Hi BJC123, you'll find a lot of different answers here. Some like to get there early and stand in line, some like to get there later and avoid the lines. If you get there around 10:30, you will get a good place in line. If you get there around 2:00, the lines are usually gone. I believe the porters are usually ready to check luggage by 9:30-10:00. We'll be leaving out of Miami on 9/12. Not sure what time we'll get there, but I'll let you know how the lines are
Great answer Penny. I am one that is from the "get there early" team. I figure the sooner I am on board the sooner I am cruising. They count that day as a full day, so why wait until 2 or 3PM to get on board. I can have 2 or 3 drink of the days in me by 3....
I echo Dave's sentiments exactly. I am also from the get there early group. Although Carnival has this new system for boarding. similar to the airlines and boarding by "zones" most time will be spent in the terminal waiting. So definitely get there early and avoid that mess, because the room is not the largest and can fill quickly. If I can give you a little tip CCL reps will have these "zone" cards at the front of the queues, have a member of your group go to them and get a card before you get into line to check in. That way, other "zones" will be called as you wait to check in with the CCL reps. So when you are done checking in, hopefully your "zone" is being called and you, like Dave and I, are making friends with the pool bar staff. Bon Voyage!!
I try to get there at least by 11. If the previous cruise is running late, there could be some parking problems though if driving. The official time for Embarkation is 1:30PM. I usually can be on board by 12, and having lunch on the Lido.