Embarkation Day Tips


Steph - Cruise with Amber

I thought it might be useful to compile some easy embarkation day tips for your cruise. On embarkation day, what’s the first thing you do after you board your ship? Most cruise passengers head for something to eat. But now is the time to take advantage of other areas of the ship while they are quiet. You’ll probably be able to grab a great deal too. Read on for some of my embarkation day tip for your cruise.

Head to your cabin

Head to your cabin to drop off any bulky carry-on luggage. Jettisoning the bulk can also leave you free to use the stairs and walk past all those embarkation day queues for the lifts. 

Your cabin steward might be preparing your cabin so just check with them if it’s to leave your bag while you wander around the ship. Any luggage is left at your own risk as the door may be left open and your cabin unattended. But remember you can still leave smaller items of value in the safe. 

Get your bearings on embarkation day

It’s always a good idea to visit your cabin whilst the corridors are quiet to find out where your accommodation is in relation to everything else.

From here you take a moment to find out what’s the best way to get to the main areas on ship – such as the atrium, the main lifts the kids club and the buffet. Working this out when the ship is relatively quiet will help you when you’re heading down for dinner later that evening.

Head to the pool

One of my top embarkation day tips for your cruise is to pack your swimming gear in your carry-on luggage. Head to your cabin first to pick up your pool towels and then head straight to the pool. As everyone else is in the buffet you’ll probably have the pool and hot tubs all to yourself for a little while.

Pick out a spot to watch the sail away

You might want to head down to the prom deck and pick out a good spot to wave the dockside away on embarkation day. You’ll need to attend your muster (safety briefing) before you sail away, but it’s good to have a particular spot in mind. This way you can bag a great view.

Pro Tip: The promenade deck can sometimes be quieter than the pool deck for sail away so don’t forget to check out this option too.

Head to the gym

The gym is going to be quiet on embarkation day. Head to the gym while it’s quest to have your pick of all the equipment, treadmills or cross trainers. Think about how good you’ll feel later on sipping your sail away cocktail knowing that you’ve already done your daily work?

Check out some books in the library

This is another place which is quiet on embarkation day. The librarian may already be on duty and you can take some books out.  This is a great embarkation day tip for your cruise as you’ll be one of the first in the queue to take out the popular lonely planet guides for all your ports. Or alternatively, you’ll have your pick of the top reads for your first sea day.

Register for the kids’ club

Obviously, you’ll only want to do this if you’re travelling with children. Registration sometimes opens early on embarkation day. This embarkation day tip for your cruise will help you skip the registration queues on the first evening. 

If you’re travelling with kids, head straight up to the kids’ club to check out the times and location for the first registration session. It will probably take place that afternoon in one of the main live music venues on P&O cruises. While you’re there, don’t forget to pick up a copy of the kids club cruise programme too

Collect your sail away drink voucher

If you are on a loyalty tier which rewards you with a free sail away cocktail, head down to your cabin to pick up your voucher. Your voucher entitles you to a free class of champagne or non alcoholic alternative. It’s a great way to start your cruise with a complimentary drink.

This is one of my favourite embarkation day tips for your cruise!

Visit the spa for any embarkation day offers

Spa staff can sometimes be found wandering around the deck or will be located in the main atrium clutching a bundle of flyers with a range of offers available on embarkation day.

If you’re interested in visiting the spa on your cruise, my embarkation day tip for your cruise is to seek out the spa deals soon after you arrive on your ship. Offers might be time limited or on a first-come-first-served basis. So head there first to yourself a bargain at the start of your cruise.

Check out the speciality restaurants for embarkation day offers

If you want to try out some alternative, speciality dining venues on board, today is the day to grab some bargains. My embarkation day tip is to head to the atrium to find out what’s available. Representatives from the dining venues on board will be in attendance with more information.

Offers usually include a reduced cover charge on embarkation day or might even include a free bottle of wine with your meal. There are deals to be had today so my tip is to check these out before you head to the buffet as these offers might not last for long.

Attend your embarkation day welcome on-board lunch

If you are in a suite or you are on one of the top three loyalty tiers with P&O cruises, you will be invited to a Welcome on Board/Peninsular/Loyalty lunch. Other cruise lines may also have a separate welcome on board event for guests in specific cabin categories or loyalty tiers. If this is you them don’t miss out.

For example on P&O cruises, the Welcome Lunch is a lovely, relaxing space where you have an exclusive lunch, served in the main dining room. Complementary alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are also on offer. If you are lucky enough to have an invitation, go – it’s well worth it.

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Hi, I’m Steph I’ve travelled around the world, backpacked across Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii and spent over 100 nights at sea. Having grown up by the coast, the sea is my passion and now I enjoy exploring the world on cruise ships with my family. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to keep up to date with my ever expanding set of port guides to inspire you on your travels plus money-saving cruise tips, ship tours and cabin reviews.