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-   -   What is the best time to board a ship? (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/357168-what-best-time-board-ship.html)

fireba11 October 10th, 2008 11:57 AM

What is the best time to board a ship?
 
I was wondering what the best time is to board a ship. Say the cruise ship is leaving port at 4pm. Would a person be better off waiting to get on just before cast off? Every cruise we have been on we were there early and the line was long to board. I was thinking that if we boarded later there wouldn't be any wait, any ideas????

johnsmom October 10th, 2008 12:18 PM

I've been there around 10am. Boarding begins at around 11 or 11:30. Absolutely no lines and we were the 2nd ones to board after VIPs

Brian J October 10th, 2008 12:30 PM

ASAP statrt your vacation!!! LOL

briguy October 10th, 2008 01:11 PM

The best time to board is when its still in port. If you wait till she sails it makes getting on a little harder. Just ask Lucy Ricardo.. she had to be helicoptered on.. LOL

wipala October 10th, 2008 02:51 PM

Get on early as you can. Enjoy learning the ship and finding your cabin and getting something to eat. Have a great crusie
Wipala Walt :D

Dave the Wave October 10th, 2008 04:07 PM

Get there before 11 and get on ASAP so you can get a beer and be in the pool by noon. Early bird gets the worm. :shock:

Paul Motter October 10th, 2008 04:42 PM

Sorry, I TOTALLY DISAGREE - if you get there early there is a very good chance you will get caught up in a big crowd just waiting for the boarding pass processors to open up. Then you wait in line to get processed and then you wait in line to get on the ship then you wait in line to get your picture taken.

Some people MAY get there at 10:00 and be lucky enough to get on if the ticket booths are open, but often they are not open and the big rush happens very soon - at 11:00. Then just getting past the photographers and into the ship can take 90 minutes.

The BEST time is about 3:00, you will walk straight up to check in and directly onto the ship.

Everything on the ship is closed until 1:00 pm (except the buffet) anyway - you can't get in your cabin. You end up having to carry your carryon bags around the ship and fighting crowds in the buffet. Then at 1:00 you get in your room but your luggage isn't there yet.

Go later for assured easy access. BTW: this is ESPECIALLY true for big ships 3000 passengers+

spencercoop October 10th, 2008 06:16 PM

On one of my cruises I got they 2 hours before sailing and it was absolutly very crowded, but on another cruise I got there about 5 hours before sailing and it was a lot better and less crowded. So I suggest that you get there ASAP.

Dutchman October 10th, 2008 06:17 PM

When the door opens LOL

misguidedangel October 10th, 2008 06:35 PM

I was at the port of Galveston at around 10:45 and waiting for boarding by 11am. We were allowed to board at 11:30 (we were VIP) and we were on Lido eating lunch by 11:45.

I've used Carnival transfers before and they generally pick you up and take you over around noon and the check in lines can be long or short--it all depends on how many other buses arrive at the same time!!! It took 30ish minutes to get on board the Liberty four weeks ago......The line was long, but when they split us by deck it went faster!!!!!

I will be in Miami again in January, 85 days, and I will be at the port at around 11am ready and waiting to board the ship!!! I may not get to my cabin until 1, but I can park my butt on Lido and eat lunch.....

suseg October 10th, 2008 07:15 PM

We have always arrived between 10-10:30 AM and are generally amongst the first to board. I have found the lines to be very short at that time, so we bring a book, sit on the floor (if necessary), read and count down the minutes until we can board. I love getting on early, getting some lunch, and just sitting aboard.....I want to get every possible minute possible on the ship. Guess I'm a kid at heart!

Paul Motter October 10th, 2008 07:28 PM

Sorry, I am sticking to my guns here. The only time I arrived at a terminal early (about 10:45) it tooks us 90 minutes to get onboard - yet when I get there later in the day I generally get onboard almost right away. Plus there is nothing to do on the ship early on, and you have to carry your bags with you because your cabin isn't ready.

The idea of arriving early may have worked a few years ago - but in the last year it has gotten out of hand and that is when the rush is....

It may depend on the size of the ship and terminal, though.

Try what you want, though.

venice October 10th, 2008 07:32 PM

it depends...if you are not really into spa treatments or dining at one of the speciality places, then get there around 2 pm...if you desire the above, get there at 1030 am...or do like my GF does...she send me there at 0930 and I call her to come when I am about close to the front of the check in line LOL

ninamarie October 10th, 2008 10:26 PM

Well, the first time we went, we were there about noon in Galveston....a long line with two kids and the luggage..not knowing that the boarding passes and papers needed to be filled out prior.

The second and third time we went, we were there about 1130am in Galveston, a very short line with my mother in wheelchair, oxygen,two girls and all the luggage. Papers filled out this time NO LINES because my mother was handicapped and there were not many people in wheelchairs.

But the fourth, just my husband and I went in Galveston, got there early about 10am and ALL PAPERS WERE ALREADY FILLED OUT, luggage was taken prior, just me and him ready for vacation.....and we waited until 2pm to enter on the ship because the last cruises for Carnival Conquest and another cruise ship could not disembark at 8am because of the weather and we had to wait ... and wait.... and oh yes DONT FORGET THE TRAFFIC that you had to wait and wait just to get to the terminal.....BUT...in reality no regrets.....
I guess there is a gamble at any time that you go

seadog2 October 10th, 2008 10:35 PM

As soon as they open the doors. We do this all the time. The later you wait the more the crowds.

ragtiki2005 October 11th, 2008 02:55 AM

I am like Dave the Wave. Like to get there early and have an entire day to spend by the pool with a Redstripe in hand. Bob

venice October 11th, 2008 06:35 AM

actually Dave The Wave has an arrangement with the pool deck bartender that he boards first to ensure the greatest amount of bar revenue for the cruise :rofl:

susierphillips October 11th, 2008 08:15 AM

Without exception, we arrive between 1:30 and 3:00 like the TA tells us to. What is nice is that you can go directly to your room and check it out. Usually the lines are fairly painless and we prefer shorter lines.
Plus, it's such a happy group of people at that time. Why? Their flights were on time!!!!!!!! :D

jayman October 11th, 2008 08:51 AM

I agree with Paul about no line around 3pm, both times that I have cruised, I arrived around that time due to flights and was able to walk right up to the counter and check in, get the picture taken and then right to my cabin. I can only imagine that getting there too early, would be about as bad as trying to disembark the ship with the crowds of people who don't wait to be called down and probably worse.

fireba11 October 11th, 2008 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter
Sorry, I am sticking to my guns here. The only time I arrived at a terminal early (about 10:45) it tooks us 90 minutes to get onboard - yet when I get there later in the day I generally get onboard almost right away. Plus there is nothing to do on the ship early on, and you have to carry your bags with you because your cabin isn't ready.

The idea of arriving early may have worked a few years ago - but in the last year it has gotten out of hand and that is when the rush is....

It may depend on the size of the ship and terminal, though.

Try what you want, though.

The same here, we have sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami and both times there early and had about a 90 minute wait.

Dave the Wave October 11th, 2008 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by venice
actually Dave The Wave has an arrangement with the pool deck bartender that he boards first to ensure the greatest amount of bar revenue for the cruise :rofl:

I have been first onboard several times. I have been onboard before noon most every time. I disagree with Paul on this one. Like Bob says, get there early and make a full day of embarkation day. I board in my swimsuit so no need to wait for luggage ect... It always amazes me to see people board in jeans and jackets. In three cruises this year I was onboard before noon each time with little waiting.

Look how funny! Same outfit two years in a row. See time stamp in pictures! rofl rofl rofl rofl rofl rofl rofl

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...4401/72243.jpg

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...3440/63694.jpg

spencercoop October 11th, 2008 07:22 PM

Thats funny the SAME EXACT outfits.

mehawk October 11th, 2008 08:34 PM

That is Dave's boarding outfit LOL

We have tried various times and it appears to be a gamble. The later time is just as good.

venice October 11th, 2008 08:57 PM

Dave The Wave..there are no other people around you in these pictures..where are they / aren't you lonely ?

ragtiki2005 October 11th, 2008 09:00 PM

Venice, that is because Dave is the first passenger on the ship. I usually head to the bar first thing also. Bob

crzndeb October 12th, 2008 02:38 PM

While posters have very helpful information, make sure you check your documents to see what time is the latest you can board. Several people got denied boarding on the Oosterdam recently because they were not within the 90min. window. I am leaving on the Spirit on the 18th and the ship leaves at 9pm....it says latest boarding time is 7pm...make sure to read the info on your documents.

Kamloops Cruiser October 12th, 2008 02:47 PM

When we boarded HAL in vancouver BC the wait at the opening(11AM) of boarding was short . Lido was open and not at all crowded.

When we did RCI out of PC the boarding line was busy all day. They were still processing people for boardin when the lifeboat drill was being held .

rofl

Paul Motter October 12th, 2008 06:31 PM

Royal Caribbean out of Port Canaveral is where we had our worst experience - and we were there a little before 11:00. The problem was they were only unloading one car or bus at a time, so we were stuck in our bus for 30 minutes before we got out - and then it took 90 minutes to get onboard.

HAL is a smaller ship - you could probably arrive at about any time and get on much faster.

briguy October 12th, 2008 09:08 PM

Dave, time for a new tshirt buddy. At least wear one with some pizzazz saying on it to suit your personality...Dave gets on so early that when he orders his beer the bartender thinks hes the last passenger from the previous trip..

Dave the Wave October 13th, 2008 06:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter
Royal Caribbean out of Port Canaveral is where we had our worst experience - and we were there a little before 11:00. The problem was they were only unloading one car or bus at a time, so we were stuck in our bus for 30 minutes before we got out - and then it took 90 minutes to get onboard.

HAL is a smaller ship - you could probably arrive at about any time and get on much faster.

Those pics were PC and Mariner of the Seas.


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