Cruise ships, while luxurious and exciting, can also be stressful. Knowing when to arrive before a cruise is essential so that you don’t miss your ship’s departure. The answer to the question of how early should you arrive to a cruise ship depends on several factors.
The time it takes for passengers to check-in and board the ship varies depending on the size of the port and the number of passengers embarking. If you are setting sail from a popular port such as Miami, Florida or New York City, then it is recommended that you plan to arrive at least three hours prior to your scheduled departure time. This will give you plenty of time to check-in, go through security, and board the ship.
For smaller ports with fewer passengers, two hours may be enough. It is best to check with your cruise line prior to arrival in order to get an accurate estimate of how much time it will take for you to check-in and board the ship.
If possible, try not to book flights that have an arrival time within 24 hours of your cruise departure. This will give you plenty of time in case your flight is delayed or canceled due to bad weather or mechanical problems. Additionally, if you are traveling with young children or elderly adults who may need additional assistance during boarding, then plan on arriving earlier than normal.
Knowing when to arrive before a cruise is essential in order for passengers not to miss their ship’s departure. Generally speaking, it is recommended that passengers plan on arriving at least three hours prior to their scheduled departure time when setting sail from a popular port such as Miami or New York City.
For smaller ports with fewer passengers, two hours may be enough.