are you leaving from? i've always sailed from miami and port canaveral so those are my only experiences. i'm always at the port by 11:00 am just in case we can get on early. if we're not able to get on until later, i never mind the wait.
I'm leaving from the port of Los Angeles. I'm trying to nail this down as I visited the port a couple of weeks ago and there is really nothing there but a huge parking lot. Ports of Call Village is down the way a bit but not exactly right where we would board.
Since there is nothing attractive at the port, I wouldn't get there any earlier than they suggest. And since you visited just to look I'm assuming that the port is reasonably "local" for you.
Here's the point: If you are there before sailing time and waiting in line, the ship isn't going to leave without you. It's that simple. They're not going to leave people standing in line waiting to check in. No way, no how.
So even if your friends are right (and basically, they aren't), getting there at 1:00 or 2:00 or even 2:30 will not leave you in any jeopardy. As long as you're in the general vicinity, there's no purpose to be served by arriving at the pier before everybody's off from the last run, and just sitting around.
I have sailed out of the Port of LA a couple of times, and have always gone to the port 1-2 hours before the published boarding time. I am on the star Dec. 15, and the limo is picking us up at 10:30, and we live about 15 mins from the port. I have seen it both ways...either we are onboard in 20 mins, or we have to wait for an hour.
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."
To Kissel and anyone else who likes to get there early:
What do you do when you get there early? Is the pool and everything open? Do you hang out and drink? I assume our luggage will take a few hours to show up so we cant unpack anything and settle in. Do you hang out in your room or other areas of the ship? We start boarding at 1pm. Is there food on the ship or should we plan on eating before arriving. Is there food always available? Is there food available during the few hours that people are boarding?
obvious first time cruiser
Re: Re: What time should I arrive for embarkation?
If you get there early enough and want to go to the pool, just pack your suit in your carry on luggage and you can start enjoying the cruise right away. They always have a buffet lunch set up, so we always grab a bite to eat first, then explore the ship. Yes, you can get drinks too.
we typically get our luggage around 4 pm, but we take a carry-on bag with swimsuits and anything else we may need before our luggage arrives. we go change into our bathing suits (or either have them on under our clothes) as soon as we get on the ship and go straight to lunch (buffet), grab a chair by the pool, get a nice cold fruity drink or a beer and listen to the band on the lido deck! i say get started ASAP. it's the only way!
Do you have spsecial privileges from sailing with NCL several times? If so, you can probably get on early. You may not be able to get in your cabin, but you can enjoy a nice luncheon buffet on the ship, and after that, just "piddle" around for a while. Much better than waiting around.