3 Reasons To Arrive Early In Your Embarkation City

It’s a question that has been tested and debated by cruisers for years – should I or should I not arrive in my embarkation port a day before my cruise? Not only has it been asked, but it has also been tested by many cruisers, some with successful attempts at making the ship and some not so much. So, in order to help you decide on your cruise port dilemma, here are 3 reasons why you should arrive in your embarkation city at least one day early.

Enjoy your pool's hotel by arriving a day early.

Enjoy your pool’s hotel by arriving a day early.

#3 – It’s More Relaxing

By arriving in your embarkation city early, you actually give you, your family, and your cruise companions time to sit back and relax. Once you land at your embarkation city’s airport or reach the city limits – there is no pressure to drive a questionable speed in order to make it to your ship. By arriving early, you have the chance to check into your hotel, go swimming in the hotel pool, go out shopping, and finish preparing for your cruise without the stress of a 3 pm “all aboard” time looming overhead.

#2 You Can Enjoy The City

Basically, you have the chance to extend your vacation by one day by touring your embarkation city. Whether you head to the beaches of Miami, Disney World near Port Canaveral, catch a Broadway show in New York, or even visit the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona – there is something to do or see in or near your embarkation port. Since you’ve given yourself the extra time in the city – go out and see it.

Check out the local sights by arriving a day early.

Check out the local sights by arriving a day early.

Editor’s Recommendation: If you’re departing out of Fort Lauderdale and arrive a day early, check out the port schedule online, and if there are cruise ships in port the day before you leave, head over to the jetty at John U Lloyd Beach State Park. The jetty is located at the northern end of the state park and offers awesome views of departing cruise ships.

If leaving the day of your cruise, all it takes is a delay of some sort, like a snow storm.

If leaving the day of your cruise, all it takes is a delay of some sort, like a snow storm.

#1 You Have  A Greater Chance Of Not Missing The Ship

By arriving a day before, you create an even greater chance of not missing your ship. If you decide to leave the day of embarkation, so many things can go wrong: a delayed flight, a cancelled flight, heavy traffic jams, etc. One flight delay or traffic jam could delay your arrival past the point of “all aboard.” By flying or driving in the day before, you create a buffer zone between your departure and embarkation. This buffer zone can handle delays and allows for you to work them out in order for you to make the ship. Too many cruises have been ruined by delayed flights and traffic jams. Don’t be the next horror story, fly or drive in a day early to ensure you make the ship, plus it allows you to enjoy the benefits of number 3 and number 2.

Photos: Mike Faust

Disclaimer: These tips are my own opinion and should be taken at your discretion. I am not responsible for any incident or occasion that may arise from following these tips.



Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.