it is now 16.00 per day. i think it is somewhat guarded. all the people going on a cruise park on one level. you are never outside, you go straight to the elevator and go from there.
arriving real early does not guarantee one to get on the ship early. you can check in and sit and wait in the terminal. it is rare than anyone boards any sooner than 11:30 that is the normal time.i believe it says something like 12:30. i remember just over 10yrs ago leaving out of new orleans the ship left at 6pm. it was so easy to check in, then we would unload our carry, then leave the ship until just before leaving. we would just bypass the line and go to the ship. those good days are over.