Cruising Mexico 2017 – Day 1 – Embarkation

April 4, 2017

Our cruise was scheduled for departure on Tuesday (February 28th) afternoon from Pier 27 (the fancy “new” cruise terminal) in San Francisco. As we live in the city it was just a Lyft ride away. We arrived at the Port about 1 PM and the traffic was terrible. We probably spent 15 minutes in the traffic circle waiting to get up to the unloading point. The Lyft driver noted this was unusual but even still, as able bodied individuals (with rolling bags) we’d probably go a block further next time to get dropped off and walk it. The cruises have special luggage tags, similar to airline tags, which you print out at home and attach to your bags. We bought cruise-specific plastic holders on Amazon to use. As soon as you get out of your vehicle, they have porters who collect your bags — so be ready to part with them the second you get out of the vehicle (i.e. have the luggage tags on before you leave the house). Also you will not see your bag again for 2-3 hours. They will be screened by security (mostly for booze, I’m sure) and eventually delivered to your stateroom. Ours showed up about 2 hours after we made it on the ship. Security screening for each person is a bit of a joke compared to say airports. They seem to be looking for only the most obvious problems, like machetes, bombs, and booze. As it comes to timing, our ships departure was listed as 4:00 PM, with embarkation starting at 1:00 PM. However in the fine print somewhere it said there was some staggered boarding times (of which we didn’t pay any attention to) and more fine print saying show up no later than 3:00 PM. My recommendation would be to aim for whatever the start time is (in our case 1 PM). It’s much better to be early and have an extra hour on the cruise ship than be late and miss the ship.