My question is..The itinery says boarding is 1:30 ship leaves at 4pm. We are going to be in San Diego early with not alot to do. How early can you actually board the ship. I would much rather be on the ship than wandering around waiting. I understand that you won't get your cabin for awhile. If you slip your cabin steward a twenty any chance you can get your cabin early?? Really would like some experienced input here, let me know how all this works Thanks!
I've never left from San Diego, but in most other ports, we were able to board about an hour earlier than indicated in the documents. I wouldn't count on getting into your cabin early, though, other than to possibly drop off a carry-on bag, but be aware that the cabin door will likely remain open during this time, so do not leave valuables there.
My advice is to carry on as little as possible (with all valuables on you), then hang out in one of the bars, explore the ship, read the daily paper, check on your dining arrangements, or have lunch at the buffet.
I love the Mexican Riviera itinerary...I hope you have as great a time as we did.
A lot of people get to the dock at 11:00am hoping to be eating lunch by noon. And 90% of the time, there is not a problem.
However, be aware that there are things (like Customs Inspections, etc) that can delay the boarding. So I recommend to anyone getting there at 11AM to make sure they ate a large late breakfast...just in case the boarding does happen at 1:30pm.
Carnival has the same procedues whichever port you sail out of:
When we went on our Victory cruise, I flew into Ft Lauderdale the day before and rented a car.
I drove to the cruise terminal early to drop off my bags, but had to go the Miami Airport Rental
Depot to return the car, and took the shuttle bus back to the pier.
They opened the doors of the cruise terminal at 11:00, and started the bording process, with a note that
our rooms would not be ready until 1:30. I was abord the ship by 11:30 and went straight to our room to see
if we could drop our luggage. Going down the hallway from the front of the ship to the back, you could see all
of the unfinished rooms with the doors open, and the finished rooms with the doors closed. (they seem to clean the ship from back to front), our room was locked, I opened the door and it was finished, So we dropped our bags in the room. Our cabin stweard introduced herself but did not kick us out of the room. We then went to the lido deck for lunch and started exploring the ship..
There are also a couple things you can do which are not far from the cruise terminal. You can tour the USS Midway, a WW2 aircraft carrier now permanently docked there; you could also visit the San Diego Maritime Museum, an inexpensive option costing about $6-10 per person) which has some neat displays (including some fantastic model ships, if you're into that) and also lets you tour - on your own - a passenger ferry, a yacht and an old sailing ship; or you could wander around the Seaport Village shopping center - a nice outdoor "village" of boutiques, right along the waterfront.