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Embarkation questions about RCCL in Vancouver

Embarkation questions about RCCL in Vancouver

Old Jul 3rd, 2004, 06:06 AM
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Embarkation questions about RCCL in Vancouver

I have been searching for cruise reviews of the RCCL ship Serenade of the Seas. We are taking the Alaska cruise on July 24, 2004. One consistant fact seems to be that the embarkation process is a nightmare. It seems the masses are huddled into a room and it could take 2 plus hours to board the ship!! While our inital plan was to get there early around noon I am wondering if that is a mistake. Any ideas from others would be greatly appreciated. Elaine
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Old Jul 3rd, 2004, 06:20 AM
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I don't know about Ballentyne Pier., if you are departing from there - you don't need this info. Someone else will have to help you.

We arrived at the other pier way early - had to wait for someone to take our bags - then waited in a large area for the security to set up. Then went into a waiting area until about 12:30 until Customs/Immigration arrived from the airport to take care of us. In this second waiting area the crowds were starting to build.

You could go in & out of this area to get snacks, etc. (just go thru security again -with proof of being a passenger)

The best parts about being early is you do get a seat and you get a #1 boarding pass. It was not a nightmare and we were not huddled. We knew we would have to wait and just allowed for it.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2004, 05:52 PM
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I am NEVER in a rush to get on a ship and always arrive a few hours before departure. I don't understand the urgency to get on "first" and usually after waiting in a line like cattle. Vancouver is an excellent touring city- so many people never see it. Consider dropping off your bags with the porters and putting carry ons in baggage claim and see some of the city. If you come back at 2pm, you likely will hardly have to wait at all.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2004, 07:19 PM
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Thank you both for your comments. I have checked with RCCL and we are leaving out of Ballentyne Pier. While I do agree with you BudgetQueen we are arriving a day earlier to take advantage of seeing the city as well as staying for three days after our cruise. Our group feels the rush to get on the ship is for the excitement of being there as well as exploring this grand new ship but being first is not important. As I have never boarded a ship outside of the US I wondered if the embarkation process was different or took more time because of added security etc as other posts have stated.
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Old Jul 4th, 2004, 06:10 AM
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We wanted to get on the ship (or at least to the pier) as it was raining and a nasty day.

We had already spent 2 days in Burnaby and 3 days in Vancouver. The only thing we could not do was go to Grouse Mtn. as the weather was not good.
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