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First ignore the recommended time.  Come when you want.

Early is 10 am.  Usually they start checking people in at 10 am.  The early birds get there just before that.  Typically boarding starts around 11 am.  Sometimes a little earlier or later depending on the ships arrival and clearing of the ship.

Upon arrival you go through security (like an airport) then you go into check in lines based on your Crown & Anchor status.  It goes fairly quickly.  From there you go to staging chair areas.  Then you board.

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We arrive between 9:30 and 10, typically. We are diamond plus so we usually don't have to wait very long after security to board the ship. Two years ago when we sailed on the Allure, we arrived later than we ever have and walked straight onto the ship after security at 10:30 because they were already boarding our group.

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13 hours ago, melski94 said:

I try to show up at 10-10:15 am.  The ship typically begins boarding at 10:30-11.  It goes by really quick once boarding begins.

We have found this to be the case as well.

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Something else to keep in mind.  We cruised recently out of Port Bayonne on Anthem and got to the port right around 9:30.  It was already getting crowded, but that was because there were a lot of folks disembarking and folks showing up to embark.  The later you arrive, the more traffic you might have to sit in ... which means some of the lines inside for security / check-in were on the long side.

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22 hours ago, LoveDOS said:

Arriving by 9:00 would be optimum.  This will decrease stress to you and your family.

Personally, I think this might be a little on the early side. I know the anticipation of boarding ASAP, but I would rather arrive a little later, go through the registration process and walk right on board. Unless you are a suite guest or a higher level C&A member, you aren't guaranteed a earlier boarding with the random boarding number process.

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6 minutes ago, FManke said:

Unless you are a suite guest or a higher level C&A member......., you aren't guaranteed a earlier boarding with the random boarding number process.

....or a Key member.

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2 hours ago, Skid said:

....or a Key member.

Key member- how about leaving? When should I expect to have the shuttle meet us to get our car?

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5 minutes ago, Pro24 said:

Key member- how about leaving? When should I expect to have the shuttle meet us to get our car?

One of the Key perks is a debarkation breakfast in the MDR and it was a fabulous menu. After that an escort came to walk us off the ship to our luggage. I think we had breakfast at about 8:15 and left the ship at about 9:30. 

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