I never realized there was an ‘art’ to boarding a cruise ship. Most ‘cruisers’ are veterans and know all the ins and outs of getting on board easily. Here are 5 things I learned that would have been helpful to know before hand.
1. BRING CARRY ON
Who knew carry-on would be the easy way to go. With carry-on you go directly to the check in line instead of baggage drop off first.
2. FIND A PORTER
If you do not bring carry on, make sure you tag your luggage before you go with the downloadable tags from the cruise line. Otherwise, you will have to go to a desk to get a tag then go back to the long baggage drop off line. TIP: Find a porter to take your bags– don’t wait in the checked bag line.
3. BE PREPARED FOR SECURITY CHECKS
There is security checks for the cruise ship. They take security very seriously, which of course is a good thing. Be prepared and it will go quickly. Just like the airport dump your liquids, sharp objects, alcohol and all that stuff to go through the scanner. Also, have your passport ready and a pen to fill out the health questionnaire. You will also have your photo taken for your key card, so do what you need to for that.
4. MAKE A FRIEND
Imagine 2000+ people trying to get on one vehicle at the same time. Yes exactly, it’s a huge undertaking. It takes time and there will be lines, long lines and lots of them. So make a few friends – chat with them in line. It will distract you and make you feel like you are moving quicker.
5. BRING A LANYARD
I know what you are thinking, I am not a lanyard kind of gal either, but you show your key card probably 20 times a day. It gets old. If you don’t have to fish for it in a purse, backpack or wallet your life will be so much easier. They will punch a hole in it if you ask, then you can just use some kind of contraption to hang it on your person. I saw all kinds of gizmos or if you want to buy one, it was $5 at the ship gift shop.