Latitude: 33° 54.2614′ S
Longitude: 18° 24.9283′ E
Checking passengers on to a ship is not the same as checking into a hotel. You can’t just have people check-in willy nilly over the course of a day. There are issues with security, immigration, and the port authority, so the first day is usually at a hotel so everyone can then board the boat at the same time in an organized fashion.
It also gives an opportunity for everyone to explore Cape Town and meet the other travelers before we board the ship. Exploring the endpoints of cruise are usually up to the individual, so this actually a great opportunity for people who haven’t been to Cape Town before.