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How to Check In for a Cruise?

Early check-in is important just after the booking. Know the right way of checking in for a cruise. It will ensure you have no last-minute hiccups.

By Cruise Booking Team

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Nobody wants to waste their valuable time at the port for check-in purposes. The embarkation process can take place somewhere between half an hour or more depending on the number of passengers on-boarding the cruise or the effectiveness of the entire process. Moreover, the cruise check-in process can become less stressful once you know the correct way of doing so.

How to Check-In for a Cruise?

Here is a list of things you need to go through to do proper check-in and set sail in a hassle-free manner.

Steps to Check-In for a Cruise

You must consider certain important guidelines before you check in for a cruise to have a seamless beginning of your cruise journey. Have a look at the following to know more:

Step 1: Carry Your Documents

The first and foremost step is to carry the required documents while setting out for sail. Many cruise lines make passports or government-registered birth certificates mandatory for the trip. Hence, consult them beforehand to ensure whether passports are necessary to bring or not. You will get a mail in advance with all the boarding documents you have to show when you get to the pier.

Next important thing is to have an appropriate travel visa which depends on the country you are traveling to. Cruises accept only cashless payments, so don’t forget to bring your valid debit or credit card for buying anything onboard. Some countries may require vaccination proof, hence carry that in case of any necessity. 

Step 2: Maintain Time of Arrival

Before arriving at the port, you should complete the pre-registration process and bring the boarding pass in printed form. It is always better to check in at least 2 hours and 30 minutes before the cruise departure. This is because if you arrive late, even by a few minutes, you will miss the chance to board the ship.

Mainly the cruises make it obligatory for passengers to arrive a minimum of 2 hours before the scheduled departure time. Follow it accordingly for a worry-less onboarding process. Arriving too late can result in being denied boarding.

Step 3: Complete Online Check-In

You can also check in via the cruise line's website to avoid unnecessary queues. There are different criteria for various cruise lines, but everywhere you have to open an account on the website if you are a first-time cruiser. Enter the personal information of yours and other members with whom you are cruising. Follow other instructions accordingly that appear on the website to make the final check-in.

Also Read: How early should I get to the cruise port?

Step 4: Put Luggage Tags for Security

Cruise lines will mail you the luggage tags that you need to print before cruising. These printed tags are required for putting them on checked bags. However, note that there is no need for tagging carry-on bags. Fix it properly on the luggage and make sure that it does not get off while traveling on the ship.

You cannot carry any prohibited items in your luggage for security purposes. Ships use X-ray machines for scanning bags just as in airports. In case of detection of any restricted items, you will go through an inspection by the security team.

Step 5: Do Final Boarding

Bring all your documents in printed and soft copy format for verification on the cruise day. After moving to the cruise terminal, you need to fill up a form to provide information regarding the health condition of the members with whom you are boarding the ship.

Once you clear all formalities, follow the instructions and click a picture of your cruise's ID. There can be a little queue at the terminal, so be patient to go through all the procedures appropriately.


To sum up, check in as early as possible, or else there is a high possibility of missing the cruise. Always bring your documents with you if you are asked to show them before boarding. You can even contact cruise experts in case of any further queries.

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