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Boarding the Ship Early

We all want to get our vacation started as quickly as possible and waiting in the departure lounge in anticipation isn’t the best way to kick off the celebrations. Here’s a guide on how to get on the ship as early as possible.

Cruise passengers making their way to a luggage drop-off point labelled 'Virgin Voyages' in red
When you arrive at the port, the first thing to do is hand your luggage over to the porters © Photo by VV Insider

How to Board the Ship as Early as Possible

When it comes to starting your Virgin Voyages vacation as early as possible, there are a few ways to ensure you board the ship promptly. Follow these tips to make the most of your getaway right from the beginning:

Check in ASAP (Early Arrival Time)

Check in is open as soon as you book, keen sailors can get one of the earlier times typically starting at 1:45pm for free directly in the app.

How to: Go to the Virgin Voyages app > Scroll down to the Check-in section of the app and scroll to the final section “Step Aboard” > Pick a Slot.

Check in on the Virgin Voyages app
Check in on the Virgin Voyages app © Photo by VV Insider

Priority Boarding Sailors

Either via Sailing Club status or by purchasing Splash of Romance you can use the Priority line at check-in.

  • Splash of RomanceAvailable for only 90 cabins per sailing
    • This option is only available for 90 cabins (with 2 people sharing) per sailing.
    • The price of this option is currently $250.
    • By choosing this option, you’ll have the opportunity to join the priority line.
  • Deep Blue ExtrasVirgin Voyage’s Sailing Club Benefit
Priority Boarding Sign at Terminal V, Virgin Voyages Miami
Priority Boarding Sign at Terminal V, Virgin Voyages Miami© Photo by Matt Thaler

Rockstar Boarding

  • Mega Rockstar & RockstarSuite level guests
    • Guests staying in Rockstar Suites, the highest level of accommodation, are granted early boarding privileges.
    • Look out for dedicated staff members who will assist Rockstars during the boarding process.
    • You will board before any other priority lines and be the first on board the ship.
A row of cruise check-in desks labeled 'Rockstar Quarters and VIP'
Checking in early using the VIP lanes for Rockstars and VIPs© Photo by VV Insider

Important Early Boarding Information

  • Early Boarding Time: Early boarding typically begins around 1:30 PM at most locations.
  • Exceptions to App Times: If you qualify you can ignore the scheduled boarding time in the Virgin Voyages app, you can still board starting from 1:30 PM even if the app has a later time. Simply follow the instructions provided by the staff at the port.
  • Splash of Romance and Deep Blue Extras Guests: After Rockstar guests have boarded, Splash of Romance and Deep Blue Extras guests will be invited to step onto the ship immediately.

By following these guidelines, you can maximize your vacation time and start enjoying all that Virgin Voyages has to offer as soon as possible. Whether you choose Splash of Romance, are a part of the Sailing Club with Deep Blue Extras privileges, or are a Rockstar Suite guest, early boarding ensures you can begin your unforgettable journey without delay.

About the author

Co-Founder and Director. David has a background in web design and development and writes travel content, vacation guides and tips about Virgin Voyages.

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36 Comments

  1. Heather says:

    We want to visit some attractions in Athens before our cruise, but will have priority boarding (Splash of Romance). If we arrive after general boarding has started will we still get a priority line to get through the process faster or will we be forfeiting this benefit by arriving late?

    1. Rob Sammons says:

      Yes you will just look for the same priority sign 🙂

  2. Steve says:

    First time cruising Virgin. Last minute booking about 2 weeks before departure July 5 (today). Did this to celebrate our 35th anniversary on July 8. The app gave us 4:45 time…ship departs 6:00. Somewhere else I saw should arrive 2 hours before departures. All the restaurants booked already as well. Inside cabin as only choice. Kind of regretting this as it seems being treated second class for booking late. Uber is picking us up at 2:00 and estimates 55 minutes to get to the port. I would rather not time it to last minute before ship leaves. 4:45 time seems cruel on their part.

    1. Rob Sammons says:

      Hey Steve, typically with a time that late you can arrive a bit before. Unfortunately the ships are getting busier and busier particularly with recent offers but you will be able to book more restaurants on board they only release a third in advance.

  3. Cindi says:

    Hello, 1st time on VV. We are leaving out of ATH on Sunday, but wanted to drop our luggage off early and do a sightseeing tour until our 230p boarding time. Are we able to drop our luggage early? And if so, how early can we drop them off before our boarding time of 230p? Thank you!!

    1. Rob Sammons says:

      Yes you can drop off from around 9:30am 🙂

  4. Concierge says:

    It sounds like Virgin is all about catering to the top tier sailors who get priority for everything since they pay more. Is that the feeling you get as a first time cruiser or as a lower tier sailor? It sounds almost overly tier and loyalty oriented??

  5. James says:

    I’m confused a little. I have booked a 13:30pm arrival time since booking my cruise on the app.

    Would/could Splash of Romance help get on even sooner or is this as good as it gets anyway?

    1. Rob Sammons says:

      You’d arrive the same time but they prioritize this line before other sailors

  6. Conni says:

    When can you complete check in process? It will allow me to select a boarding time, but cannot complete other sections. It is a certain timeframe from boarding?

    1. Rob Sammons says:

      It can open a bit later depending on voyage and requirements for the voyage. Check a few months out but as long as you have boarding time that’s the most important part

  7. Susan says:

    I just booked Resiliant Lady for next May and the app is only offering a 3pm boarding time at the earliest. Is that possible this far out or will they add more times?

    1. Rob Sammons says:

      Hi Susan, boarding times open up as soon as bookings go on sale so people can select them way ahead of time, that particular sailing likely went on sail in September 2023.

  8. Eileen Wolejsza says:

    I just got off Scarlet Lady in Miami last week and stumbled upon early check-in on my embarkation day. It was mentioned in my Facebook cruise group for that sailing. Never heard of it before so don’t know if it was some secret thing, but they said it ended at 1 pm (I arrived just in time) and it’s a way to check-in and get your sea band early. Then you just come back at your port arrival time. Worked great since I had a late arrival time at 4:30 pm and was able to kill some time at Bayside Marketplace. Do you have any info on this early check-in process? I wasn’t deep blue extras, rockstar, or splash of romance. Thanks!

    1. Rob Sammons says:

      Hi Eileen in a lot of the ports but not all they’ll allow early bag drop from around 9am so you can get checked in and drop bags, then board at your time.

  9. M. Platt says:

    I am on the Scarlet Lady and have a boardinf time of 4:00pm, however we will arrive earlier about 2:30pm, is there a waiting area? Can we board earlier?

    1. VV Insider says:

      You should only arrive at your designated time as there is not a big waiting area and this clogs up the terminal. They won’t typically let you board early but since it’s a later slot about half an hour before should be ok.

      1. Marykay Martin says:

        Is this in Miami?

        1. Rob Sammons says:

          They will always have a Rockstar area but they have a proper Rockstar area to relax in Miami

  10. Virginia L. Corcoran says:

    We are in a Rockstar cabin and have a 1:30 check in time. If we get there at 12:30, is there somewhere inside we can wait?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Hi Virginia, yes there’ll be a Rockstar waiting area, are you sailing from Miami ?

  11. HG says:

    Where is the mysterious VIP check-in/security line in Miami for Sea Rovers and Sea Blazers? Is it the one outside or inside upstairs? Not sure why this is so convoluted but we were not allowed any VIP line access late last year when we sailed with VV so had to wait for our 3:30PM check-in time.
    And what if you’re doing back to back cruises? Do we have to disembark? If so, what time can we re-board? Sailor Services via phone was unable to answer questions or help with this.

    1. VV Insider says:

      Look for the “priority” lane at check in this is the one you need for Deep Blue Extra rewards. There’s information on back to back cruises here, if Miami you briefly get off then back on for immigration.

  12. Leanne says:

    I am travelling with my husband in a rockstar suite so our check in time is 1.30pm. Our 2 sons are travelling with us in a terrace cabin but their check in time is later. Will we be able to all board together at 1.30 or will they need to hang around and wait for their check in time?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Hi Leanne are you all linked together in the app ? This is probably fine but will be at the ports discretion

  13. Neil says:

    Am I allowed to arrive somewhat later than my arrival time? The app says 1:45 now, but am I allowed to arrive and embark like half an hour later?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Yeah you can arrive any time up to around 4pm, just had to be after your arrival time

  14. Christine B says:

    If my boarding time is 1:30pm, what time should I arrive at Miami port?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Hi Christine, Virgin Voyages doesn’t do boarding times only arrival time, so you arrival time is 1:30, you’ll board about 20-30 mins after that depending on how busy the terminal is

  15. Ross F says:

    One thing to know: if you get the Splash of Romance package, you will have a cheapo, non-removable music festival-esque wristband cinched onto your wrist that you will have to wear 24/7 for the entire cruise. Unlike the wearable used for everything else (called “The Band”, I believe)–which is super thin, flexible and *removable*–the Splash of Romance band is none of these. Why VV cannot just add that designation to your “main” onboard account and accessible from that main wearable device is beyond me, but I wanted everyone to know. We spoke to several couples on our last VV cruise and not one of them thought the Splash of Romance package was worth the price…and were all annoyed at having to wear that second wristband.

    1. VV Insider says:

      Hi Ross, you can remove the wristband it’s not required once on board as the system for booking the spa and the party has your name down. It’s main purpose is to identify people boarding early.

      1. paul says:

        That’s the same for sea blazers? As onboard free barista etc occurs on the account, nobody takes notice off the blue band and yes it is a pain to wear. It cannot be adjusted once on it cannot be trimmed as it will fray. It be so so much easier to wear a blue rather than red band than a separate ribbon.

        1. Rob Sammons says:

          Hey Paul yeah once on board it serves no purpose

  16. Andrea Silverstein says:

    How do we know if we qualify for early boarding? We are scheduled for 4:00p.m. boarding. Thanks!

    1. VV Insider says:

      If you have splash of romance, deep blue extras or rockstar you can board earlier, if you don’t then you need to board at your chosen time

    2. Gene says:

      read the article above for how to get early boarding.

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