When Is The Ideal Time To Arrive For Your Cruise Check-In?

Cruises can be an escape into paradise if you're a fan of faring in the deep sea, eating at seemingly endless buffets, and taking part in a variety of activities. Whether you're going with your family, your partner, your friends, or on your own, there'll likely be something happening that'll pique your interest. You'll have the opportunity to make friends and mingle with people from places all over the globe. However, the many people mean long lines when it comes to boarding and departing the cruise. So before you have access to all of your entertainment and social options, you'll have to get on board.

If you've ever been on a cruise, you might just know how lengthy the lines can be. Cruises can hold thousands of people, and each one has to go through security and check in before they can settle on board. This process can take hours, so if you're a first-time cruiser you can expect to wait in line. With that being said, there is a time to board that spares you from waiting all that time.

When to arrive

If you're not fond of the idea of waiting in line, consider showing up later in the queue time. Some people arrive early, thinking they'll be able to beat the lines, but that rarely works. Hundreds of others might have the same idea, creating a line before embarkation even begins. To avoid this, look at the check in window times for your cruise and try to show up in the last 30 minutes of that gap. If you do this, you obviously won't be the first one on board and therefore the first to experience the multitude of activities the cruise has to offer, but those aren't going anywhere. What you will avoid is spending a chunk of your day standing under the hot sun, waiting to board.

Before you head to the port for embarkation though — especially if you're arriving toward the end of the boarding window — make sure you have all of your important documents and paperwork, including your passport and boarding information. You won't have time to go back for it, so have it on you and be ready to show it when your turn comes.

Remember your essentials

For embarkation day, it's important to have your suitcases labeled and ready to go. If you forget, they'll likely be able to help you get that information stapled onto your bag, but it will take up more time. Streamline the process by having that information set and attached early on. With that being said, keep hold of your carry-on. To pack it perfectly for your cruise, you'll want to fill it with things like a change of clothes, your medicine, important documents, a swimsuit, sunscreen, and any other necessities. Basically, the essentials plus clothing that's appropriate for the activities you'll want to engage in before you have access to your luggage.

Make sure that none of your bags contains banned items. Familiarize yourself with the list of things you can't bring. Most cruises ban items that produce a flame, but you'll want to check out the list for your specific cruise line because the list varies from brand to brand. Ensuring that your bags are good to go will save you time and stress.