As all seasoned cruise lovers know, it pays to arrive to your cruise port city early. Like – the day or night before early. There are several reasons for this, so let’s take a look at seven of them below.
1. Flight Delays
This is probably the number one reason to always try to arrive to your cruise port city early, preferable the day before. Flight delays are extremely common, and if you don’t have travel insurance, can prove especially disastrous for a cruise vacation. If you book your flight for the night before, you can rest more assured knowing that even if your flight is delayed or cancelled, you have all night and the morning to get it straightened out, and have a better chance of making it to your cruise pier on time. The lesson here: fly in the night before, and consider buying trip insurance.
2. See the City Sights
If your departure city is particularly interesting to you, especially if you’ve never been – don’t you want to explore it? No one ever said homeports have to be boring, and many prove to be quite the little destination in and of themselves. If you get there a few days early, you can explore before you board your ship for other exciting locales. It’s like a mini vacation before your cruise vacation!
If you’re flying, driving, riding, etc. in from far away, chances are that just your travels will tire you a bit. Instead of boarding a ship already worn out and exhausted, you want to be energized and excited for your getaway! Getting to your embarkation city a day or two early gives you a chance to rest up in your hotel for the fun ahead, as well as adjust to any time zone changes.
4. Luggage Issues
Going along with possible flight problems/delays is luggage issues. If the airline temporarily misplaces your luggage, or it accidentally ends up on a plane that went halfway across the country, you’ll want some buffer time to get it straightened out. The sooner you arrive in your destination, the better chance you have at getting your lost luggage back in time for embarkation, or buying new essentials if necessary.
5. Pick Up Forgotten Items
You arrive at your pre-cruise hotel, only to realize you left your ever-important power strip at home – and your toothpaste! While all cruise ships do have toothpaste for purchase, you’d better believe you’ll be paying twice or three times as much for everyday essentials like that onboard. If you get there the night before, you have time to notice what you might’ve forgotten, and a chance to run to the store before embarkation time the next day to get it.
6. Watch Sailaways
One fun thing that cruise buffs love is watching ships sail away. Whether or not you’re onboard, (although it’s always better to be!) you still get great enjoyment out of watching that ship blow its horn and sail away into the big deep blue. If you arrive to your ship’s homeport early, you have a good chance of getting to see other ships sail away as well – and some potentially awesome pictures.
7. Local Eats
Foodies and regular lovers-of-food alike always enjoy finding new, yummy places to eat. Every city has a different cuisine-scape if you will, and it would be great fun to try to find some delicious eats that the locals rave about. We’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill chain restaurants and franchises here – we’re talking about local people with a passion for food that enjoy sharing it with their neighborhoods and travelers. Just look into it before you arrive in the city and we promise you – you’ll be able to find some winners.
Do you have any other suggestions for why you should arrive early? Let us know!