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Mr/Mrs Birkett. Get straight there! On my first cruise, I arrived at my allocated time of 3pm & when I arrived thought it was fantastic because there was no-one else in the terminal and so I "breezed" through & onto the ship without any queues. However, I learned that the reason for this is that the restaurants, bars etc., are all open and can be enjoyed from the time you get on. Since then, I leave the hotel in Southampton at 11.30am! This does mean that there will be queues, but you should be on board by about 1pm giving you plenty of time to explore and indulge before you go for the lifeboat drill at 4pm and sailaway at 5pm. Sorry for rambling on .... but the short answer to your question is No, they to not enforce the embarkation time. :o) Have a wonderful trip. Tim.
In the main Tim is right. There are times, however, when embarkation cannot take place as early as one would like. This does mean that you will have to wait until they are ready but at that dock there is a very large waiting area upstairs with coffee and biscuits and most times and you will be allocated a number for embarkation. It doesn't happen every time but just be aware that it can ... Ida.
20 years of cruising and we have always embarked sooner than stated with no problems. Some times we have not been allowed to our cabin so have headed for the lounges/pool areas and had a drink and some food till our cabin was ready.