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Cruise Tips: What to Expect on Embarkation Day

If you're reading this article, then most likely your cruise vacation date with Norwegian is quickly sailing your way! Embarkation day is very exciting and involves a lot of moving parts as guests check in and board, luggage is delivered to staterooms, and you get settled in and explore the ship. One of the many great things about sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line is that they have worked hard to ensure that the embarkation process goes as smoothly as possible.

Consider this article your checklist to prepare for embarkation day.

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Preparing For Your Cruise
Preparing For Your Cruise

Preparing For Your Cruise

Before you even leave home to travel to your departure port, there are steps you can take to help ensure your embarkation day is a breeze. Learn what travel documents are required for your cruise — doing so as early as possible is best to give yourself time to replace any missing required documents. Unsure if you packed correctly for your vacation? No problem. Check out Norwegian’s packing list to make sure you have everything you need. Remember that checked bags will appear later in the day outside your stateroom, so please pack a carry-on bag with anything you might need before your luggage is delivered.

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For the smoothest boarding process, Norwegian strongly recommends online check in through your My NCL account before arriving at the pier. Downloading Norwegian’s mobile app is also a must before you board! With the app, you can prebook your onboard activities, dining reservations, shore excursions, and entertainment. Then once on board, you can use the communications feature to chat with other guests on board, see daily schedules for what’s happening on the ship, view your account, and much more.

Arriving At The Cruise Terminal
Arriving At The Cruise Terminal

Arriving At The Cruise Terminal

When you check in online, you can select your arrival time. However, if you do not check in beforehand, then Norwegian recommends arriving at the cruise terminal after 12 pm and at least two hours prior to the scheduled departure time.

If you're arriving at the terminal by car, then you will be directed to the baggage unloading zone where porters will help unload your checked bags. You will then be directed to the parking areas. If you're arriving by shuttle, you'll be dropped off near the front door and your checked bags will be unloaded. You can print out luggage tags ahead of time to secure to your bags. Have a little cash on hand since it's customary to tip porters.

Norwegian Cruise Line Embarkation Day
Norwegian Cruise Line Embarkation Day

Security & Check In

Upon entering the terminal, follow the signs and employees' directions to proceed through security and check in. After going through security (similar to airport security), you will then go to the check-in counter, regardless of whether or not you already checked in online. However, checking in ahead of time will greatly reduce the amount of time spent at the counter.

You'll need to have your confirmation printout, personal identification, and travel documents ready to show security and check-in counter workers. They will then give you a stateroom keycard, which will be your charge card for onboard purchases. At this time you'll be required to establish a payment method to set up your onboard account. Then it's time to board!

Cruise Embarkation Day Tips
Cruise Embarkation Day Tips

Willkommen an Bord!

Once you come on board, feel free to explore, lounge by the pool and savor your first lunch on the ship. Remember to have a carry-on bag with you in case your stateroom is not ready when you first board. After enjoying free time to discover all that awaits you on board, you'll need to report to a designated area for the Muster Drill, which is a mandatory safety drill. Follow employees' directions and listen closely as this drill provides important information should an emergency arise during the cruise.

After the drill is over, the real excitement kicks off with the Sail Away party where you can enjoy lively music and dancing. Wave from the top deck as the ship departs the port and you embark on the vacation of a lifetime!

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