I am getting mixed messages on the best time to go to the port in San Diego to board the Spirit. I usually go early (around 11) at other ports but I have heard San Diego is very hecitc and we should not try boarding until much later. Any one out there cruise the Spirit and can help out?
We cruised the Spirit last November and arrived a little before 10 am...too early according to some. It was still very busy with passengers debarking and there were no porters to help. There is no parking right there at the port so everyone is shuttled over by a hotel or local public parking structure. We were dropped off by our hotel shuttle and joined a long line of excited new passengers. We had to drag our luggage with us for about 45 minutes until finally a porter came around and starting taking everyones luggage. This has never happened before and was not a pleasant experience. Once the luggage was picked up, we passed the fence area and were inside the building, check-in went fast. We only waited another 45 minutes until we embarked but we did go in with the handicapped and assisted passengers. We went straight to our room and put our carry-on in the closet, meeting our cabin steward right away so he knew it was ours and not left by the previous passengers.
That said, we are leaving from there again in 3 weeks with a different cruise line but don't plan to show before 10:30 am or 11 am. If you normally show up around 11 am, I think you will be fine. If you're sailing after me, feel free to Email me next month and I'll relay our experience. If you're sailing before me, please Email me and relay your experience. Thank you. Happy Cruising!!!
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
Just sailed the Spirit in March. Got to the port around 11:00. Plenty of porters, checkin was very quick and they started boarding at 11:30 . We were on board by 11:45 but ask not to go to cabin until 1 pm.