Embarking was not a big deal. And the crew (for the most part) are very nice. Notice I didn't say 'helpful'.... just nice. It IS like a ferry experience with so many people getting on and off the ship. Didn't really bother me - unless they were rude! Which so many of the people were.
I think the fact that I am American, may have a little to do with how I viewed my cruise experience.
I have never encountered so many rude, pushy and mannerless people in all my life! I know this is not the cruise lines fault. But it really did affect my voyage!