I have left on NCL via NYC many times. I will tell you this, people will start arriving by 9am. You will not go through security until probably around 1030 and then they will perform check-in. Boarding starts usually between 1130 and 12. If you want an early boarding number, you need to be at the pier by no later than 10am. I will tell you, on my last cruise earlier this year, by 10am, there were probably over 300 people already there waiting to start the process going through security. There is a waiting area, and they seat you based on when you arrive, so that when they start the process of security and check-in, that is how you will line up. I always get there by 9am, and my boarding numbers are always within the first 5, so once they start boarding, I am on the ship quickly. It will take some patience to wait in the waiting areas, but I think it is worth it to board very early.
Top 25 Contributor
Check-in usually starts around 10:30, and boarding around noon, so either of the later options would work. If the bus goes to the Port Authority terminal, you'll have a short cab ride to the pier.
Top 10 Contributor