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Tips for a Low-Stress Embarkation Day

by | Mar 29, 2024

Embarkation day is all about your transition from home to your cruise ship.  Remember that this is a very busy day for the ship’s crew as they have spent the morning taking care of all the departing cruise guests and with a small break, are now working to prepare the ship for you and all the guests sailing with you.  While we cannot eliminate all the stress of this exciting day, here are some tips to help you avoid some difficult, stressful situations on embarkation day.

Complete all check-in requirements prior to embarkation day

Smooth your way through the cruise terminal security and check-in by completing all possible check-in requirements on the cruise line app prior to your embarkation day.  By entering passport information, selecting an arrival time and getting your picture loaded you can avoid slow-downs during in-person check-in.  Don’t forget to complete the health screening within 24 hours of embarkation!  

Designate a person/place to manage your important documents

The most important part of embarkation is your passport or birth certificates and ID.  Designate one person (or one pocket of your personal travel bag) to keep all the documents together, ensure there is a document for each traveler and verify that no passports are expired.  When you arrive at the cruise terminal, you will have all the documents ready for the check-in desk!  This can also be helpful at some cruise terminals such as Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) as there are security stations into the general cruise area that require you show your passports before your transportation can drop you off at the ship’s terminal.

Important note about Passports:  Passport expiration requirements can vary with different countries.  If you aren’t sure of the requirements of your destinations, we recommend the following general rule:  Your passport expiration must be at least 6 months after the return date of your vacation.

Pack a Day Bag

Keep essential items together in a backpack or shoulder bag such as passports, travel documents, cash for tips and essential medications. Your day bag ensures you have important items with you until your room is available and your luggage has been delivered.   Some families like to head right to the pool, so the day bag works great for swimsuits and sunscreen for pool time!  This bag is also helpful for carrying essential items when you leave the ship for excursions.

Check your luggage with the porter

One of the things that can make embarkation onto the cruise ship a bit hectic is trying to juggle all your luggage.  We recommend using the provided cruise luggage tags and dropping your large bags with the cruise porters before heading through the cruise terminal check-in. This can be especially helpful if you are traveling with children or anyone who needs assistance. IMPORTANT:  DO NOT pack your travel documents in your tagged luggage, keep them in your day bag.  You want to keep your ID and travel documents with you!   Additional tip:  If you are flying to your cruise, you will want to wait until you land at your destination to attach the cruise luggage tags.  I like to get a piece of wax paper and put strips of tape on it so I don’t have to worry about carrying tape or a stapler to attach the luggage tags after my flight.

Connect to the ship Wi-Fi as soon as you Board

Finding your way around the ship can be frustrating, especially if this is your first time to cruise the ship.  We recommend you find an out of the way area to stop and pull up the ship’s app on your phone.  Connect to the ship Wi-Fi and you will have access to the deck plans, available restaurants for grabbing lunch as well as the location of your stateroom and muster station. 

Safety Video and Muster Station

One of your first tasks is to complete the safety video or demonstration, then head to your muster station.  Many cruise lines have the safety video on their app and will mark you complete after the video finishes.  After the safety video, use the app to find and check-in with your muster station.  The app will also give you all the necessary instructions for completing any safety requirements, which must be completed by all passengers before the ship can set sail. 

Storyline Travel keeps in touch with you from booking to sailing to help you with all the necessary details of your cruise!  We are available to answer any questions so that you can relax and have a spectacular journey!

Bon Voyage!

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