How to check in for a cruise ship at the port

Is it the first time you go on a cruise and you don't know what the boarding, check-in will be like? If doubts assail you, don't worry. We tell you what are all the steps to do it online and also in the port, so you can choose the way that suits you best.

We start with check-in at the port, which may vary a bit depending on the size of the port itself or the shipping company, but more or less all follow the same procedure.

Check-in at the port

In the port, ground staff from the shipping company will attend you, this means that later you will not find them on the ship. They are in charge of boarding and disembarking. The first thing they will do is pick up your suitcase (s) and label them with your cabin number, and give you the health questionnaire that you will have to deliver at the counter.

Already without suitcases, only with the carry-on, you will have to go to the terminal, where a Security control and the shipment itself. There are express boarding gates for people with certain cabins or have a membership card, for example.

When you arrive at the counter you will have to hand over the documentation From the trip:

  • The cruise ticket
  • Passport of each one and / or family book, if you are traveling with minors.
  • Health questionnaire
  • Credit card number and authorization to charge your expenses on board. There are shipping companies that also accept a cash deposit of about 200 euros per passenger, but the most common is that they only ask for the credit card and you are the one who actively asks about the cash deposit.

Almost always, at this time they take a picture of you, which is printed on your security card. The one that helps you to be identified at all times, access your cabin and other areas according to the type of cabin you have selected and pay the expenses, you do not need to carry your credit card. It is on this card where tips will also be charged if they are not prepaid. To have more information about this whole topic of tips, I recommend that you read this article.

Once you have your card, you can access the boat. As simple as that.

Online check-in

All shipping companies allow you to check-in online, this without prejudice to the fact that you want to do all the steps in the port. What is achieved by bringing your own printed labels, is a greater agility in queues, but you really have to expect them more or less the same.

As If it changes according to the shipping company, it is the advance time with which you can check-in through the web, and until how long before the ship leaves. For example, MSC Cruises closes electronic check-in 48 hours before the cruise departure, Holland America Line lets you do it up to 90 minutes before departure, Pullmantur asks you to complete check-in 7 days before departure, and Costa Cruises gives you a maximum date up to 24 hours before departure to do so. Check well how long your shipping company leaves you.

The online process is simple, and in it you only have to fill in the personal data of each passenger, and those that you already have in the reservation itself.

Port security

As we told you at the port terminal, you will also pass a security check. Read well the instructions that the shipping company has sent you about the items that are prohibited or that you cannot bring on board, such as if you can upload packs of water, soft drinks or bottles of wine and cava. This is set by each shipping company.

But globally there are a number of objects that are considered dangerous and that they cannot be carried either in hand luggage or in checked luggage. For example: explosives, ammunition, fireworks or flares; flammable gases, liquids or solids; poisons; spontaneous combustion substances; oxidizing substances; radioactive materials.

Related article:
Prohibited items, which cannot be loaded, on a cruise

They also apply certain restrictions to medicines, toiletries, dry ice, oxygen or carbon dioxide bottles for medical use, or ammunition for hunting weapons.

And well, now you just have to get on board and enjoy the trip.

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