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Making the Most of Embarkation Day

Explore the ship and get organized: Depending on when you board, you may not be able to access your cabin right away. Instead, grab lunch in the buffet restaurant, and be sure to book spa services, specialty restaurant reservations and popular shore excursions as soon as possible. Most cruise lines now offer pre-booking options online.


Muster/Safety drill: These drills are the adult cruise version of school fire drills, where passengers and crew practice the steps they'd take in an emergency situation, such as putting on life jackets and assembling in assigned areas. The drills take place just before the ship sets sail. Your attendance is mandatory, and you should take it seriously. Be forewarned, crew members do come around to check that people are not still in the cabin.

Visitors at the pier: While friends and family are welcome at most piers to see you off, for security reasons only cruise passengers are allowed to board the ships. This applies at ports of call as well.

Check out the ship's daily newsletter: Want to know about the port you're about to visit, what the show times are, what lectures are being held the next day or even what the drink of the day is? It's all in the ship's newsletter which is typically slipped under your door each evening (for the next day's events). A newsletter detailing embarkation day activities will be in your cabin when you arrive.

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