18 days until you are strolling the decks and watching the sunsets! Today is an easy day, but a very important one. We want you to have a very clear idea of how you are getting to your cruise ship. The last thing we want is for you to miss the sailing! So we are going to look at all you need to do to confirm your transportation.
HINT! The ship will not wait for you. Plan on being early if you can. You may as well board and start your fabulous cruise vacation as soon as you can!
TRANSFERS – These are arranged by you or your Travel Agent. Usually, a transfer is purchased through the cruise line or a private tour company for one or more of the following:
- Airport to Ship
- Airport to Hotel
- Hotel to ship
- Ship to Airport
- Ship to Hotel.
If you have purchased Transfers in advance then we want you to look at your confirmations and:
- Make sure that all of the dates are correct.
- Check and make note of the pickup location. Is it your hotel or the airport? And where at the hotel or airport?
- Check and make note of the pickup time? Is it close to your flight arrival or hotel check out time?
- Check that all of your passengers are named on the confirmation. Or, that the number of passengers in your party is correct. Very important!!!
If you are ordering these on your own via a website, please read the reviews as to the reliability of these companies. Do a search! Many online companies take your reservation and then farm them out to people or other companies in the area. We know this only from a nightmare Galveston experience with a Transfer company that left us dying in the heat and sun for 2 hours!
If you are staying at a hotel day prior and have not gotten your transfers in advance, you can call the hotel and see if they use a particular company and can make the reservations for you. This can often be done at check-in, too.
Parking for your Cruise
PARKING – If you are driving to the port and parking your car there you definitely need to research the following:
- What is the exact address of the parking for the ship?
- What are the costs per day?
- Do they accept credit cards or cash only?
- How close is the parking to the ship and what is the shuttle service like from your car to the ship?
- Check any construction near the port
EXAMPLE – If you are parking your car at the ship, you will have to know how close you are to the ship as you will be carrying your luggage! Unless they have a shuttle service, as most do, you will be lugging your bags from the car to the dock. We highly suggest that you give yourself enough time to drop your luggage at the dock first and then go park your car. We often leave one person with the carry on luggage at the dock, check the rest with the porters and then park. If you have passengers that are handicapped or cannot walk far, plan on dropping them before you park.
EXAMPLE – When they were rebuilding Cape Liberty Port, the port of New Jersey, the traffic was horrendous trying to get to the parking lot. Those brilliant people who had done their research were ready for it and timed their arrival accordingly. It is definitely worth throwing a call to the port or googling the traffic and construction near your port.
Off-site parking. You can also find many parking lots nearby that are not owned by the port you are sailing out of. Again, just research if you need a reservation and how will they get you back and forth to the ship.
Rideshares to your Cruise Dock
HIRED CAR or RIDESHARE COMPANIES – Lyft, Uber, and Private Cars. If you are planning on using any of these between the airport and the ship or hotel to the ship, please make sure that they are allowed to enter the port area. A few cities are restricting Rideshare services. Though this is changing daily! Make sure you:
- Have the Uber or Lyft app downloaded before you leave on your cruise
- Research where the pickup spots are in the port area
- Have your destination address ready before you request your ride.
- Have your Hired Car Company contact name and telephone number handy
Being picked up or dropped off at the ship. The drop off is simple. It is timing the pick up that can be difficult. Knowing what time you will get off the ship and clear customs is not easy. So make sure that whoever is picking you up is a very patient person!