Call free 0800 197 8050 We are open today between 9am and 6pm

Home / FAQ / What Should I Expect At Check In And Boarding Is It Like At The Airport

Find Your Perfect Cruise

What should I expect at check-in and boarding? Is it like at the airport?

Checking in and boarding for your cruise is similar to what you would experience at the airport, however, this can vary from port to port and the time taken can also vary depending on how many people are travelling.

On-line check in is available for your cruise around 2-3 days prior to departure. Although this is not compulsory on all cruise lines it is highly recommended that you do complete this before travelling to speed up the boarding process on your embarkation day.

Your cruise tickets will also display an embarkation time. It is recommended that you to arrive at the time given, as any time before this, the ship will not be ready for guests to board and any time after may also result in further delay. Depending on your cruise line, there will also be a cut off time whereby all guests must be on board or you may not be allowed to travel, so being punctual on embarkation day is a must.

On first approach to the cruise terminal you will be greeted by a porter who will take your luggage from you and place it into large bins. These bins will then be transferred to the cruise liner and delivered to your cabin. If you have been designated a cabin number before travelling you will be given luggage tags to attach to your luggage which include details on your selected cabin number. If you do not have these or have misplaced these before travelling, these are available from staff dockside.

The next stage is exactly the same as at an airport, you will proceed through security regulations including an x-ray machine and metal detector and then onto the check in desk. It is advised to have all travelling documents completed and ready to hand over before this stage as it will hurry the process along. If not, the staff member can assist you with this at the check-in desk. At this point along with your passport and travelling documents, you will be asked to fill out a short health questionnaire and also display a credit card. A copy of this will be made and used for any purchases and spend made whilst on board.

Depending on your arrival time, you may be able to continue on and walk straight on board. If you have arrived slightly early then you may be asked to take a seat in one of the embarkation lounges and be given a number/letter which will be called when it is your time to board. Once this has been called, you will be shown where to board your cruise ship. As you enter, you will be greeted by a member of staff and in most cases given some sort of map and an indication of where your cabin is located. This is sometimes easier said than done, but staff members are available throughout the ship so please ask for assistance if needed. On entering your cabin, your luggage will either already be upon your bed or will be delivered shortly after your arrival.

For any more information on Embarkation Day then please call our Cruise Experts on 0800 197 8050.

Platinum Trusted Service Award 2021

Average Customer Rating: 4.9/5Independent Service Rating based on verified reviews.Read all reviews
Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award

Booking was made easy and were very helpful during that process.

Booking with CruiseKings was made easy and staff were very helpful and answered any query made. They were very good in ensuring the booking was as I wanted and explained everything fully. This is my first booking with this company and so I cannot comment on the actual holiday until later. Hopefully this will go ahead without too much trouble or restrictions. I also think that you can only really know how good a company is by how the deal with any problems that may arise. Hopefully my holiday will be plain sailing with no issues.

Mrs Brown / June 2021

Was delighted with the customer care I received from Melissa! Explained everything very comprehensively and gave some great advice.

Mrs Brogan / June 2021


Really pleased with the holiday purchase. What made the experience so good was the holiday rep, Heidi. A real fountain of knowledge, explained the various options that were available to us. Would have to say without all her knowledge and patience, we probably would not have booked.

Mr Martini / June 2021

Read All Reviews

Speak to a Cruise Expert

Book With Confidence