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Cruise Checkin

Cruise Tips that can make checking in easier.


cruise checkin

When you pull up to the cruise terminal, the first contact you’ll need to make is with the baggage handlers. Likely, you will be able to pick them out from the crowd, running around feverishly in their brightly-colored, tropical ‘hula shirts.’

These folks are trained to be able to quickly and effectively unload and carry away any baggage that you wish to check (be sure you’ve already put those luggage tags on!). Of course, it’s smart to hand-carry certain things onto the boat, like jewelry, cameras, a bag containing enough clothing and toiletry items for the first night (just in case those bags don’t show up quickly), etc. Don’t forget to tip these baggage handlers – the future of your luggage is in their hands.

With most of your luggage out of your car and on its way to the ship, the next thing is to get the car parked. At some cruise terminals, this simply means driving into an elevated parking area that is part of the cruise terminal, parking, and taking the elevator downstairs to the boarding area. Other terminals may have parking next to the terminal. Others still will have parking within the close vicinity of the terminal, where you will drive your car to, and then be ferried back to the cruise terminal by bus. If this is the case, you may want to leave everyone but the driver at the cruise terminal; that way only the driver has to take the bus back. Before you leave the car, make sure you have everything you need for the trip – especially your passports, photo ID’s, wallets/purses, and any necessary medicines. This is not a bad time to run through your packing checklist one more time. You can get a simple, free Cruise Packing List here.

Now that the car’s put away, it’s time to get your bunch onboard. One cruise terminal may handle things differently from another, but generally speaking, this process involves waiting to speak with a specialist behind a counter, who will want to see, among other things, your cruise tickets, passports, and a credit card.

Once you’re through at the counter, there may be another small wait until you can begin boarding. If you’ve sat down somewhere in the meantime, don’t forget any of your belongings when you’re called to board. And be sure that you’re looking your best – there’ll probably be a photo opportunity on the way into the ship! This will likely be the first of many times you’ll encounter a photo set while on your voyage. The wonderfully different thing about taking photos on a cruise ship vacation is that you get to have as many pictures taken as you like, free of charge, until you choose to buy. Every night on board, you simply go to the Photo Shop, find and look over your pictures which will be displayed on racks there, buy any that you want to keep, and throw away the rest! So, needless to say, the photographers on board work very hard to get your photos perfect – if you don’t like it, you don’t spend a dime on it.

With your first photos out of the way, it’s time to board that ship!

Next: Tips for those first hours aboard












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