My husband and I are going on our first cruise on the Legend out of NYC this Friday. We are wondering what is the best time to try and embark? We live in NJ and will be taking the train into Manhattan so we are completely flexible and would just prefer to go when we won't have to wait in line for ages and ages.
We live outside of Austin and cruised out of Galveston last November so we drove down, picking up my brother in Houston on the way (large family cruise.) Since it's about a five-hour drive from Austin, we allowed plenty of time (you never know when you'll have a flat tire. As it turns out, it was pouring down rain the entire way and we narrowly avoided TWO accidents!)
Anyway, we got there much earlier than we intended and were on board the ship eating pizza in the covered area next to the pool (still raining) by noon! There was a line but it was always moving so I think the entire embarkation process took us no longer than 15 minutes!
I've read that it's best not to get there too early or too late -- that's when the lines are longest -- but it wasn't so for us. Have fun!
Grand Princess 11/05
Dawn Princess 8/06
Based on my experience, and I've been on 14 Carnival cruises, it's best to get their either early or late. Meaning, 11:30am or 2pm. Have a great trip. The worst part of the cruise is disembarkation, simply because you have to leave the ship. A close 2nd is the life boat drill.