December 6, 2018

Making the Most of the First Day of Your Cruise

There are a few tips and tricks to making the most of embarkation day – the day you board your ship and prepare to sail to an exciting destination. Here are some of our favorites:

ID, Independence of the Seas, Royal Promenade, public rooms, holiday decorations, Christmas tree, shopping, NOTE: This image was retouched to blur the ID of some passers-by; best to use wide view.

Dress casually and comfortably.

If your cabin is being cleaned, you may not be able to go there to change clothes right away (remember, your ship probably just returned from the previous cruise). Plus, you’ll check your bags at the dock and it might be a few hours before they are delivered to your cabin. So, unless you pack a change of clothes in a carry-on bag, you’ll be wearing your boarding outfit for a while. Dress comfortably and incorporate a layer or two so you won’t get too warm or too chilly.

BLISS TIP:  The spa/gym area have changing areas and showers if room is not cleaned or ready yet.


Make your reservations.

Boarding is a good time to order beverage packages; make reservations for shore excursions, specialty restaurants and spa treatments; and enroll the kids in any special programs. Then, take a dip in the pool or hot tub (bring a swimsuit in your carry-on bag), hit the gym, relax in a lounge chair or just walk around to get a feel for the ship.

Enjoy lunch.

When you board, some of the bars and restaurants will be open and ready to serve you. Lots of passengers will join the line at the buffet; if you’d rather avoid the crowd, ask if there are any other options for lunch. All of the restaurants and dining rooms will be open by dinnertime.

BLISS TIP: Skip the buffet and go to a main dining room for better service, well cooked food, & less crowds.

Go up on deck for the sailaway party.

It’s fun to enjoy live music and celebratory drinks with your fellow passengers as your ships sails away from port and toward adventure. Listen for the ship’s horn or an announcement that the ship is ready to leave: otherwise, you might not even notice the slight movement of the ship as you set sail.

Finally, don’t skip the muster drill.

It really is mandatory. All cruise ships must hold a muster drill within 24 hours of embarkation – it’s important to your safety. You’ll hear announcements before the drill and will get specific instructions on how to participate. Don’t try to hide out in your cabin; crew members check to make sure that all cabins are empty. Plus, passengers who attempt to avoid the drill may be dismissed from the ship.

For more tips about enjoying embarkation day, talk with Emily Jones, your personal cruise expert.