Cruise Planning Part V: Shore to Ship
Once you are in the terminal, you might see different tables advertising various programs on the ship. Usually there will be one for the dinnertime wine package and sometimes you will see a check-in table for the kids programs, which will give your kids a schedule of events for the rest of the day, or even for the week. If you don't want to, or are unable to, stop in the terminal, you can sign up for everything on board the ship.
Based on the cruise line and the port, you'll go through security either before or after you check-in. It is very much like airport security, and they will confiscate items that could be hazardous. You don't have to remove your shoes, but you will need to put metal objects in the bin. Help your kids with their stuff and send one adult through first so your kids see a friendly face on the other side.
The Welcome Aboard Portrait
This is the money shot. A picture of your frazzled self and your stressed-out family next to a sign of the date and the name of the ship. It makes a great "before" picture that you can compare with your relaxed self from four days later on the cruise. There is no charge to take the picture, only to buy it, which you can do on board the ship the next day if you want to.
The ID picture
There is just one more thing you have to do to get on that ship: take your picture. Each person in your party (kids included) will be asked to insert your card into a machine which will scan it and know that you are now on the ship. The photo it takes is for ID purposes only and will not be published anywhere. It is so it can match names with faces and make sure someone doesn't steal your ID and pretend to be you.
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