27 Cruise ship embarkation day do’s and don’ts

You’ve planned your cruise, and now it’s embarkation day. You just can’t wait to get on board your ship and relax, sip a tropical drink and stare out to sea. You’re on vacation – woohoo!

Not so fast. You might be ready to cruise, but the ship’s crew still is getting the ship ready, having just disembarked last week’s passengers.

You have to go through the ship’s pier-side check-in process, which can take time, especially given all the health and safety protocols added post-pandemic. Remember, you are one of thousands of people entering a floating city at basically the same time. As with any other secured structure, you can’t walk right onto a ship.

The best way to start your cruise is to arrive at the pier expecting some lines and minor hassles – and perhaps a bit of chaos – and then be thrilled if you don’t encounter any of them. Keep a level head and look forward to good times once your sailing actually gets underway.

DO check that you have the necessary paperwork and documentation

The cruise line will send pre-cruise reminders explaining what to expect at check-in, including health and safety procedures, and how to download a copy of your COVID-19 vaccine card and required test results. It will outline which documents, IDs, QR codes or other electronic receipts you will need to have ready.

However, it’s your responsibility to arrive at the pier with the proper documentation in hand. Personally, I like to print out and bring paper copies of documents as a backup to electronic documents.

DON’T arrive at the pier early

Since cruising restarted post-pandemic, most cruise l