31 Expert Embarkation Day Tips ALL Cruisers Need to Know!

Make the first day of your cruise a breeze with these 31 expert cruise embarkation day tips. With these insider secrets and hacks, you will be one step ahead of your fellow cruisers, and your first day will be smooth sailing!

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0:00 Introduction
0:52 What is Embarkation Day?
1:37 Complete Online Check-In Early
2:12 Make Pre-Cruise Purchases
3:14 Pick Cruise Embarkation Day Outfits
3:56 Arrive a Day Early
4:31 Print Luggage Tags
5:09 Arrive at the Terminal on Time
5:45 Upgrade to Expedited Embarkation
6:32 Check Larger Bags With Porters
7:11 Have Documents Handy
7:53 Pack Necessary Items in Your Carry-On
8:32 Bring Bottles of Wine in Your Carry-On
9:07 Avoid Packing Prohibited Items
9:45 Don’t Head to Your Cabin
10:21 Sign into Ship’s Intranet
11:00 Book Entertainment Reservations
11:33 Last-Minute Dining Reservations
12:12 Check the Daily Schedule
13:04 Complete Muster Drill
13:56 Skip the Buffet
14:31 Explore the Ship
15:17 Sign up Kids at the Youth Center
16:29 Take a Spa Tour
17:27 Find Your Table in the Dining Room
18:18 Unpack
19:11 Organize Your Stateroom
19:57 Meet Your Stateroom Attendant
20:22 Attend the Sail Away Party
21:07 Don’t Go Overboard
21:52 Put Cell Phone in Airplane Mode
22:35 Browse the Gift Shop

You want to ensure your cruise embarkation day is smooth sailing. To do so, planning begins before the first day of your cruise. Download the cruise line’s app and complete your check-in as soon as possible. With the app, make all your pre-cruise reservations, book shows, and other add-ons.

Once at the terminal, another embarkation day tip is to leave your larger luggage with the porters. This will make it easier to navigate the ship once onboard. However, do bring a carry-on with you on to the ship. On cruise embarkation day, this carry-on should include all your cruise essentials, two bottles of wine, and pack some musts like a bathing suit. Although, don’t pack prohibited items, like an iron or steamer.

Once onboard the ship, another embarkation day tip is to explore. While walking around, remember to take pictures and cruise embarkation day selfies! You’ll want to finish your muster during the first few hours onboard. Also, make sure you wrap up any last minute reservations. These could include dining reservations, show reservations, or booking other add-ons.

One cruise embarkation day tip you might overlook is getting a spa tour. This will help you know about deals and promotions in the spa.

At some point during the first day, we recommend you also unpack and store your bags under the bed. Packing cubes are a great aid in keeping all of your clothing organized. We always make it a point to meet our stateroom attendant on embarkation day as well, and you should do too.

Among other items to check off your to-do list on embarkation day is to check out the youth center with the kids. Cruisers should also attend the sail away party and put their phones in airplane mode before the ship sets sail!


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It's here your cruise embarkation day and honestly 
this might just be the most important day of the   Entire trip so whether you're new to cruising 
or a seasoned sailor this video is for you as   We have our expert tips and tricks to ensure 
your embarkation day is smooth sailing up next Welcome aboard Cruisers and a special welcome 
back to those eat soup Cruise subscribers now   The wife and I have been on over 65 cruises so 
that's plenty of embarkation days and in this   Video we share with you our expert Cruise tips and 
tricks to make sure embarkation day is Flawless   Now if you're completely new to cruising you might 
be asking yourself what exactly is embarkation day   Well the term Embark means the board of [ __ ] 
so essentially embarkation day is the first day   The ship is accepting new cruisers for the next 
Voyage on your cruise ticket or your itinerary   Embarkation daily mocked as day one and once all 
Cruisers are successfully on the ship it will set   Sail for its next destination or first Port 
of Call now that you know the lingo it's time   To dive into our cruise embarkation day tips and 
quite honestly to ensure you make the most of your   First annual Cruise you actually need to start 
planning weeks ahead of that special day first   Thing you need to do after booking your cruise 
is download the cruise lines app this will be   Essential once you board the ship with the app or 
the desktop version of the cruise Line's website   You need to complete your check-in process and you 
need to do this as soon as it becomes available   Most Cruise Lines let you check in about 30 to 45 
days prior to sailing the earlier you sign in the   Better embarkation time you'll receive during 
check-in you're able to select an arrival time   Load security photos of your travel party and 
complete other requirements like inputting your   Passport information but even before your check-in 
there are a few things you should probably do   Ahead of time which will save you plenty of 
time and headaches on day one of your cruise   Now we can't stress this enough before boarding 
the ship make sure to purchase any Cruise add-on   Among the additional cost not covered in your 
cruise fare are things like sharks versions   Dream packages Wi-Fi and Specialty dining while 
you may not need the packages almost all Cruisers   Have plans to do something while ashore at the 
different ports of call now you can book these   Pores directly through the cruise line or with 
local tour operators or even third-party retail   Now in full disclosure our first couple cruises 
we didn't know any better and we waited till we   Boarded the ship to book our shore excursions but 
we don't make that cruise mistake anymore waiting   Too long to book your sharks versions might lead 
to sold out tours and some disappointment same   Could be said about things like specialty dining 
or drink packages they're often cheaper pre-crews   And you have a greater selection of options 
finally if your cruise line allows you to pre-book   Entertainment reservations before boarding a ship 
you should definitely do that as well that gives   You one less thing you need to worry about on 
embarkation day think of embarkation day like   The first day of school which means you should be 
definitely planning your embarkation day outfits  

You want to ensure that you have a comfortable 
region appropriate outfit for that first of your   Cruise and to be completely honest the wife 
and I always plan something fun but function   It's okay to Don that loud Caribbean shirt 
God knows I have a closet full of them or   Wear matching t-shirts for the whole family 
after all you are officially now on vacation   Just make sure the outfit fits the destination 
if you're cruising to Alaska shorts and a t-shirt   Probably won't cut it likewise you'll probably do 
a good amount of walking and standing during your   Cruise embarkation day so you'll want comfortable 
Footwear being home ported here in Boston means   Oftentimes we need to hop on a plane to get to our 
cruise departure point if you're like us then we   Strongly encourage you arrive a day early we 
always fly in the day before our cruise and   This ensures there's extra time in case of travel 
delays or issues with Transportation you certainly   Don't need the added stress of writing the date 
of your cruise or Chance missing the ship due to   Flight cancellations while this has always been 
true it's more important now than ever before so   Let's all face it flying right now is a complete 
disaster plus arriving at the HomePort a day early   Means you get to start your vacation a little bit 
sooner unfortunately most Cruise Lines don't send   Luggage tags to your home anymore so you'll need 
to print and hear your luggish tags to your check   Bags we suggest you do this before you leave your 
house days before your cruise we are very fond   Of luggish tag holders to ensure the tags stay 
in place on our bags and we have a link to our   Preferred luggage tags in the description down 
below of course you can sample the Paper Tags   To your bags as well at your pre-cruise hotel 
either way make sure you have these in place   Before heading to the port again it will save you 
time and make boarding the ship more efficient   Since a cruise restart cruise lines have been 
enforcing Port arrival times so one cruising   Barrication day tip is to arrive at the terminal 
close to your poor arrival time long gone are the   Days that you can show up as early as you want 
get in line and be among the first on the ship   It is okay to get there a little early but 
not an hour or more early if you arrive too   Early you may be ushered into a separate line 
and made your way outside the terminal until   Your designated check-in time thus if you have a 
late arrival time don't rush to get to the port   If you want to get your vacation started soon as 
possible make sure to complete that pre-cruise   Process ASAP the snag in an early time if you 
miss out on those Early Times some Cruise Lines   Allow you to upgrade to expedited embarkation 
Royal Caribbean and convo Cruise Line both offer   Options with upgrades that include priority 
embarkation Royal Caribbean is the key is a   Program that includes several benefits and one 
of these perks is priority embarkation it also   Includes priority tendering and disembarkation 
along with internet and exclusive welcome lunch   Likewise carnivals faster to the fun allows 
guests the ability to be among the first on   The ship it also provides Priority Access for 
tendering and disembarkation among other parts  

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Now some individuals are amazing it can fit 
a week's worth of clothes in a small carry-on   But neither one of us are really that Savvy 
when it comes to packing and if you're kind   Of like us don't try to Lug those 50 pound 
suitcases onto the ship with you if you do   Have larger luggage you should definitely check 
it with the porters located outside the cruise   Terminal by doing so your bags will be delivered 
directly to your estate room prior to sail away   If you choose to take larger items on board with 
you just remember that you'll be responsible for   Them for the next several hours this means 
lifting them onto the security conveyor belt   Wheeling them up the gangway and lugging them 
around the ship until your cabins are ready   Trust us you don't want to do this even though we 
leave out larger bags with the porters we do bring   A carry-on bag typically a backpack or a tote 
bag on board with us during embarkation in these   Carry-ons we ensure we have some Cruise Essentials 
these include copies of our boarding passes even   Though we also have the additional versions along 
with receipts for any prepaid items like drink   Packages just in case paper copies are a great 
backup as your phone signal may be spotty in the   Terminal building you will also need your passport 
or other form of ID during the check-in process   Be sure this is on your person and not in the bag 
you just left with the porters so my itineraries   Might require other additional documentation 
beside your passport so have that handy too   Using the cruise Line's app during this process 
will definitely save you time having completed the   Health questionnaire and loaded your security 
photos ahead of time you can zip through the   Check-in process since you won't see your checked 
bags for a few hours you should also make sure   Your carry-on has some necessary items beyond the 
documents you just mentioned you'll want to pack   Other Cruise Essentials some things to include 
are any required medication Electronics like   Laptops or digital cameras and chargers for your 
devices it might be smart to pack some toiletries   Like toothpaste and a toothbrush or a hairbrush 
in case you need to freshen up and don't forget   Any Necessities for the kids we also bring a 
refillable water bottle used throughout the trip   Not to mention a bathing suit suntan lotion 
and sunglasses but don't worry you can leave   The beach towels at home there'll be plenty of 
those on the pool deck most Cruise Lines allow   Cruisers to bring two bottles of wine per cabin on 
board others like Carnival Cruise Line also allow   A limited number of non-alcoholic beverages check 
your cruise Line's website for accepted items then   Be sure to pack them in your carry-on bag if you 
pack the wine in your check luggage it might be   Confiscated by the cruise line do know that many 
Cruise Lines charge quarking fees for bottles of   Wine that you bring on board the ship so honestly 
you might not be saving as much money as you think   Along the same lines you want to check your 
cruise Line's website to ensure what items you   Can and cannot bring on board the ship this goes 
for both your carry-on and checked luggage don't   Try to bring anything on board that's prohibited 
by the cruise line as it will get confiscated and  

Could delay getting your luggage and your cruise 
boarding some of these items include bottles of   Liquor or other alcohol besides the two bottles of 
wine along with typical Contraband like Firearms   Or illegal substances most cruise lines also 
don't allow things such as irons Steamers and   Hot plates but again double check that Cruise Line 
website see what other items are not allowed on   Your particular cruise ship we get it you're 
super excited as soon as you board that ship   And you can't wait to see and do everything well 
resist the temptation to go to your stateroom   With odds are your cabin will not be ready most 
Cruise Lines do not allow access to staterooms   Until between 1 pm and 2 pm this gives the 
housekeeping staff time to clean and change   Over the rooms from the previous sailing again 
this is another reason checking your luggage is so   Worth it of note some cruise lines like Celebrity 
Cruises do allow guests to drop off carry-on items   But most do not with your manageable carry-ons and 
Tow it's now time to take care of any Loose Ends   Long before this Cruise you download the cruise 
lines app check so now you can sign on to the   Ship's Wi-Fi once you access the ship's Wi-Fi you 
will be able to use the app but you do need to   Purchase internet if you want to access external 
websites or social media or your email if you did   Purchase a Wi-Fi package it's worth setting up 
now as well depending on which wi-fi package you   Purchase you'll be able to check email surf the 
web post on social media and even stream movies   And music but even if you didn't purchase Wi-Fi 
the app will still be vital throughout the week   And may even come in handy in just a few minutes 
depending on the cruise line and Chip you may need   Reservations to see some of the shows if you're 
not able to do that pre-cruise you should do it   Right now the popular shows and ideal showtimes 
fill up quickly often there'll be a designated   Spot to book entertainment reservations like a 
box office or a kiosk in the Promenade some Cruise   Lines offer touch screens throughout the ship 
that let you book these shows as well or might   Even be able to claim your reservations right 
in the cruise lines app it doesn't hurt to ask   A crew member near the boarding point where and 
how you can make these reservations once you know   Take a few minutes to review the schedule and book 
those must-see Productions before they're all gone   With your show secured you should confirm 
any dining reservation if you have a dining   Package some Cruise Lines don't let you make those 
reservations until you're on the ship so now is   The time or you had a last minute change of heart 
want to die in a specialty restaurant or need to   Change a pre-cruise reservation we suggest you do 
that sooner rather than later on embarkation day   Typically by the end of the day most of the highly 
coveted dining times and restaurants will be full   If you're doing traditional dining and want 
to change a dining time you should also do   That early on embarkation most cruise lines have 
specific kiosks for such dining changes as well   There is no excuse for not knowing what's 
happening every moment on your cruise the   Cruise ship's daily schedule will actually become 
your best friend over the course of the week  

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This magazine lists all the day's activities 
events dining times entertainment and live music   Throughout the ship often there are paper copies 
of the daily guest services or other venues like   The coffee shop although many cruise lines are 
doing away with leaving paper copies of the daily   In your estate room each evening but the good news 
is the daily is always in the palm of your hand or   Your pocket almost all Cruise Lines apps will 
provide the same information which is updated   Every day so before you head off to explore check 
out what events are on the schedule for that day   Some apps are better than others so it might 
take a few minutes to find where all the hours   And activities are listed but once you know 
you will be so thankful that you have the app   One Innovation the cruise lines develop where the 
cruise restart was virtual muster or sometimes   Referred to as an e-muster and seven in-person 
drawn out safety drill this new muster consists of   Two steps first Cruisers need to watch the safety 
video in the app or on your stay room television   After watching the video Cruisers can then 
check in at their muster station for a short   Life jacket demo and safety highlight briefing 
this process is efficient it's easy and it's a   Vast improvement over the old model however you do 
need to complete this mandatory muscle drill and   You should do it sooner rather than later if your 
cruise line doesn't have this technology or it's   Reverted to the dreaded in-person muster then make 
sure you know when and where to go for that brief   Once you board the ship hordes of people will be 
ushered into the same spot a buffet unless we have   No alternative option we always skip the buffet 
on embarkation day and you should resist the urge   To dine there too most contemporary Cruise Lines 
offer a variety of other casual dining options   These might include Tex-Mex shops cafes pizza 
parlors outdoor grills among other options   Some cruise lines also serve as sit-down launch in 
the main dining room on embarkation day again that   Daily schedule is going to come in handy it will 
indicate the times and locations of restaurants   That are open for embarkation day launch if 
the buffet is the only option you try to go   At off-peak times like later in the afternoon 
one of our time honored Traditions regardless   Of the cruise ship is to explore the ship on 
embarkation day hopefully you've reviewed the   Ship's onboard deck plans prior to boarding 
but now it's time to explore the ship in real   Life even if you skip some of our other Cruise 
embarkation day tips exploring the ship is a most   We even walk around ships we've already sailed 
on in the past just to re-familiarize ourselves   With the layout by exploring on day one you 
can get a general sense of where different   Venues are located or you might discover 
some different spaces you didn't know about   This will have you navigating the ship like a pro 
and staying one step ahead of everybody else once   Done you can grab your bathing suit and take a 
dip in the pool or get ahead of the crowds and   Use some of the popular amenities like the water 
slides for families embarkation day is also the   Perfect time to check out the youth center many 
ships offer several distinct kids and teens areas  

Throughout the ship these are often organized by 
age groups most Cruise Lines host a open house on   Embarkation day that gives you in your little ones 
an opportunity to meet the staff and walk through   The facilities even if you don't think your kids 
will use the kids club you might still want to   Have a look as some are quite impressive with 
video games board games arts and crafts and other   High-tech features Additionally you the parent can 
learn more about the services offered the hours of   Operation and your kids will receive a bracelet 
which will help staff in the case of an emergency   Now it's time to take plenty of pictures honestly 
this might be one of the rarest times that certain   Venues are not busy like the pool deck or 
Main theater so if you want certain pictures   We recommend taking them now we always spend some 
of the day taking pictures and videos of popular   Venues also don't forget some selfies in fact I'll 
welcome aboard drink selfie is all but mandatory   On any Cruise if you didn't purchase the Wi-Fi 
package just make sure to post them to social   Media before you sail away of course you'll want 
to show everyone back home how much fun you're   Already having on your vacation another place you 
should visit an unembarkation day is the spa in   Fact a spa tour is something we almost always 
do on the first day of a cruise again this is   The rare opportunity to check out this venue and 
the nearby fitness center with few fellow Cruisers   Spa Personnel will guide you through various 
rooms and describe the different treatment options   Available many newer ships also have a thermal 
Suite with experiences like a hydro pool sauna   Steam room and other relaxing spaces on many ships 
passes through the thermal suite and other Spa   Appointments book up quickly also there are often 
promotions for those who take one of these tours   Likewise Fitness fanax will want to check out the 
onboard gym and inquire about additional offerings   Most Cruise Lines offer group classes 
for a fee that also require reservations   The wife and I are big fans of traditional 
dining for those who are new to cruising   Traditional dining means you have the same table 
and wait staff any at a set time every evening so   If this is your dining arrangement we suggest an 
embarkation day taking a few minutes to find your   Assigned table in the main dining room if there 
are issues with the assignment now is the time   To speak up to the host or Hostess about changing 
it perhaps you prefer to sit at table at two let's   Have a large table without a guess or maybe you 
forgot to link guests from other staterooms to   Your travel party and you want to dine with them 
for Cruisers with flexible dining options now is   The time to make your reservations for tonight's 
dinner if you haven't already done so of note   Many cruise lines that offer these dine anytime 
options do allow Cruisers to pre-reserve time   Slots for the duration of the cruise and let's 
just say the first night in the main dining room   Can get a little chaotic so anything you can do to 
avoid the masses is highly recommended plus some   Cruise ships have multiple dining rooms that are 
spread out around the ship so if nothing else you   Can learn where these dining venues are located 
before heading to dinner on the first evening  

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Sooner or later your state room will be 
available and what it is you should find   Some time on embarkation day to unpack whether 
this is before the sail away party or before   Heading to dinner or even going to bed this step 
will help you get settled in for the rest of the   Week given the tight quarters of membership cabins 
it's not advisable to live out of your suitcase   You're going to need that valuable space in the 
room so unpack then store your larger bags under   The bag while it did take us a while to figure 
this out packing cubes can make this vacation tour   A whole lot easier you can simply unzip them and 
store these cubes on the shelves or in the drawers   You'll want to hang your formal outfits and other 
attire in the closet to reduce wrinkles not to   Mention if you forgot to pack something Now's the 
Time to find out you can always grab Necessities   Or other items at the first Port of Call instead 
of paying the high price tags on the ship once   You're unpacked another embarkation day tip the 
get your estate room organized you might want to   Rearrange the furniture by moving smaller tables 
and such out of the way we also recommend using   Magnet hang items like bags and hats given the 
walls of most cruise ship cabinets are metal this   Tip is a great space saving hack for Cruisers an 
over-the-door shoe organizer is another one of our   Space-saving hacks you can use this to store small 
items like sunglasses medications and toiletries   Fact we actually don't even use it for shoes 
further ice take out a spot that will double as my   Office for the week with the cruise line approved 
power adapter I organize all my electronics and   Associated Chargers in one central location during 
your cruise vacation your state room attendant   Will take good care of you so it's very important 
to meet him or her on the first day of the cruise   Normally the attendance will be around in the 
hallways eager to say hi if you had a chance   To unpack and look around your room already 
you can request any additional items you may   Need like extra hangers or towels plus you 
can let them know any of your preferences it   Will also likely ask about your dying times as 
well so they know when your room will be vacant   The official kickoff of any cruise is a 
sail away party this normally happens on   The pool deck somewhere around four to five 
PM depending on your ships expected departure   Grab a drink and a good rail position to enjoy 
all the fun from the dance party near the pool   To the coastline is a Ship Sails out of port 
maybe even at Sunset there's plenty to soak in   This Lively and energetic launch is something 
we never miss no matter how many cruises we've   Taken this is also first time you get to 
see the cruise director and the activity   Staff if you'd like to get involved these will 
be the people keeping the party going all week   We know you're very excited about your cruise 
vacation and temptations all around you but be   Sure to pace yourself first day of the cruise 
can feel hectic thus another one of our tips   Is to ensure you don't overdo it on the first day 
yes take advantage of the amenities enjoy a nice   Dinner check out the shows in live music and have 
a few drinks just remember though there are likely  

Six more days of your cruise if you want to enjoy 
a cruise vacation don't eat or drink too much you   Don't want to wake up sick or with a headache the 
next morning still we do recommend front loading   The cruise but you don't have to eat drink and do 
everything all the first day over the next couple   Days we suggest prioritizing the onboard amenities 
you want to try the most whether it's go-karts   Rock climbing walls a taste or food demonstration 
a dance class or whatever don't put it off until   The end of the week regardless of whether you 
purchase internet or not you'll want to put your   Cell phone in airplane mode once the ship set sail 
it won't take long for you to be out of service   And roaming once at sea if you're not careful you 
could rack up quite a bill with roaming charges   If you forgot to do it right away your provider 
might even send a text message advising you that   You're out of network you can still use the app 
and the ship's Wi-Fi with your phone in airplane   Mode just won't be able to access any of your 
cellular data check with your service provider as   Your reports of call may or may not be within your 
coverage area this could mean that you can take   Your phone out of airplane mode to use it while 
your ship is docked in a certain Port of Call   If you're like me and a cruise nerd you might 
collect items for your trips like ship models   Or t-shirts night one is the best time to snag 
them this is especially true if you're on a new   Ship I select items and clothing sizes 
sell all fast or this is true if you're   On any Disney Cruise Line ship the armboard 
shops will usually open once the ship's at   Sale so stopping in before or after dinner 
make your purchases is always a good idea   Of course if you have a change of heart or find 
something better later you can often return   The unused items for a refund just make sure to 
confirm the return policy before swiping your room   Key card if you're brand new cruising and still 
need more help don't worry we have you covered   Right here on YouTube we have our top Cruise tips 
for first time Cruisers there we help you navigate   The waters to learn more about the onboard 
activities entertainment dining how to save money   On a cruise plus more that video is a great place 
to start for those who have never taken a cruise   Or haven't taken a cruise in a while and it will 
help ensure your cruise vacation is smooth Sail