What time do you sail? It probably depends on what time the ship got in and how long they need to prepare it for the next sailing. It can take 1-2 hours to board.
Most cruises from here leave around 1700 so boarding will likely start around noon. At 1000 or 1030 they will still be off-loading and cleaning so that's a bit early. If you arrive too early you will find yourself standing in a non-moving line which is not the nicest way to start your vacation.
If you arrive at the PoV at 10am - you might be able to check in, but you will probably cool your heals for at least an hour while the ship switches from disembarkation to embarkation mode.
Seems sort of pointless.
Thanks for the replies so far. We don't mind getting checked in and through security and then waiting to board. There are 4 ships in that day, so it is going to be chaotic. Wasn't sure if better to go early or later.
Sorry to perseverate a bit but as PicaPica says, you MIGHT be able to check in. Not for sure that you will be able to this far in advance. Also, unlike an airport, there is not a large departures area after security and CBP where you can sit comfortably for a couple of hours. I really think you should plan to head down about noon, no earlier.
Haven't watched the activity on Saturday and Sunday, and being a cruiser myself - I'd be inclined to go a bit later.
Earlier on there are still a lot of the disembarking passengers milling around, taxis, tour buses etc. It is crazy.
There are quite a few restaurants, bars and coffee shops around the area, if you want to observe the fun - but not actually stand in line
If you have global entry, bring the cards. It'll help with expediting security and immigration which are no short waits, worse with 4 ships.
I'm interested to know how 4 ships fit.
> I'm interested to know how 4 ships fit.
I’ve sailed from the Vancouver Cruise ship terminal a few times. On all of our cruise on either Princess or Holland they asked that you not show up for boarding before noon on the the ship leaves, it is written someplace I can’t remeber where it is stated.
The last cruise out of Van, there were three ships in port at the same time. We got there a little after noon and were on the ship in 45 minutes. This was a fast boarding, ever for us and we noted on how fast it was, because it was so unusual.
Usually it takes about an 1 hr to 1.5 hrs, only once did we wait the 1.5 hrs, those people can herd people on to those ships quickly... however... things can happen and I have heard of horror stories about boarding times.
Just take it easy, relax and go with the flow. There will be people that think it should be faster and that they should already be on the ship, with hundreds of other people thinking the same thing.
If you're flying in on Sunday, take the cruise line transfer to the port: it puts you on a bus which avoids the taxi congestion at the entrance. If you're coming from a hotel, get to the cruise terminal at 1 p.m. or even two; by then, lines should be shorter for US Immigration, which is the main cause of delay inside.
Bring a paperback or e-reader in case you have to sit and wait a while.
All that said, as Soup noted above, even on a very busy day, you might get lucky. Or not.