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Cruise embarkation day has finally come! Here is what you should expect.
If you have never cruised before you may be wondering what to expect when you first get onboard. You may even be wondering what embarkation mean. Cruising certainly has it’s own terminology but embarkation day means the first day of your cruise.
Here is a list of 11 cruise embarkation day tips that we swear by!
1. Arrive at the pier early
I am an early arriver at the pier. You may get mixed opinions on this with some folks saying to arrive later. It’s the first day of your vacation! You’ll want to get an early start. Plus what else do you have to do?
Grab breakfast at the hotel. Relax with a cup of coffee and then simply head on over to the port. Cruiselines have become very efficient with check-ins. Most cruisers have checked-in online prior to heading to the port. This allows for shorter lines and quicker check-in. We suggest arriving by 10:30am and you will most likely be on the ship by noon with a drink in your hand.
2. Bring a carry on
Make sure that you bring a carry on (here’s a cute one) for all of you important items such as valuables, cameras, computer, medication and a change of clothes if you are still in your travel clothes.
Some other items you might want to consider for your carry on are:
- Swim suit and cover-up
- Sun tan lotion
- Flip Flops
Sun tan lotion is really important. The sun out in the ocean is very strong so bring your sun screen you won’t regret it.
3. Don’t expect to be able to go to your cabin when you board
Typically your cabin wont’ be ready until about 1pm on embarkation day. This will give you plenty of time to explore the ship and grab a bite to eat for lunch. Make sure that you take photos!
4. Grab lunch
After you have boarded go grab a bite to eat before it gets to crowded. You will have several choices for lunch. Most people will head directly for the buffet. Keep in mind that this will get crowded so don’t limit your self to just the buffet. Most cruiselines will offer several different options for lunch. Most ships will have the main dining room, casual dining and speciality restaurants available for lunch. On our recent Allure and Harmony cruises we ate lunch at the Park Café. The food (breakfast and lunch) at Park Café is delish.
5. Become familiar with the ship layout
When you check in at the port you will receive a small fold out map of the ship. This is a great way to explore all the fabulous offerings the ship has. Take the time to visit the spa area, pool area, casino and some of the lounges. If you have kids you’ll want to make sure that you visit the Kids Club too.
When exploring make sure you go from one end of the ship to the other. There is a lot to see and explore.
6. When available head to your cabin
Once your cabin is available take a trip by and drop off your carry on items and place your valuables in the safe. Change into your bathing suit or shorts you packed in your carryon. Your luggage probably won’t be in your cabin yet but don’t worry they will deliver it while you are out enjoying your first day of vacation.
7. Meet your cabin steward
Your cabin steward is going to take good care of you all week. He’ll make sure that you room is cleaned twice a day so take a minute to introduce your self. Also, this is a good time to ask for anything special you may want to make your vacation more comfortable. Some items you might ask for are extra towels, more hangers and ice. Your cabin steward will make sure you have these items all week.
8. Make or change any reservations
This is the perfect time to make changes to reservations that you have or to make any reservations for specialty dining. You can also purchase the beverage or soda package and don’t forget the internet package too if you want to post pictures to social media during your trip.
9. Hang out by the pool
It’s the first day of your vacation and it’s time to relax. So find a seat by the pool, a drink and enjoy your self.
10. Muster drill
Every ship has a safety drill that all passengers must go through. You will begin to hear instructions about 15-30 mins prior to the muster drill with instructions. Muster drills take approximately 30 minutes. All passengers must attend and they do take attendance. They do shut all the bars down and pretty much everything else during this time.
11. Sailaway party!
It’s sailaway time! Grab a drink and head up on deck to join the party. It’s so exciting to watch the shoreline disappear as you sailaway on your vacation. There will be a DJ spinning music and some dancing. You can join in on the fun or just watch the ship sail away to start your vacation!
If you have any questions on what to expect on embarkation day please feel free to post below or you can contact me here. I’d love to connect with you and answer any questions you may have.