I'm traveling on the Dawn in a few weeks for my first cruise ever.
Can someone walk me though the embarkation logistics in NYC? What time should I arrive? What is the checkin process? Do they take my bags right away? What do I need to bring? How many lines are there? What are the steps?
Also, once on board, do they serve lunch and have activities while everyone else is checking in? Does the Cruise experience start right away, or only when the ship pulls away?
If I want to do shore trips on my own, are there lots of cabs ready and waiting at each port? I was thinking it would be cheaper to share a cab with 1-2 people and goto Kennedy space center than book the NCL trip. ANyone have experience with this? Same deal with some sights in Miami....
The time the ship boards is dependent on when it gets in and clears customs and disembarks the returing passengers. We got there at 2:30 on the NCL bus from Allentown, PA. There will be people to take your luggage outside the pier building. Make sure you have the luggage tags you received with your docs attached. You enter the building and get in a line whose length will vary . It's basically one line. Eventually you will get into the main area. Have your Bahamas immigration cards filled out and ready. You will go thru the x-ray carry on screening process and then be directed to a line for checking in. Present your documents, passport or ids and credit card (for onboard purchases) and get your pic taken. Then you are directed to a table where they will give you your sign and sail card. You are then free to board The buffet will be open along with the lounges so you can begin to enjoy your cruise immediately.
Many posters on the boards I read find that they pay less by handling tours on their own. We just went on a ship pontoon tour in Canaveral and the Everglades airboat in Miami. I am sure you will get answers to this question from others.