You are cutting it close but under normal circumstances, which do sometimes occur, you should be at your ship 2-2.5 hrs after deplaning. But if the ship sails 4hrs after your scheduled arrival, can you actually checkin and board up to the last minute or is your actual available time less than 4 hrs. If your flight is late for example do you have a plan B to get to the next port of call before the ship? I would never do what you seem to be planning; I'd come in a day early at least.
Getting bags will often be the biggest problem at the airport.. It often takes a while. Customs etc is in general reasonable quick. However check with your cruiseline what the latest time is you still can board. If possible change your plan come earlier,
We normally recommend a minimum of 4-6 hours, but preferably an overnight stay, when people ask about transferring between different flights, from the same airport, on separate tickets.
Planning to arrive at AMS four hours before a cruise ship departure from the other end of town strikes me as totally crazy.
Suggest you arrive the day before.
Even a 2 hour flight delay here would have you sweating. I agree crazy to arrive the day of a cruise. Way too much risk for me.
Some people only get 14 days a year or so for their vacation, and might buy the insurance for getting to the next port in case they miss their ship. It would depend where the next port is too, but I totally understand that there are circumstances where one would take a calculated risk. After all there's definitely some leeway, and the chances of a long delay are not that high.
What I've always wondered, if you miss your ship that's going to another Schengen port, would they let you embark on the lock in IJmuiden?
Make sure you have a telephone number for your cruise ship.
And if possible, understand how you might get cell phone access in the EU.
If your cruise line is picking you up at the airport, understand where you meet them.
Is this flight booked through the cruise line? If so, is it responsible for getting you to the next port if your flight is late? My relatives who do these cruises always go at least a day before.
Probably the best $300 you have ever spent If you want hotel recommendations then let us know but we need an exact date and budget.