What happens after we embark?

Nov 29th, 2006, 02:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 27
What happens after we embark?

Our embarkation time is 1pm for 9pm sailing on the Sapphire Princess. Apart from the obvious emergency drills and orientation tours what happens in between? Will we have access to all facilities? Is dinner served before we depart? Many thanks.
ozcruiser is offline  
Nov 29th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,098
Not specitic to this ship or this cruise - but the 1 PM time is when you can get on the ship, not when you must (check to see latest you should arrive if that is a relevant concern).

You will check in at some dock facility prior to boarding ship - they check passports, ID, etc. and give you cabin keys. You are then free to board ship. You will have access to your cabin, but your luggage willnot arrive for several hours - perhaps not even until ship is sailing.

There is often some sort of buffet lunch. Shops and casino may not be open, depending on local regulation.

What we do is check out the ship, dinner menu, and if our luggage arrives, unpack.
gail is offline  
Nov 29th, 2006, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
Yes, ship is "open" and meals served. But depending on where you are embarking, don't be in a rush to get on your ship if there is good touring available near the port.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Nov 29th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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We like to check out the ship and go up on deck for the sail away.
We prefer lunch in the dining room rather than the buffet. Some people don't realize there is usually a dining room available.
Nov 30th, 2006, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 371
Most ports, U.S. and foreign, will not allow the ships Casino or Stores to be open while the ship is in their port.

Here's a tip, seasoned travelers will often head first to the tour desk (if you'll be using their tours) to assure that they get the tours that they want. After you find your cabin, pick up the tours brochure and head to this desk to get a jump on the others and assure that you get the tours you want.

Most people spend this time looking around the ship, finding out where things are, how to get around, where their dining room is, putting awy luggage, unwinding in their cabin from the trip to the ship, etc.

Have FUN on your cruise!
Hold is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,020
Good advice from the others.

On the cruise we just completed a couple of weeks ago, we sailed from Acapulco, and for the first time we brought our luggage onboard, which was great because we could immediately unpack and get settled. We were picked up at the airport, boarded a large bus and were driven to the pier. When our luggage was unloaded it was given to us. There were porters available in the terminal, who took our bags to the gangway and then we brought it onboard. So you just kind of have to go with the flow as each situation may be different.

Regarding the suggestions above about shore tours, we booked ours online as soon as that option became available. No worries then about going to the Tour Office. Our tickets were in our cabin.
We also were on a Princess ship, so you will be able to do this on their website.

I frequently checked our reservation and discovered a couple of things that had to be changed. For example, the bed configuration was not what we requested so I was able to change it. Also our stateroom was changed without informing us, but fortunately we got it changed back to the one we specifically requested.

If you like taking pictures on your trips, it is a perfect opportunity to go about the ship and photograph the various public rooms, bars, casino, etc. without anyone around. I got some great shots on our recent cruise.

Have a great time!
Giovanna is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,612
We usually go to our cabin, drop some things off, read the abbreviated schedule of activities and go to eat lunch. Then we explore the various parts of the ship.

We usually prebook any tours before the cruise departs, so we don't need to go to the tour desk.

I know people that pack their swimsuits in a carryon bag so that they don't have to wait for their luggage to arrive before going to the pool. I guess this would depend on where and what time of year your cruise is, though.
chepar is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,663
Sallylouise, what a great tip:
"We prefer lunch in the dining room rather than the buffet. Some people don't realize there is usually a dining room available."

You're right, it never occurred to me before - I usually cruise with family members, and we love the dining room for breakfasts, especially that last day. I will pass this on to my dad, who really does not like buffets. Now he can board and go to the Dining room instead...thanks!

joan is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 375
Just be aware that not ALL cruise lines have the dining room open at noon of the day of embarkation.

Look over the program to see where food is being served. Many times they send boarding pax to those locations to eat while the cabins are being prepared.

Have a great cruise!!
Cruiser is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
On Celebrity, the dining room is not open for lunch during embarkation -- only the buffet.
Budman is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,663
OK then, Dad usually cruises Holland America...anyway, I will tell him he can check. They're one of the more formal lines, so maybe so...
joan is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 07:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 27
Thanks everyone for all your suggestions and comments. We get on in our home city of Sydney in January. It is now officially summer here and very hot! So the suggestion of packing cossies in our carry-on is great. We were going to eat before so definitely won't now. And I never would have thought to take photos of the empty rooms. We're going to New Zealand and haven't thought about the tours yet so will have to start reading and getting organised I guess. Thanks again - it's much appreciated!
ozcruiser is offline  
Dec 1st, 2006, 03:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
On HAL, the dining room is closed embarkation day. Just the buffet is open.
kfusto is offline  

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