When the time has finally arrived to take off for your cruise, this may be a bit of a different experience from other types of trips you would need. Here are some of the things you can expect as you kick off the enjoyment of your cruise package.
While you may be used to self catering, it’s time to get used to pampering. That is what is going to happen as you begin your cruise voyage. As soon as you arrive at the cruise terminal you will notice this. Instead of you being forced to drag your luggage all over the place, it usually is taken from you by porters for the cruise line. You may have to be a little patient so they can get to you, since a lot of passengers are usually arriving for their holiday at the same time and the terminal can be a very busy place. Just as you would at the airport, give yourself a lot of extra time to get to the cruise terminal and checked in.
When the porters get to you, they are going to quickly whisk your luggage away and put it on a luggage cart. While you may be a little worried it will not get on the ship, never fear. While airlines can lose luggage from time to time on flight transfers, the cruise line is the one taking care of your bags from start to finish, and the only place they are going is onto your ship. They will magically appear in your stateroom later in the day. It will take a while for them to sort all the luggage out once you get onboard, so be patient. If you want quicker service, it never hurts to tip the porter well, a $5 minimum tip is recommended.
Once your luggage is gone, you have to head into the terminal. This part of the process will remind you of being at the airport, because you will have to go through all the same security x-ray and metal detecting machines as you would at the airport, so once again, be patient. Just be responsible, and respectable and this will go well. Make sure you do not have any taboo items, such as alcohol. Most cruise lines do not allow you to bring alcohol aboard with you. This rule is not for a safety reason as much as it is likely so they can sell their alcohol, but you have to follow their rules.
Once you make it past security, you will be given a number and letter and sent into the Embarkation Lounge until the ship is ready for you. This is a great opportunity to start to meet other people who are going to be on the cruise with you. Many of them have likely sailed before and may be able to answer questions regarding what to expect on your cruising holiday.
Once aboard, find your stateroom, get to know the ship, and if you’re at a loss for where you are or where you’re going, you’re likely to find a staff member somewhere nearby to point you in the right direction.