How Long Does It Take to Check-in on a Cruise Ship?

By Anna Duncan

Cruise ships always offer a great way to get away. One of the best parts about a cruise is the ease of boarding and check-in. You can have your entire vacation planned out in one place, with no hassle. However, it’s important to know how long it takes to check-in on a cruise ship so that you can plan accordingly.

How Long Does It Take to Check-In on a Cruise Ship?

The answer depends on several factors, including the size of the ship and the number of passengers that need to be checked in. Generally speaking, it takes between 30 minutes and an hour for guests to complete their check-in process. This includes verifying identification and personal information, collecting your key cards, completing paperwork, and getting ready for embarkation.

If you’re arriving at the port with bags or other items that need to be checked in, this process may take longer. Many cruise lines offer online check-in prior to arrival which can help make the process faster. Additionally, if you’re an experienced cruiser who has sailed with the same line before, you may be able to bypass some of the paperwork since your information will already be stored in their system.

Another factor that affects how long it takes to check-in is whether or not you have purchased any shore excursions or spa services before boarding. If you have pre-booked any activities or services for your cruise beforehand, this will add additional time onto your check-in as these items must be verified and processed upon arrival at the port. Additionally, if you plan on using onboard credit during your vacation (which many people do), this must be verified as well when checking in.

It’s important to remember that while check-in times may seem long at first glance – especially if there is a large amount of passengers – they are necessary for safety reasons and ultimately help ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience during their cruise vacation.


Checking into a cruise ship can take anywhere from 30 minutes up to an hour depending on a variety of factors such as size of ship and number of passengers needing checked in. Pre booking activities or services for your cruise beforehand can add additional time onto your check-in process as those items must be verified upon arrival at the port as well as verifying any onboard credit being used during vacation time too. Safety regulations are necessary for everyone’s enjoyment during their cruise vacation so it is important to remember this when planning out your trip!