Getting Ahead of the Game: How to Get On a Cruise Ship Early

The thrill of setting sail on a luxurious cruise ship is unmatched, but there’s nothing quite like being among the first to board and claim your cabin. In this article, we’ll share some insider tips and tricks on how to get on a cruise ship early and make the most of your vacation.

Why Should You Get On a Cruise Ship Early?

Arriving early on a cruise ship offers numerous benefits. You’ll have:

  • More time to settle in and get comfortable in your cabin before the crowds arrive.
  • Priority access to onboard facilities, such as restaurants, pools, and spas.
  • A better chance to snag a spot by the pool or on the deck before they fill up.
  • A head start on getting to know the ship’s layout and amenities.

Tip 1: Plan Ahead

The key to getting on a cruise ship early is to plan ahead. Make sure you arrive at the terminal with plenty of time to spare. Most cruise lines recommend arriving 2-3 hours before departure but aim to arrive at least 30 minutes earlier.

Tip 2: Choose the Right Check-In Process

Some cruise lines offer expedited check-in options for an additional fee. If you’re willing to pay extra, consider opting for a VIP or expedited check-in process. This can save you valuable time and get you on the ship faster.

Tip 3: Use the Right Lanes

When you arrive at the terminal, look for designated check-in lanes marked “Early Check-In” or “Priority Check-In.” These lanes are usually reserved for passengers who have pre-checked in online or have special requests.

Tip 4: Bring Your Documents Ready

Make sure you have all necessary documents ready, including your passport, ID, and any travel insurance documents. Having everything in order will save you time and reduce stress.

Tip 5: Take Advantage of Online Check-In

Most cruise lines offer online check-in options. Take advantage of this feature to complete your check-in process before arriving at the terminal. This will save you time and reduce the amount of paperwork you need to complete at the terminal.

Tip 6: Be Prepared for Security

Don’t forget to factor in security checks when planning your arrival time. Be prepared to remove electronic devices from your bag and prepare for security screening.

Bonus Tip: Take Advantage of Pre-Boarding

Some cruise lines offer pre-boarding options for passengers with disabilities or special needs. If you require special assistance, contact your cruise line in advance to arrange pre-boarding.

Getting on a cruise ship early requires some planning and preparation, but it’s well worth it. By following these tips, you’ll be able to claim your cabin earlier than expected, enjoy more time on board, and make the most of your vacation. Remember to plan ahead, choose the right check-in process, use designated lanes, bring your documents ready, take advantage of online check-in, and be prepared for security. Happy sailing!

By Stephanie Davies