Documentation - Before you arrive at the ship for embarkation make sure you've filled out the online registration with your cruise line. If everything is taken care of it will speed up your boarding process. Most importantly - don't forget your passports!!
Luggage and a Carry On Bag - When you arrive at the cruise terminal luggage handlers will be taking your bags from you to be delivered to your cabin at a later time that day. With your cruise documents (most cruise lines provide only online documents to be printed out) you'll have luggage tags with your information and cabin number to attach to all your bags. Since these are paper and easily rip off - I suggest you laminate them at home (clear packing tape works too!). Since you'll be without your luggage until later in the day - pack a carry on to take on the ship with you. Be sure to pack any valuables, electronics, medications or anything you may need until you receive your luggage. Since you may have to wait a while before your cabin is ready - I suggest a backpack or something that's easy to move around the ship with.
Get a Drink - Once you board the ship get in vacation mode and order the drink of your choice! Even if it's a virgin pina colada - nothing says vacation more than an umbrella in your glass! 😉
Eat Lunch - The cruise lines always have a welcome aboard buffet. This area is usually very busy as all the passengers are fueling up before they can move into their cabin. Some ships also have some of their other restaurants open during this time. If you don't like the first day crowds, this may be worth looking into!
Reservations - If you didn't sign up online for spa reservations, shows or speciality restaurants - this is the time to do so, as popular times will fill up. Sea days are especially popular for spa appointments and fitness center classes! If you have the kids along, you can also visit the kids' clubs to sign up for activities and babysitting.
Dining Room Changes - On the first day, the maitre' d or dining room manager/staff are usually available. If you didn't receive the dining time or table size you prefer - find the dining room and make your requests for changes.
Explore the Ship - This is a great time to check out the ship and find your way around! The fitness center, spa, kids club and all the areas will be open and hosting tours. It's always exciting to tour your ship for the first time! With "move in" day the elevators are normally extra busy - if possible I suggest you take the stairs (and you can earn that extra dessert! 😉 ).
Unpack - After your luggage arrives and you've found your stateroom, it's time to unpack. Even though most cabins aren't the size of hotel rooms - there's an abundance of storage. You'll be able to unpack everything and easily find space for all your stuff (and stash your luggage under the bed). It will feel good to be unpacked for the week!
Muster Drill - Be sure to check the daily schedule for the muster drill time and your meet up location. It's mandatory so you don't want to miss it! Also - you need the selfie of you in the life jacket! 🙂
Sail Away - One of the best parts of your first cruise day is sailing away! Find a spot you want to soak in the view from or enjoy on your own balcony. Relax and enjoy the first day moments of your cruise!
What's your routine on the first day of your cruise - I'd love to hear! Thanks for reading and sharing!
Until the next adventure - bon voyage!