Visiting Steamships - 1910 Travel Guide
It is usually possible to visit a steamer the day before sailing, and it is always possible to go on board an hour or so before sailing to say good-by to friends. It is the practice of some companies to issue a permit to visit a ship any time when she is in port.
When a vessel sails early in the morning, friends of passengers should go on board and say good-by during the evening. Where the vessel sails at a reasonable hour, say nine or ten o'clock in the morning, or in the afternoon, visitors are welcome. They should, however, leave promptly when the bugle or whistle sounds and when the stewards make their call in the passage: "All ashore that are going ashore."
Visitors who are carried away from the pier are likely to find their return by the way of a tug or the pilot boat disagreeable. In extreme cases passengers who have been delayed are sometimes put on board the steamer in mid-stream from tugs. Do not trust to this, however. Be in New York or other port of departure the day before. You will save much anxiety by doing this, and you will also be sure of your baggage. Do not trust to Sound or coastwise steamers to make connections for you.