The earliest time you can arrive to the ship is 10:30am. Cruise lines give out scheduled times of arrival to attempt to stage passengers to reduce crowds and lines. The earlier you get on the ship the sooner you can get settled and enjoy the on-board amenities. Cross the gangway, kick off your sandals and enjoy your vacation!!
Ships arrive back in port very early in the morning on disembarkation. The ship has to clear customs and they release the ship's passengers in stages. Rooms are cleared out around 8:00 and passengers congregate in public areas or restaurants to await the approval for departure. Typically everyone is off of the ship by 9:30-10:00am. This allows them to clean the staterooms for the next passengers.
Ships depart port on embarkation day typically between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. When multiple ships are in port they leave in stages and move out to sea one after the other. Prior to embarkation, all passenger must attend a muster drill to prepare for the event of an emergency where the ship must be abandoned. During this event all other things on the boat are closed and staterooms are cleared forcing everyone to attend. Once this is over, LET THE PARTY BEGIN!!!