Your post struck me funny. If done correctly, a proper embarcation and debarcation may include both sitting and standing, however should your experience include swimming you have definitely taken a wrong turn somewhere along the line. We usually execute our embarcation one of two ways depending on if we drove in or flew to our port city. If we flew in, its simple. We take a cab or other ground transportation to the port. Our luggage is then taken out of the cab and handed to the porter along with a buck or two per bag to insure your bags get on the ship and not thrown off the pier.
If we drove to the port, we first drive to the port and unload our luggage and give it to the porter with a buck or two per bag for the previously mentioned reasons. Then we go and park the car and return in whatever ground transportation is provided so we don't have to lug all our junk with us from the parking garage.
While waiting to board you will be doing one of six things, waiting in line, sitting in a sea of chairs, walking from one area to another or standing at a desk getting registered, getting a couple of pictures taken or lastly boarding the ship.
Please note...if you should find yourself swimming at any time during this process, this is a very bad sign.
I'd suggest getting to port around 11AM. You should be aboard by noon (after having your ID checked and rechecked) and the party is already in progress aboard the ship. Head to the lido buffet or poolside grill. When debarking you have two options, standard or self assist debarkation. Standard, you'll pack your bags the nite before arriving in port and place them in the hall. They'll be picked up and you'll have to claim them at the baggage claim area when you debark. Naturally you'll leave out cloths for debarkation and carry off your PJs. You'll have to wait for your deck to be called before you debark. Self assist means you leave first + carry your own bags off omitting the baggage claim area. We normally self assist cuz it's quicker and we drive to port. You don't wanna self assist if you can't easily handle your luggage or have more than one suitcase per person. You are required to hold the handrail on the escalators. Rule of thumb, take half the cloths and twice the cash you originally planned. Remember, there are do-it-yerself laundry facilities onboard every ship. Have a great cruise, Sensation's a terrific ship.
Thanks for the info!
CLEVELAND ROCKS...so are you saying that you can board the ship anytime between those hours that the cruise line told me? If you get there at 11:00 you can get on at 11:00 (or whenever you're registered?) I thought everyone waited until the same time...closer to 3 pm. DUH
As I recall we sailed the Sensation out of New Orleans and boarded around 11:30. The line was pretty short and got longer around 1:00-2:00 then started to taper off around 3:00. It didn't take too long to board maybe 30-45 minutes max. As long as Customs clears the ship in a timely manner, you should be able to board quickly around 11:00 a.m.
With regard to self-assist, you must be able to handle all of your own baggage when you leave the ship and be a U.S. Citizen
I agree with CR, we really enjoyed the Sensation, It was our first cruise.
Hope that helps.
We have been there a few times and did Atlantis... to be honest its just too big to get your moneys worth out of buying a day room to get complete access to the resort. There's just not enough time there.
Another time we walked around the resort saw some of the aquariums and stuff, then spent the rest of the day at Paradise beach. Once we were there and it rained like mad, so we just bought cheap plastic rain ponchos and walked down to Starbucks and to the internet cafe and got some work done remotely. Truthfully I think if the weather is good and the seas aren't to rough its hard to beat just playing at Paradise Beach. Its free aside from the cab ride there. If you want to explore Atlantis, go for it, but I wouldn't spend a ton, just because your time is so limited there.
Yes Paradise Beach is public and its close to the ship so it won't be a huge logistical nightmare. Just get off the ship and hop in a cab and tell them to take you there. You can actually see it from the ship.
I have heard of Blackbeards but have never been there.
Kiki, yes you can board much earlier than the time they tell you but I wouldn't try much earlier than 11AM. Also at Port Carnaveral, they won't let you into the parking garage if you're driving untill the preceeding guests get their cars out around 11AM. You should be aboard by noon but usually can't get into your stateroom till 1:30PM. Sometines the stewards will let you drop off your carry-ons in the room but they need it vacant till 1:30 for maintenance. The drinks will be flowing and food will be served the moment you board so take it all in. My favorite place on Sensation is right outside the backdoor of the lido buffet on either side of the ship. There's a little patio area with a few tables that are always empty. Perfect spot for mornin coffee (try the cinnamon danish) or evening sunsets. Paradise Beach is a great choice for Nassau.