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Day of Embarkation Tips

Cruise Ship at Terminal-Featured Image

I’m going to embark on the Azamara Onward for its Inaugural voyage, so getting to experience this cruise of the French and Italian Riviera inspires this week’s article, with tips for embarkation day…

Day of Embarkation Tips

Last week I shared some tips on preparing for embarkation day for a cruise, and today I continue with the tips for embarkation day…

  1. Attach the cruise line luggage tags before you get to the port.
  2. Bring a pen.
  3. Have your passport and cruise documents organized and easy to access so you are ready to be checked in.
    • During covid times, that also means making sure you have your vaccination card ready to show, and also patience if you have to be tested before embarking the ship.
  4. You will go through an x-ray scanner like you do at the airport, so make sure you don’t have items that will cause you to be pulled from line for a review. Don’t carry knives or open soft drink bottles as they will be taken. Be ready to remove keys and change, cellphones and laptops into the security trays.
  5. If you have early embarkation because you’re in a suite or have some VIP loyalty benefits, get there for that early slot before the crowds show up. If you have regular embarkation time, you might want to wait a little later, as most folks show up right at that time and it gets crowded and the wait is much longer. Let the crowd thin out before you get there, and you’ll get through a lot faster.
    • 5a. During covid times, it’s a little more important to arrive at the time of your scheduled embarkation time, since most cruises are either testing in the cruise terminal, or they are requiring guests present a covid test result. This extra time added in the process means that adherence to the timed schedule will likely help with a smoother check-in.
  6. There are usually a couple of different eating venues open on embarkation day, but they will tend to steer people to the buffet restaurants. Go against the crowd and head to the other restaurant. Same thing with the bars – don’t go to the atrium bar in the center of the ship; find one of the more remote lounges.
  7. Tour the ship. Since you’ve already pre-booked your spa appointments and excursions, now you are free to get acquainted with the ship and check out all the various areas. Find the cool cocktail bar, the quiet library, and the lounge at the front of the ship and figure out which spots are going to be your places to hang out.
  8. Be happy and grateful. As I shared in an article last month, my husband and I once boarded a ship after a few annoyances during travel. I did not pre-book my spa appointments, so I was in a long line, feeling a bit frustrated. And then I noticed this woman in front of me all aggravated because all the good spa slots were filled, and she griped and complained. And then I realized – holy cow, we are on this amazing ship, about to go to incredible ports, and I didn’t want to be like that woman. And from that moment, I decided that everything was fabulous, and we would enjoy every moment of the cruise. Any inconvenience was ignored, and we focused on being grateful for the wonderful opportunity to travel. And that is now my travel philosophy.It’s easy to let the glitches of travel get in the way – make a conscious effort to ignore them.