We usually get to what ever port a day early. San Diego we go to the Zoo. Vancouver, Stanley Park. Long Beach visit with family. Seattle, lots of stuff to see. It might just be me but I would never get to port the same day we are leaving.
The last day at home is usually pretty hectic. On top of the usual things you really can't do until the last day, like boarding the pets, securing the house, checking and double checking the "list", there are the inevitable last-minute "emergencies" and little odds & ends that were overlooked. Then there is one last sweep of the whole house--closets, drawers, etc.--for anything that may have been overlooked.
Probably one of the most important things, since I usually use the cruiselines air and fly out the same day, is making sure I have EVERYTHING I may need until I see my luggage again--which may not necessarily be the day I sail! I really shouldn't say that: in over 30 years of cruising my luggage has only been lost one time . . .and that was on the flight home; and it actually was a blessing: I didn't have to wrangle it home from the airport :-) and it was delivered right to my door.
Mine is similar to f-mattox's. Double check the lists and last minute things I may have forgotten. Seems like no matter how well I prepare, I'm still scrambling around doing things. I am big believer in lists. I'll never forget the time I left my dress pants hanging in the laundry room, or the time I left the battery pack for the camcorder.
I always go a day before the cruise if flying. If driving, the night before - the day before, and enjoy the port hotel with fellow cruisers if it is a group. Going from work stress to a cruise requires a 24 hour decompression period for me.
my day before the cruise is really laid back, I have been packing for a month so that is done. I call my sister ask her if she is ready, go to the air port, call my sister to see if she has arrived at her airport,board plane, fly to atlanta, meet up with my sister , fly to destination, go to hotel, have a nice visit with my sister and get well rested for the week ahead.
We sometimes leave the day before our flight and stay at a hotel (park and ride to/from airport for free)and arrive at our port 1 or 2 days before the cruise to start the wind down and know that we won't be scrambling the day before the cruise...All prep work is done the week of the cruise and when we get to our hotel (35 miles from home) our mind is clear and IF we did forget something we could always trek home quickly..We like to do something in the cruise port or we just hang and veg for the cruise day to come.
Normally, we'll go down at least one day before the cruise, sometimes two. We usually drive, so the day before we leave, we make sure the car is full, oil has been changed, tires rotated, have enough dog/cat food for the pet sitter, put out the bug bombs, make sure everything is in the suitcases except last minute items, and go to bed. Then load the car, set off the bug bombs, and head on down the road. Sure wish I was heading out now.
We always fly the day before the cruise. Only once did we have a "lost luggage" and it was found and delivered to the ship before we even arrived at the port.
The day before we leave we check and double check the packing list, board the cat, make sure all the bills are paid, stop the newspapers if we haven't done that already, weigh the luggage to make sure it's not over 50 pounds, and get ready to leave our cares behind!
As we get ready to walk out the door, my husband puts the furnace on "vacation mode".
We are so ready to go its ridiculous....so if time allows we go the port city and just chill...
often you can also get free parking at the local hotel that you stay at....beats the 20.00 a day at the port.....and they offer free shuttle service to the ship.....enjoy & smooth sailing
We always go a day or two before. The day before we fly out we make sure we have everything packed, go to the post office to hold our mail while we're gone, and just have a relaxing evening...if that's possible.