Guest Author - Aaron Kirley
Avid cruisers know from experience that not all cruise ports are created equal and the port can have a significant impact on the embarkation and debarkation processes. Long lines, stress, confusion, lost luggage, and chaos are signs of a poorly run port.
My very first cruise was from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and it took over 2 hours from the time I entered to the port until I reached my stateroom. My second cruise was from the port of San Francisco, California with the same cruise line and I went from port to stateroom in less than 30 minutes. There are numerous factors that influence the ease of embarking your vacation cruise line. Cruise ports are responsible for coordinating efforts between logistics, security, customs, provisions, and much more. As a passenger it is important that you know the specific procedures, protocols and regulations that are enforced by your embark port.
In an effort to educate the crowds of cruise passengers the ports have started launching excellent web sites to help passengers move in and out of ports in a more organized fashion. These 5 tips will help you sail through embarkation on your next cruise:
Details – What is the name, phone number and address of the port?
Transportation – Have you arranged transportation to the port from the airport, train station, hotel, or simply driving directions from your home and when you get there where will you park, where is the best drop off location?
Luggage – How will you get your luggage on the ship? Does your airline have baggage allowances (most do these days). Does your luggage need special tags with your name, reservation, address, and cruise line? If you’re forwarding your luggage, have you made arrangements to have it delivered at least 24 hours before you debark?
Documentation – What documentation is required to enter the port? Do you have your booking reservation number, the name of your cruise line and ship? Do you need a passport? Do you have a birth certificate for your children?
Many cruise lines can provide you with all the information you need to embark on your trip. Most of this is common sense for a seasoned cruise but if you’re preparing for your first cruise then these simple steps will help you prepare for a relaxing start to your vacation.