Ports of Call, Excursions, and The Gangway

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Cruising is something you learn as you do it more and more.  Every time we cruise, we learn more and more.  I love sharing what I learn with you to give you a head start, because cruising is awesome.  

Words mean a lot on a cruise ship, and you will hear different vocabulary used so you want to learn because your Cruise Director will announce this stuff!

You know you are on a ship and it is a great vacation, but your cruise has more to offer than just life aboard the ship, in fact, the places you are about to visit are awesome, but you gotta know how to access the fun!

Let’s lavishly live the world of cruising out loud and learn all about Ports of Call, Excursions, and The Gangway.  Chances are you will be hearing these terms a lot so don’t let your vocabulary sink (lol!)

Ports of Call, Excursions, and The Gangway

It was Day 2 of cruising and we were at our first Port of Call!  Do you know what happens when you get to a Port and the ship docks? When we first cruised, years back, we used to get up early to watch the sun rise, or perhaps we were already up from having a party all night(we were a bit younger, lol!) and then we would catch an early breakfast and then of course watch the ship navigate into the Port we were heading into.

We were novices at cruising so we just considered ourselves headed for a destination, but it is known properly as a Port of Call.  We also learned what we items we needed to get on and off the ship(you don’t want to forget these) and how we would use the Gangway!

I would love to share with you what happens at Ports of Call, excursions, what you need to get on and off the ship,  and how the Gangway serves as your departure destination into the truest adventures you will have on your cruise, as we lavishly live cruising out loud.

What is A Port Of Call

A Port of Call is actually your itinerary, your destination, where your particular ship is headed and the island or country that you will get to uncover and discover for that day.  In most cases you will dock early in the morning and shove off by late day (with Carnival it is generally around 6P, however this changes cruise-to-cruise and port-to-port).

Ports of Call are where the ship will dock (or as close as possible because sometimes it is not possible to actually dock at port).  The ship will remain in this area, at this ‘parking spot’ from X AM time to ‘X’ PM time and during this time you are free to explore the island,country, area and then you must return as the ship will leave that Port of Call at the designated time.

Ports Of Call and Excursions

When you get to a port, you have a few options as to how to spend your day: 1) stay on the ship(some people do) 2) Disembark- get off the ship, 3) Get off the ship and shop only in the port within walking distance 4)

Get off the ship and take part in an excursions(there are two kinds of excursions, Ship supported and Private).  Your Ship Supported Excursion will tell you where to meet, when to meet and makes it very easy for you to get to the most popular points on that particular stop.

Perhaps you have decided to go on a private tour, once you get off the ship, you will be responsible for finding the people in charge of your Excursion as your ship is not who organized the private tours (in general, the people  you have been in contact with will tell you the meeting point and how to contact them when you get off the ship.)

Since you are headed off the ship, you will need to get to the Gangway (wherever it is designated on your ship, and bring the necessary items to get on and off the ship (continue reading to learn what you need to exit and enter the ship you are on)

The Gangway

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The Gangway is your area that gets your off the floating ship, to dry land.  You often will walk across a small bridge (with water underneath) and get to the actual flat land to walk to all the shops or excursions. In our case, we had to, but we listened to our Cruise Director who told us the Gangway at the FRONT of the ship and we followed the crowd (lol)!

What You Need To Get Off The Ship 

Gangway, Carnival, Excursions, Port of Call, Travel, Vacations, Cruising Carnival, Dana Vento
This is my one son getting Back on The Ship after a day in port!

Here’s a few things to know about the Gangway, you want to be organized because people are moving in lines and moving on OUT of the ship, and you don’t want to get in the way or drop your stuff.

If you took the steps, keep following your line of people and have your Sail & Sign Cards ready to get scanned on the way off the ship.  You will need these to enter the ship as well, and in addition, you may or may not need your passport (we used color photocopies of our passports rather than chancing losing them on our excursions).

Don’t forget to have your well-packed shore excursion bag with you, which I discussed in another article, you can read it HERE If you forgot what you need when heading on those excursions.

A Look At The Gangway Bridge to Land

Now that you have used your Sail and Sign ID and you are headed off to shore, you are going to walk on this little bridge. This bridge has advanced leaps and bounds since we started cruising, let me tell you!

The biggest and best thing about it, is the netting under the bridge, this was not there back in the day, it is kind of a way to help you all out! If you get so excited to look at the Ocean below your feet, or the port ahead of your feet, you drop your bag and boom it’s all gone… NOT! This net will be your save all, or save some.

Gangway, Carnival, Excursions, Port of Call, Travel, Vacations, Cruising Carnival, Dana VentoYour day will be sensational at the Port of Call if you understand when you need to be back, and where you need to board.  Additionally, remember the items that you have in your bag on the way in are subject to search and seizure (if inappropriate).  If you purchased alcohol, you will be giving that to the attendants on the Gangway and then receiving it back when you are packing  to go home! You can lavishly navigate your cruise if you understand Ports of Call, Excursions and The Gangway.  Happy Cruising.

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