We always show up early too. The last time we boarded I even noticed they had the pool open and I made a mental note to bring my bathing suit with me when me next we board. That will the last time we get to swim in the pool without the usual crowd.
We always arrive around 11:30 AM and are usually on board by 12:30 AM. However you will not be able to get into your cabin until 1:00 PM. Just come on board, go to the Windjammer and begin the week-long feasting with lunch. By the time you finish, it will be 1:00 and you can get in your room and then walk the ship while everyone else is comming on board and before the manditory emergency drill that usually happens around 4:00 PM. Then.... enjoy your cruise! The Freedom is amazing! You will enjoy it.
Ron and Lee
RCCL C & A Platinum Members
10 total cruises on Carnival, Princess & RCCL
2009 - Undetermined yet, but looking
2010 - April 17 - Oasis OTS
2011 - Asia - THE 14 Day Big One...
You can definitely board before 2 p.m., but you will not be able to go to your cabin until then. It is a very good idea to take your bathing suit in your carry on and enjoy the pool. You can also have lunch in the Windjammer at noon.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
Usually you can board before your doc's state. On our last cruise we boarded @ 10:30. Your state room will not be ready til 1pm, but you can drop off your carry-ons and any soda and water you bring on board. Remember to bring your swim suit in your carry on so you can relax out by the pool. The windjammer will be open for lunch too.
Fantasy - Bahamas 4/96
Rhaposdy - S Caribbean 11/97
Jewel OTS - Western Europe 9/07
Mariner OTS- W Caribbean 10/08
as far as I know you can always go to the doc before the time stated to do all of your check-in and get your set sail passes. my wife an i always get there at least an hour before they tell us just to make sure we have all the documents we need.