From what little I've been able to read about boarding, I'm still uncertain as to the best time to arrive at the port. This is our first cruise and I have that mixed Excited/Anxious/Nervous kinda thing going on. I definitely want every minute I can get on the ship. We are going on the Enchantment of the Seas out of Ft. Lauderdale and the ships departure time is 5PM. We will be staying the night before the cruise at a local hotel, which is only supposed to be at 10 min from the port. What time should we leave the hotel, or better, arrive at the port to get on the ship as early as possible? Also, do they take your picture as you board? Some friends told me they had their picture taken when boarding but they weren't on RC.
SS Norway (12 times) '85 - '97; Radiance OS 06/01; Island Princess 11/04, Grand Princess 11/04/05, Golden Princess 7/21/06, Golden Princess 2/24/07, Explorer of the Seas 12/23/07, Island Princess 11/15/08
You can arrive as early as you want, but you won't be able to get to your cabin until 1:00 PM. So, I wouldn't get there too early. If you board around noon, you can go to the Windjammer for lunch before going to your cabin.
Photos are taken (if you want them) when you board. In fact, the photographers are EVERYWHERE! You can't seem to avoid them. We have been cruising for years, so we decline all the photo opportunities.
You will find that photos are pretty expensive - like $20 for a formal photo on formal night.
Whenever you board, and whether or not you get photos taken......ENJOY!
Grandeur of the Seas 1-06-15
Grandeur of the Seas 1-16-15
Grandeur of the Seas 1-24-15
The above post has it-figure noon knowing that you won't get into your cabin until about 1 pm. You can walk about the upper decks and see the pool, have some lunch, etc.
Freedom Of The Seas -07
Radiance Of The Seas-07
Adventure Of The Seas-05
Navigator Of The Seas-04
Soverign Of The Seas-02
Big Red Boat-93
We just got back from a 9 night cruise out of Port Liberty, NJ. We arrived at the terminal at 10:30am. We checked our baggage and our husbands went to park the car. At 10:50, we entered the terminal and went right through security. We were the first ones in the terminal, which was nice as we had the place to ourselves and there were all these people just waiting to help us and take their time with us. It was our first cruise. We had done online check-in, so it was all very quick for us. Then we waited until enough other people arrived to fill the first bus. They provided snacks and drinks while we waited. We waited 40 minutes to load onto the bus to the ship. We were the first ones through ship security and went straight up to the Windjammer for lunch. We were eating lunch at noon or so and had the Windjammer practically to ourselves. By the time we had a leisurely lunch and drinks, the place was getting very busy and crazy so we were glad we were early. We weren't allowed to our cabin until 2:00, which was fine with us as we just explored around and went to the dining room to see where our table was. By the time we were in our room and enjoying a drink on our balcony, most other people were just arriving and having to wait for buses and security. We were very glad we went early. We wanted to enjoy every minute on the ship that we could. We were very nervous and anxious, just like you, when we got there, so it was nice to finally just be onboard and get enjoying and relaxing. Have a fantastic time - and believe me, you will!!
they usually let you in around 11am to get ready to board---get there early----they tell you don't get there before 1 but that is not a good ideal---they do take your picture for the sail and sign cards and also a picture when you enter the ship with the date and a good background picture
these can be purchased but it is not necessary--expect alot of pictures to be take while board and unboarding the ship-if you like they can be purchased each time
Just remember that you have to carry any carry-on luggage until you can get into your cabin about 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. I usually just have a fairly lightweight tote and my purse so it isn't a problem, but I have seen pax lugging around what seemed to be fairly heavy, large carry-ons and I wouldn't want to be doing that.
We generally arrive between 11:30 and noon so by noon or 12:15 we are in Windjammer having a long, leisurely lunch, then straight to our cabin. I explore after I've ditched the tote and the purse.