What to expect on Day One of your Cruise …
Expert cruise tips and advice.
Cruising can be the most satisfying way to travel so first off I would like to congratulate you on booking your first cruise! I’m willing to wager it won’t be your last.
How to board the Ship
Getting on the Ship can take a bit of patience. Depending on the security level at the port you are starting from this could take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or longer. Trust me when I say the time you spent in line will be forgotten the minute you hit that open deck with the Ship’s Daily Cocktail in hand!
The first thing you will do is drop your bag off and go through security just like at the airport. A cruise representative will welcome you, check you in and give you your ships card. Your ships card is your room key, how you pay onboard and also your id to get you on and off the ship in all of your ports of call.
Pro Tip: Bring a Lanyard with you for your ship card so you don’t lose it! Lanyards don’t have to be boring and you can dress them up for evening or choose a more sporty version for when you go ashore. Here are some fun fashionable samples from Amazon.
Can I get into my room right away?
One of the best-kept secrets of embarkation day is how quickly the rooms get prepared and turned around. With thousands of guests leaving and thousands of guests arriving and most ships setting sail around 5:00pm, the process is amazing.
Pro Tip: It may be a few hours before you can get into your room so be prepared. There will be food, drinks and a beautiful deck for you to enjoy in the meantime.
Pro Tip: Pack your sunglasses, sunhat, sunscreen and anything else you may need to enjoy the outside deck in a carry-on bag. Your luggage may take some time to get to your cabin.
Do I really need to do Boat Drill?
Yes! And it’s for yours and your family’s safety. SOLAS requirements are that all passengers be instructed on safety procedures before the Ship leaves Port.
Sail Away Party
Once Boat drill is over grab a cocktail or mocktail and join the Sail Away Party! That’s where you’ll meet your entertainment team and learn about the first evening’s activities.
This is the first in a series of “What to Expect When Taking Your First Cruise.” Stay tuned for part two!
Cruise & Shop’s Christie Chewka has been working in the Cruise Industry since 1998. Having worked on Thompson, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Oceania, Christie loves to share her experiences of being both on and off the Shop. Here is Christie’s overview on what to expect on your first cruise and what to know before you go: