We just received our documents for Jewel of the Seas October 8th and it indicates boarding time to be 1:00 pm. The book asks guests not arriving by air to show up no earlier than the boarding time. We are driving and were hoping to be on the ship for lunch. Does anyone know if they will stick to the time indicated in the documents or if we might be able to get on earlier. I'd like to have an idea of when to arrive at the ship. My mother will not be able to wait for hours in line so I don't want to arrive a long time before they start boarding.
We were on the Explorer very recently and we wanted to get on for the 12:00 boarding. When we got there to check in, (around 11:45 a..) it appeared there had been a long line up probably an hour before for the people that wanted to get on first and people were actually boarding a bit before 12:00 which I was very surprised at. The long line is there because they take two pictures--one for the fun pre boarding photo which you can buy later and the other for security purposes. It does move slow. For people that have cruised on that cruise line before they could go in a shorter way without having to do the big line up (Crown and Anchor Society). When you first actually get on the ship, there is a cluster of people blocking the entrance inside because they have a info table for all the kids camp programs. There is definitely time for lunch when you get on board. The Windjammer cafe is open and they want you to eat first, because some of the rooms are not quite available for going in yet. But we ignored that and went straight to our room because our kids wanted to see their suite and they had finished it (but just) the luggage won't get in your room until a couple of hours later, so you head to cafe to eat your lunch. And check out the rest of the ship while you wait for your clothes.