Getting to the Cruise Terminal/Port and Getting Aboard

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11. Parking

If you are very lucky you can take public transportation or have a friends or family that will drive you to the port.  Otherwise you will need to fly or drive in.  One option is to park at the airport or the port.  But there are other parking options.  There are other places to park at the port and airport that may be less expensive.  These options require some research and a bus ride to the airport or port.

Another option is a hotel stay.  If you stay one night in a hotel before your trip, they sometimes will keep your car at the hotel during your stay for free.  This may make a free or less expensive hotel stay during your trip.  I also like being at the port or airport early so I know I won’t be late.

12. Lines

There may be a line to check in at the port terminal before you get on the cruise ship.  But who wants to stand in line during their vacation time?  If you book though certain companies you can go to the front of the line or the VIP line.  Also, if you have sailed many times with one cruise lines you may move to the short line.  Having a suite will also get you into a shorter line for check-in.

13. Timing

You need to be at the cruise terminal and checked in at least 60 minutes before the cruise leaves.  But you can start your vacation early by getting to the ship early.  You may not be able to go to your room because it is not cleaned.  But you can explore some parts of the ship, eat lunch, and relax on the deck at port if you get to the port early.

14. Getting to Your Room

They will tell you that your room may not be ready until a certain time.  You can go down to your room if they let you.  This may be helpful to use the bathroom, freshen up, or put down any carry-on bags.  Then you can explore the ship, hopefully enjoy the weather change, and eat lunch!

15. Muster Drill

One of the things I hate most about going on a cruise is the muster drill.  There I said it.  This is coming from someone who cruises 2 times a year.  But the last thing I want to do when I start my vacation is to get crammed on a hot deck with strangers for 20 minutes.

I have learned to wait about 5 minutes after the drill starts to go to the muster station so you are not stuck in the back.  Just relax and try to learn the ship as you do this drill.  The drill may be important.  Just remember that.  My husband always tells me that the drill will be over soon and then we can enjoy our vacation.

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