We're arriving in Miami the day before we sail and the hotel will be taking us to the port whenever we choose. We would like to have time to look around the ship and maybe have lunch, etc. Does anyone know the best time to arrive at the port? We figured around 10 am.....too early? Can we board at that time? We've already filled out the info on line for getting on board. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Thing is that between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm is when the most passengers will arrive at the port. If you ship has docked at 8:00 am you will not be able to get on before noon. After all they do need time to ready the cabins etc for the next group of people coming in. And those passengers will need time to disembark.
I would not plan on getting on the ship before noon.
Thanks for the info. I understand that they need time to ready the cabins, etc., however we've cruised before and seems like when we arrive after noon there are LONG lines. This time we're going down the day before and considered getting there earlier to help having to be in the long lines. (We've filled out all info on line, so that should help too.) What do the people do that arrive early, stand in line? Get on the ship? (I've always heard that you can have lunch.) What's the EARLIEST they let people on board? We're willing to just wait around on board and go have lunch, not needing to go to our cabin. Elderly Mother traveling and I'm trying to avoid as much standing in line as possible. Thanks again.
I just wrote a big review about our trip on the Paradise out of Miami two weeks ago, and I've included the exerpt about the Embarkation process here. We arrived at 10:55 and were on board the ship in less than an hour. In my opinion, that's the best time to arrive since there were very few lines. Hope this long-winded explanation helps!
EMBARKATION After reading endless tales of quick embarkation, I expected to be on board in less than 2 hours upon our arrival. At 10:55, when we arrived at the pier, we were quickly shuffled to the baggage stewards who took our bags. We had two to check and two to keep with us. We tipped $1 per bag. I had gotten several $2 bills from the bank for purposes such as these. It just makes life easier, so you’re not fumbling around with endless single $1 bills. Once our bags were dropped off, we were inside the building about 3 minutes before 11:00. There was NO LINE! We handed off our Bahamian immigration forms, which I had filled out in advance. I noticed a large group of people off to the left busy filling in their paperwork, because they had not bothered to do so. Why would people wait to do this? Anyhow, we went through security, which was just like at the airport, except they didn’t make you remove your shoes. The scanning devices are WAY smaller than at the airport, however, so stick to those carry-on guidelines that Carnival provides. They nearly made my husband check his suit carrier, except he was able to quickly fold it into half (again) and make it easily fit through the scanning machine. Once through, we walked through tons of tensa-barriers (but there was NO wait, again). By this time it was about 11:05 and we were greeted by a very friendly Carnival employee who took our tickets. She also took my husband’s green card and passport, and issued him a receipt for this. This entire process took about 10 minutes. We went past the desk and I checked my watch; it read 11:15. At this point, we went up an escalator to encounter our first line, but not a very long one. We waited in line for only 5 minutes and proceeded to the desk, where we were issued our Sail & Sign card. We then walked off to the right and took a seat. It was 11:20. We were handed a “Welcome” sheet which welcomed us to the ship, but asked us not to go to our room until 1:00, as the cabins would not be ready. A friendly Carnival representative made periodic announcements, telling us they would be letting us aboard shortly, but first she reiterated what was on the sheet and told us to go to lunch on the Lido deck first. Here we waited for only about 10 minutes. At 11:30, they began to dismiss people in rows to begin boarding. Once you get up from the waiting area, you hand over your S&S card and have your photo taken. This photo is connected to your card, and each time it is used (example, for re-boarding the ship at ports) your photo comes up for the Carnival employees. Once this photo is taken, we found ourselves in a quick-moving line that took us up an escalator and into a short line where a “Welcome Aboard” photo was being taken. By the time we crossed the gangway, I checked my watch. It was 11:45! We were on board the ship less than 1 hour after arriving at the pier. Amazing! I would recommend getting there around the time we did (just before 11) and having all your documentation filled out. Any earlier and you’d be waiting in the waiting area longer than necessary, or wasting valuable time filling out things you should have filled out weeks ago. Things worked out perfectly.
Hello, I was on the fascination last August, we got there around 1100, went right through (no lines) and then had to sit about 30 minutes till we boarded. It was perfect, we were one of the first on the ship and we didnt have to wait in a long line at any point. It got crowded quick though, and the waiting area was packed by time we started boarding, but they seat you in groups so its not like people can crowd in front of you.
i just got off the inspiration out of tampa and we arrived at about 1030 and had absolutely nobody in line. it was nice to not have to wait. we couldnt board until about 1 but i figured it was better to go check in and wonder around the area around the port than sit and wait back at the hotel room.