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What is the process of getting on a cruise?

It is crucial to be familiar with the boarding process of a cruise ship. Know about the process of getting on a cruise for hassle-free boarding.

By Cruise Booking Team

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The most crucial thing to get done after deciding on and planning a cruise holiday is boarding the ship smoothly and on time. The cruise line will send all the information on when to arrive at the port, giving a several-hour period to board the ship. It is important for you to determine how far is the embarkation port from your home and plan transportation according to it. Due to the large number of new passengers boarding and the large number of departing passengers, the boarding process can be lengthy. 

What Is the Procedure for Boarding a Cruise Ship?

The process of boarding a cruise ship is outlined below to help you ensure a smooth boarding experience.

1 - Get all the documents in order

It is one of the most important things to do as you must check whether you have all the required documents or not. Nothing is worse than discovering at the port that your paperwork is no longer valid or is missing. Print all relevant documents, including a cruise boarding card, so you can show them to the officials immediately. If you're taking the kids on a cruise, verify with both your airline and the cruise line to determine if a parental consent form is needed. If you've got a different last name than your children, you may need to present your child's passport and birth certificate to verify whether you are his or her parent.

2 - Log on to the website of the cruise line

Several weeks before the day of embarkation, cruise lines allow their passengers to formally check in for the ship. To do so, travelers need to create an account with a username and password and link their cruise loyalty number to the account to receive future credits. Being a loyal member of a cruise line can earn you a variety of attractive perks and rewards. Some cruise lines allow customers to take their security photos before reaching the port, saving them a lot of time by bypassing large lines. Some reservations, such as spa treatments, can be made up to a week before the cruise begins.

3 - Reach the port and drop off your luggage

Arrive at the port a day ahead of time and book a hotel to ensure that you do not miss your cruise. If you intend on flying on the day of departure, you can arrange shuttles from the airport to the ship via cruise line. When you arrive at the cruise terminal, contact a porter who will tag and mark your luggage while ensuring that it reaches its designated stateroom. Before arriving at the port, you can print the luggage tags that came with your cruise documentation and attach them to the bag.

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About Planning a Cruise

4 - Go through the security and check-in process

Before boarding the ship, travelers must go through a thorough security check at the terminal. Carry-on bags are thoroughly inspected, and passengers may be requested to complete a health questionnaire. After completing all security checks, a check-in process will be started, during which all relevant documents will be examined. Every traveler will be issued a cruise card, room key, and charge card. Depending on the arrival time, travelers have to wait in line at the check-in counter for a certain time. You can save time at the check-in counter by checking in online through the cruise line's website.

5 - Board the ship

Passengers can board the ship and proceed to their room once the check-in process is done. If the ship is not ready to accept new passengers, they may be guided to a waiting room. An announcement is made when the cabins are ready, and travelers can meet the steward assigned to them. Stewards can assist with reservations for specialty dinners, onboard activities, and shore excursions. Luggage will arrive many hours after boarding and can be delivered in the room or outside the front door.


Every cruise passenger has certain questions about the cruise ship boarding process. Starting the journey in the most pleasant manner possible will make the vacation much more memorable and enjoyable. To get a good start to the vacation, it is crucial to know the boarding process of a cruise ship, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience. Bon Voyage!

Tags: cruise lines

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