NOW THAT YOU'VE MADE IT TO THE PIER
- Depending on the efficiency of the prior cruise passenger's departure, you may be allowed to board the ship earlier than the published boarding times.
- Drop off your luggage with a porter. They will make sure it gets to the ship. You should see a clearly marked entrance to the check-in terminal. If all else fails, follow the crowd!
- Once inside, you will have to pass through security.
- Next you will stand in line for your check-in. Make sure you have your boarding documents filled out before you get to this point! If you have checked in online before leaving home, look for the queue marked as such and you will have a much shorter wait.
- You will be asked to give a credit card for onboard charges. Then you will be issued a keycard which also doubles as your onboard charge card. You do not use cash or credit cards at any time onboard. Your onboard purchases will be totaled and charged to the credit card at the end of the cruise. If you wish to use cash, you may do so onboard at the end of your cruise.
- If you want to request a change in cabin, now is the time to request it. Remember, if you are eligible for an upgrade through the cruiseline loyalty club, it is not guaranteed! Also, upgrades are usually only given within the same category, i.e. inside to inside, not inside to balcony. With the cruiselines sailing so full these days, please don't expect much so you avoid disappointment.
- Finally, it's time to board the ship!! Expect to be accosted by the ship's photographers for a picture just before boarding. These will be available for purchase onboard. Do not feel pressure to have your picture taken-- they are strictly voluntary!
- Have your ship keycard handy, as you will need to swipe it to enter the ship. Sometimes your picture will be taken for security purposes. Each time you enter or exit the ship you will have to swipe the card.
- Make your way to your cabin, if it's ready. Sometimes you have to wait.
- If you must wait before your cabin is clean, the ship always has a buffet lunch prepared. Feel free to roam the ship, get familiar with your surroundings and for God's sake, RELAX!
LIFEBOAT AND SAFETY DRILL
- This is a MANDATORY drill required by law which must take place within 24 hours of departure. In your cabin you will find a lifejacket for every family member, and instructions posted on your cabin door as to your designated muster station. (A muster station is a group meeting place.) You will hear the alarm sound, at which point you must walk to your muster station and put on your lifejacket. There will be crew members with lists of passengers counting and/or checking you off if you're present or not. The drill cannot go on unless everyone is present and accounted for.