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Our cruise leaves this Sunday, 11/17 and I received the following email from RC, however almost everything I read on this blog tells me to get there around 10am.  I have zero plans for San Juan that day, as we will have all of our luggage with us.  We are planning to tour SJ after our cruise.  I'm not sure what to do now, any advice is welcome.

Dear Guest,

We are excited to welcome you onboard for your November 17th Freedom of the Seas sailing. To get you ready for your cruise, we have some check-in tips to share with you!

Check-in Tips:

  • If you haven't already done so, please complete your online check-in at www.royalcaribbean.com/onlinecheckin.
  • Next, print your SetSail Pass for yourself, and everyone in your party.
  • To ensure you have a smooth experience on boarding day, plan to arrive to the cruise terminal after 3:00 PM.
  • Seating in the terminal is limited, so arriving at your check-in time will ensure you have the best boarding experience.

Thank you for your cooperation. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,

Royal Caribbean International

 

 

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4 minutes ago, RWDW1204 said:

What time does the ship leave? Maybe that's why they're suggesting a later get-to-the terminal time? 

The muster drill is at 5:45 and it leaves at 8:30 pm.  Luckily we are staying at the beach in Condado so I guess we can just check our luggage and hang out on a lounge chair but I was really hoping to be on the ship with a drink in hand around lunch time.  

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4 minutes ago, RWDW1204 said:

What time does the ship leave? Maybe that's why they're suggesting a later get-to-the terminal time? 

I believe the set sail time is 8 or 830pm.  It leaves much later but you can still get on at a "normal" time of approximately what you see here.  Of course, they could have a surprise inspection which would cause a little later time to embark.  Basically because it leaves late, it just gives you more time on the ship before you depart or more time to enjoy SJ before you depart.

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Just now, NJCruisers said:

The muster drill is at 5:45 and it leaves at 8:30 pm.  Luckily we are staying at the beach in Condado so I guess we can just check our luggage and hang out on a lounge chair but I was really hoping to be on the ship with a drink in hand around lunch time.  

I believe you can still plan to do that.  This 3pm is just a suggestion, just like they have a suggested embarkation time for everyone.  If you want to get on first, just get there early and you can expect to get on early if there are no reasons for a delay such as CBP inspection or technical delay or anything of that nature.  Just know that as usual, rooms will not open up until 1-130pm.  Have a great trip!  I'll be on Freedom soon enough and CANNOT wait given we hit a record low where I live today.  I'm ready for sunshine and warm temperatures!

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The time listed on your email is just a suggestion. They are NOT strictly adhered to. Show up as early as you'd like, check-in, get on board and start enjoying your vacation and exploring the ship!

We showed up for Freedom this past January at around 10:30-11:00 a.m. This early arrival let us drop off luggage, check-in, and get on board in under 20 minutes!

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Freedom just leaves later than the typical Caribbean cruise and so they try to skew the passenger arrival to later.  But the terminal should be open 10-11am as it will be cleared from the prior sailing's arrival in the wee hours of the morning.  Might as well get there early and take advantage of the full day on the ship.

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1 hour ago, Tmsmith said:

We are sailing on Freedom leaving the 17th too! My email said to arrive after 12:30 but, like others have commented,  that's just a suggestion.  We are in grand suite and concierge email says boarding begins at 11:30.

Our usual target arrival time is 11:00 and we have never had an issue boarding. 

I haven't cruised in about 10 years and last time we had our kids. We booked a junior suite and were upgraded to an amazing 2 bedroom suite with an amazing balcony to match.  This time I opted for a Spacious Ocean View and I know I'll miss the balcony, but it's just the 2 of us. I got the Royal Up email, but I'm too much of a control freak to give up the room I selected.  

I am so excited for this cruise!

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