You’re On Board, Now What?

The long awaited moment has finally arrived! You have completed the cruise check-in process and have stepped onto the ship. Now what?

Embarkation day is my favorite day. It means that my cruise is just beginning and everything around me is new. Plus, all of my shore excursions at various port destinations are just around the corner. I’ve come to learn that if I can start my cruise on the right foot, it helps the rest of my cruise go smoothly and I can rest assured that I am not missing out on making my cruise vacation the best possible experience for me and my family. From one cruise passenger to another, here are 5 things I have learned to do on embarkation day:

  1. Arrive Early – In theory, arriving early is always a good idea. But it’s more than just allowing time for mistakes, detours, and mishaps to occur. Arriving early gives you the chance to explore the ship, settle into your cabin, and get started on all of the festivities. Plus, I don’t know if you have noticed, but running late often causes stress and frustration, and there isn’t room for that on my vacation!
  2. Your Cabin, Your Home – If your cabin is ready upon arrival, then check it out! Unpack your bags, settle in, and make sure your room has everything you need. If something doesn’t seem right, head to the cruise information desk and get things settled right away. In some cases, cabins are not quite ready for guests. When this happens you will have to continue to pull around your carry on luggage for a little while longer. For convenience and comfort, pack light and wise. Only pack the absolute necessities such as a swimsuit and a change of casual clothes. If you can’t get to your other luggage for a while, you will still have all the comforts you need from home to pull off a fabulous embarkation day.
  3. Explore – Some people have the luxury of cruising on the same ship more than once. If it is your first time on any cruise ship, take the time to explore every public nook and cranny. This will give you a feel for where everything is located and an idea of where you want to spend your time onboard. Different cruise ships offer a variety of entertainment and activities. Some provide an ice skating rink while others have a race track! You will never know unless you take the time to explore. Plus, you can find out where the food is located and eat some lunch or grab a snack if you are hungry! Now is the perfect time to fill a hungry belly before the games and party begins.
  4. Technicalities – Before the cruise departs, crewmembers hold a safety drill that is required participation for all passengers. Anything before and after the drill is your time to plan or not plan at all!  Embarkation day is also the day you want to take care of any technicalities such as reserving shore excursions, entertainment, and specialty dining if you have not already done so.
  5. Stay Connected – These days I’m all about staying connected, and it seems to be important for a lot of other people too. To help with this, plus save some cash on the side, I suggest downloading the cruise app for the cruise line you are on. You can access all sorts of cruise information including activity times. If you are leaving from a U.S. port, make calls to your neighbor, girlfriend/boyfriend, mom, cousin or whoever now! Otherwise you may come face to face with international roaming charges. This is the type of gift you don’t won’t to receive in the mail, trust me.

How you spend your cruise embarkation day may affect your entire vacation. Find what works for you and stick to it! Let us know if you have tried any of these tips or if you have some of your own!

Photos are taken in person or provided by the supplier except where credited.

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