9 Cruise Embarkation Day Watch-Outs, Tips and Tricks

9 Cruise Embarkation Day Watch-Outs, Tips and Tricks

What are the nine most important
embarkation day watch outs, tips and tricks that you need to know?
I’m Gary Bembridge, and this is another of my tips of travellers. I’m currently in my
cabin on a cruise, and when I was boarding it made me think I should share
with you the things that I do to make embarkation day smooth, stress-free and
make the most of the day. I have nine tips and watch outs, starting with this
one. Make your vacation stress-free by arriving
at the cruise port the day before, that means that if there are any hiccups with
travel, flights, trains whatever you’re using to get there, you have plenty of
time to resolve it. Flying in on the day of the cruise can be really
risky so I, like many experienced cruisers, always aim to go the day before.
It gives you a chance to settle in, sort out any issues you’ve got and, if there are
any hiccups with travel, you can resolve them. One of the most important things
to do is to build into your budget and plans getting to the port the day before.
My second big tip is prearrange and book as much as you possibly can online before the cruise. There’s a couple of things to focus on.
First of all, if you’re flying into or joining the cruise in Canada or the
United States and you’re from outside there, make sure you’ve got all the
ESTAs. The same if you’re traveling to any countries where you might need visas,
make sure that they’re all done and sorted. Secondly, you’ll find that most
Cruise Lines ask you to check-in online and input your credit card details so when
you arrive at the port, you already have an e-ticket printed out and can
get through the check-in with just that and your passport, and get through and on the ship really quickly. Also make sure that you’ve pre booked things like excursions, drinks packages, speciality dining or other things
that you can pre-book online. Then you know that everything is sorted so you
don’t have to when you get on the ship rush around and madly try and book up
excursions before they go, get your specialty dining times that you want or
whatever. Do that before, so you have time to think about
it. You can look at the deals online and ensure you’ve got everything
locked down. Make sure you’ve downloaded the cruise line app, if they
have one, because you’ll find once you’re on board
you might find it more difficult to download, so downloaded it when you still
have good Wi-Fi or data minutes. Apps are becoming really important on
cruise lines to get your daily program, make reservations, book excursions and
chat with friends and family. Make sure you put it on your phone and ensure it is downloaded and things sorted before you go so you can actually use embarkation
day to start enjoying your vacation without sorting out a lot of admin. My
next tip is around making the most efficient use of time before you get on
the ship. It is important to make sure you understand what time you’re allowed to
get there. Depending on the cruise line they have different approaches , and
some will give you a set time and won’t let you start the check-in embarkation process until your allocated time, so don’t pitch
up too early at the port or you will basically be hanging around wasting
your time. Of course, if you want to get on board earlier there’s a couple of
things you can do. You can book a cabin which has priority boarding, or
through status. Some cruise lines sell packages which include priority invocation as part of that. Make sure you understand what time you can get there. If they’re
relaxed on time you might want to get there really early in the hope that
you’re there before the crowds arrive and you get on the ship
much earlier. Arriving early won’t always work, so do check what the cruise
line policy is. The other thing you might want to consider, if you don’t want
to spend a lot of time hanging around, is look at arriving later. The downside
of that, of course, is you don’t get on the ship as quick. However, you might find
that it is an advantage. For example, if you’re cruising out of Vancouver
on an Alaska trip it can be quite a slow process getting through all the
immigration checks, so one thing that I like to do is go a bit later when
the peak has slowed down, and you get quicker because you don’t spend a lot of time sitting in the terminal waiting to
board. What’s important is anything that’s valuable, whether it’s medicines, electronics, computers or anything that’s of value to you, have in a day bag. Do not
put it in your checked in bags, keep all that stuff with you. When you’re
packing that day bag and carry-on bag, think about what you
want to do when you get on the ship. For example,
if it’s a nice warm cruise you might want to be able to use the pool, or the
hot tub, your bags may only come to the cabin quite late in the afternoon, so
think about what you want to do. Perhaps pack some shorts,
swimming trunks, workout gear or whatever it is that you’re going to want
to do on the ship before getting your bags. Always assume you’re only going to
get your bags later in the afternoon, that way you
also know that you’ve got your valuables and the important things with
you, and also you’re able to enjoy the ship and do whatever you want to do
before your bags arrive. Pack that day bag and really think it through.
The other thing that I do on embarkation day is avoid the buffet restaurant.
Most people when they embark want to go somewhere simple and easy, so
they head up to the buffet. It gets pretty crowded and crazy up in
the buffet on embarkation day. Most cruise lines actually open one or more of their
normal restaurants, and that’s a much better place to go because you can sit
down and enjoy yourself and it’s not crazy madness with people rushing
around in the buffet restaurant. For me that’s a big way of making
embarkation day feel a little bit more special, a little more relaxed
and less stressful. My next tip is a really important one. This is something
that I always make sure I do as early as possible when I embark a ship, and
there’s four things that you want to check all are okay. These are as
follows: first of all go to your cabin as soon as you can and check it
really carefully. Make sure that everything works, nothing’s broken, try
the bed and make sure you’re happy with everything in the cabin. Your cabin steward will normally come
along quite quickly once they know you’re there, and if there’s anything you
don’t like in your cabin or anything you’re unhappy with tell your
cabin steward there and then. Very important then it’s registered with the
cabin steward and they will probably also talk to their supervisor. This
becomes important if you have any issues with your cabin and you want to
escalate the problem. Within the first hour or two of getting into a
cabin, check everything to make sure that it is absolutely how you want it to be so
there’s time for it to get fixed. Secondly, go and check what the situation
is with upgrades. If the ship is not sailing full
there may be a chance to get upgrades. If you have a problem with your
cabin, you might end up negotiating a free upgrade or there may be
special offers going for upgrades. Always check out what the situation is.
The third thing is check your dining. It depends a bit on the cruise ship
you’re with, but if you have a table allocated in the main
dining room and on one of those cruises which has fixed
dining, go and check the table and make sure you’re happy
with it, because that’s going to be your table for the whole cruise. Increasingly what’s happening, of course, is it’s moved to more open seated
dining and freedom dining when you want approach and so that’s less
applicable. If you have allocated seating, make sure that you’re
happy with it, where it’s located and the time of that and talk to the
maitre d when they still have time to influence it. When it comes to
dining, if you haven’t pre-booked specialty dining sort that out as soon
as you can when you get on board on the embarkation
day, so you can get the dates and times and restaurants that you want. The fourth
thing to check is if you’re traveling with kids, make sure you get them to the
kids club as early as possible and register them. Most kids clubs have
capacity to take all of the kids, but get there early and make sure that you get
your kids signed in and you understand what times they are open, and get that all sorted. These are the four important things to
sort out as soon as you can once you embark the ship. The next thing I
always do on an embarkation day is see what offers and deals are going. If
you’ve been really organised, you’ve probably booked many of the things and
seen what’s available in terms of deals and offers before you get on the ship. Some cruise lines will let you book Wi-Fi packages with a discount or
drinks packages a the discount or excursions with a discount and you
might have done that in advance, but find out what discounts are
going on the day because on an embarkation day most departments will have offers going. That is particularly true of places like the spa, so go and
find out what offers are available. Check out places like the spa, or even
some of the shops, and find out if there’s any lucky draws
or raffles going on, because you’ll find that many of those departments are
trying to encourage people to go there so have a draw,
which normally takes place just before the ship sets sail
and you have to be there to win the prize. On a couple of cruises I have
won spa packages through those lucky draws. Find out what offers
are going and if any raffles going, and take part in
those. Another important thing to do, particularly early, is
explore the ship and take photographs. If you want to take lots of photographs
of public rooms, or you actual want to take pictures of yourself
on the ship, do it early on because most people are going to get on
the ship go to the buffet and then go to their cabin ,so explore
the ship when it’s pretty empty and you’re likely to have lots of good open spaces
to take pictures. Once the cruise is in full swing and everybody’s on
board, you’re going to find it difficult to get great pictures of empty
spaces to show people, around the pools and the bars are always
going to be busy, so taking photographs
early on an embarkation day is a really great idea. It also means you can start
sharing those with all your friends and family and make them jealous as well!
Another key thing to do on embarkation day is, of course, go to the
muster drill. This is mandatory and most cruise lines will take a roll call, and
if you don’t go to the muster drill you are likely to be refused to sail. Although,
normally what they do is make you go through a muster drill
separately, but you must go to the muster drill because you if you don’t do it
you’re not going to be able to sail. These are the ways that I make my
embarkation day run smoothly and be much less stressful. It means I can
enjoy my cruise vacation straight away. I have many more videos of cruise tips and
advice, so why don’t you watch another one of those videos right now?

19 thoughts on “9 Cruise Embarkation Day Watch-Outs, Tips and Tricks

  1. Great tips! Love your channel!

    For those going fishing in Alaska:
    If you're going on a fishing excursion in Alaska and you want to take your own equipment, six inch needle-nose pliers make it through security, but nine inch needle-nose pliers get confiscated at the Seattle cruise port. The scanners picked both of them up in our bags and I haven't seen my lucky nine inch pliers since. My bad ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. You may want to schedule your specialty dining online before the cruise. Your selected dates may be full before you even get on the ship.

  3. Great tips๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ
    Have you done a video about tips of the monetary kind? I know it's a controversial subject but I'd like to know what the general feeling is about people from the UK who remove gratuities and don't ever tip. Would you advise they shouldn't cruise if they arn't prepared to tip at all.

  4. Please please how can I apply job in crews line can Pakistan apply or not anyone help me I have 6 year experience in restaurants and hotel

  5. I agree with eating in the dining room that first day. This helps me to relax after traveling the day before and getting through embarkation!

  6. I only arrive one day early when I travel during the heart of the winter season. I was so tired being rip off by the hotel's that were close to the Ports $250.00 and more for a one night stay!!! Never had a problem yet but I do fly out of a hub airport!!!

  7. I have booked to sail on the sun princess Singapore to Vancouver in April/May 2021 and would like to hear from anyone who has sailed on this ship recently as a lot of the reviews I have read have been really bad and now Iโ€™m very concerned as we are going to be on this ship for 29 days

  8. Gary, I have heard if you miss the mandatory 30 min Safety drill, you get your very own, personalized one hour drill??!!

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