Make the most of you first day on the ship and don’t waste a minute of your vacation. 


  1. Book your port arrival time (PAT) time for the earliest slot that you can get. When you are doing your online check-in you’ll have the opportunity to pick a PAT ; the earlier that you can get on the ship the sooner you can get your vacation started.

2. Pack yourself a “Cabin Prep Bag”; this a bag that has all the things that you might need on day 1 before you luggage comes. Think of things that you like to use to make your cabin feel homie and comfortable. 

You will not be allowed to your cabin until around 1 (depending on the cruise line), so make sure that you pack it all up in a bag that you will be able to carry around with you until then. 


3. Pack or wear your swimsuit; the pools and slides are open. Take advantage of the fact that many pack them in their suitcases. That means that there are fewer people using those amenities. 

4. Make a plan but be sure that you leave flexibility. We go into every cruise thinking of all the things that we want to do on day 1. Truth be told we normally are completely wiped by dinner and just go to bed shortly there after. 


You have made it! Now what to do on your first day on board? 

Step on the ship look around in complete ah. Take a few photos and then WHAT?  LUNCH

Depending on the ship and the cruise line you are on (this is where a plan comes in handy) will depend on where you would like to eat.

We are fans of lunch in the main dining room or at least a sit down meal. The buffets can be a very crowded dining spot and not an easy place to maneuver the wheelchair while carrying a tray of food.  


After lunch normally my son likes to go explore the ship, I am more wanting to find a lounge chair  by the pool and a cocktail.

This is a great time to take advantage of the lower numbers in the pool area.  

The sail away party should be started some time soon so head over to there and enjoy waving good bye to all the poor people that are not on the ship with you. Joking; sort of…LOL

By this time you luggage might be in your cabin; your cabin will be ready for you. It might have been open before the party but I find that everyone heads down to their cabin at the same time so I enjoy waiting a while at least until the halls open up. 

I know that the luggage will be starting to hang out in the hallway outside of stateroom doors. This can make it a tight squeeze for wheelchairs so keep that in mind if you are heading to your cabin at this time.

This is the time where dinner will start for main/first dining. I try to take advantage of the fact that my husband will be napping or watching a movie and my son will be “exploring”.  This is the time that I like to get things unpacked and organized. By the time that I am done it’s normally time to get ready for dinner. 


It’s dinner time!!!

Head to dinner enjoy and then if we have any energy left we will head to a show or something. But normally we head back to the cabin to chill, relax and sleep. 

Tomorrow in a new day and I know that we will be able to do many more things. 

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