Carnival Cruise Embarkation – Port Canaveral

I shared this past Fall all about the embarkation. Well, things changed majorly in the past month so I’m sharing all the new details as well as keeping it with the port this time. As I’m not positive on the other ports new policies this is all about my experience getting on the ship at Port Canaveral/Orlando Florida for Carnival Cruise Lines.

Getting on the ship is the most exciting experience, and I am loving the updated way we go about this as it got me on the ship faster! Not to mention I have some fun videos for you. My hotel shuttle dropped me off in what looked like a parking garage on the outside, I actually think it is but the bottom was being used for your luggage carts. I always recommend taking a picture of your bags just in case, so as soon as I departed my shuttle I snapped a picture and tipped the Magic Men that took my bags to the carts that end up getting on the ship. I call them the Magic Men because they are the ones that literally make sure that your bags make it on the ship and then some of the crew take over and make sure that they are dropped off at your door all on the first night. Because of this not all of the elevators will be available the first day, usually for me it’s the mid ship ones.

Make sure that you have your boarding pass printed! It’s kind of like boarding a plane but way easier and laid back. After you get your boarding pass checked you are then allowed to walk up the winding ramp. In our case we took the elevator around the side due to having a handicap person in our party. As I stepped off the elevator you are reunited with the winding ramp line and sorted into three categories. Early, Late or On Time. You see, when you sign up for the cruise you also sign up for a boarding time now. I was about an hour early due to my hotel shuttle time but that didn’t seem to be an issue as I was on the ship in less than 10 minutes. There are no cameras or video taping allowed at this point, which is just like in an airport.

As I got to the front of the Early line, I did notice that they were taking those that were Late and On Time before taking my line. I have no issues with that, after all, I was early. There were only a few people there so it was literally only 2 minutes. I then got called to a kiosk where this wonderful Carnival employee scanned my boarding pass and checked my passport. Easy and simple. From there I was headed to security and bag check. It is literally like going through TSA but without taking your shoes and jacket off. The line moved really fast and before you know it I was on the 2 minute walk past lots of waving employees and up to the ship. That’s it! No waiting, no sitting, no playing on my phone for an hour. I was officially on vacation!
As you take your first steps on the gangway your boarding pass is scanned again, just as your sail and sign will be anytime you are at port. Speaking of sail and sign, your keys are now at your door to your cabin, or tree mail as my family calls it. I’m not actually a big fan of that part but it did work for me without an issue. They are in a sealed envelope as soon as you get to your room and if there is any tampering with that envelope go straight to guest services in the lobby! I did prefer to get my sail and sign on land but if this helps speed up the process then I’m all for it.
You are encouraged to go to lunch on the lido deck right away. Your rooms are not ready yet and this gives you time to get your bearings, explore the ship and check out all of the food options. The dining room is not open on embarkation so the buffet is the only option. The Sunshine actually had something pretty cool in the back of the lido deck, two of the restaurants Italian and Asian transformed for lunch and were free! During dinner they are an additional charge. It was fun trying the build your own pasta as well as the stir fry but my heart was always with the pizza.

Going on a cruise soon? Hopefully this helped! Have a blessed weekend y’all!

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