Embarkation -- Secrets Revealed, please!

Jan 20th, 2003, 03:54 PM
  #1  
Cammy
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Embarkation -- Secrets Revealed, please!

Our cruise leaves at 5:00 p.m. next month. We are allowed to embark from 1 p.m. I hear that if you arrive there around 2:30, you're stuck in line for 2 hours. Does anyone have any tips or secrets you'd like to reveal on how you time your arrival to avoid the long wait? Arrive early? Late? Bring a good book and suffer?!
 
Jan 20th, 2003, 04:29 PM
  #2  
Cruiser
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Cammy: Have your paper work in order. In other words, fill out everything you can possibly do ahead of time. If the cruise lines have the forms on-line, also fill those out by computer before you leave home.
I have even seen people stand in line a long time, just be told to get out os line and go to a table and fill out forms when they got to the front of the line! Ridiculous---be prepared!!
I also try to arrive early if possible. I'd rather wait at the pier then at the airport---just people watch; strike up converstions; get acquainted, etc.
That is just one hint. I'm sure others will add some of their own.
Happy cruising!
 
Jan 20th, 2003, 09:59 PM
  #3  
Paul Therault
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Hi Cammy,

If they post 1PM I would take an educated guess that the door will open at 12:30. If you arrive very early you will be standing in line for quite some time.

There is really no rule-of-thumb for knowing when to arrive. One never knows how many busloads of passengers will arrive at one time or how many employees will be working.

I tried arriving at many different times. Seven times I arrived about 15 minutes before the ship leaves (assorted cruise ships). They just take the line and move it onto the ship and take up the gangplank. The waiting (5 out of 7 times) for me was extremely long. What does hold up the line is the passengers that do not have their forms filled out. Sometimes the line moves very fast and sometimes very slow.

Paul
 
Jan 21st, 2003, 03:19 PM
  #4  
nic
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cammy.. first i would suggest going early.. just incase something happens.. i'm sure you'd much rather wait in a line than miss the ship! and as for the lines, they should move very smoothly due to the new boarder security act requiring pax to pre-register before arriving at peir. All the info is in the computer so all thats left to due is set up sail& sign card.
 
Jan 22nd, 2003, 08:46 AM
  #5  
sneaky
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Here is one I saw while on my last cruise.
Lady with walker. Gets to board 1st because of " special needs" .
Saw her later that night dancing up a storm in the disco, then saw her the next day while in port walking up a storm.
The last morning, there she was with her walker waiting with the group to get off the ship first...
so, get yourself a walker and you will have it made!
 
Jan 22nd, 2003, 09:35 AM
  #6  
Cammy
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Your comments have helped (well, except for the walker idea which kind of reminds me of people who use those disabled placards to pull into a parking spot when they clearly don't need it and fake a limp for all of 2 seconds, while my paraplegic friend can't find a space to park). Here's a twist to the question: would it make any difference if all of the suites were booked and you wanted to see if there are any last minute cancellations? Stated differently, is the best chance to secure an upgrade due to a cancellation at the later or earlier boarding time? Logic dictates later, but I could be wrong.
 
Jan 24th, 2003, 08:59 AM
  #7  
LE
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You changed the question with your upgrade desire. Otherwise, part of the fun (especially if you are with others) is exploring the ship, observing all the activity, relaxing (they usually have music and food while they're in port too), and just getting the feel of what a great adventure is about to get underway. So we try to arrive around 12:30 or so, wait in line (there's almost always a line, but you're on vacation so take it in stride and don't let anything upset you) and then we get on the ship as soon as they allow us. It's interesting watching them load the food and bags (one time we even saw some baggage drop from the net into the water - fortunately not ours!)
 
Jan 24th, 2003, 10:47 AM
  #8  
cd
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On our last cruise just a few weeks ago, our embarkation was the worst ever! We, and hundreds of others, waited at least 2hrs. They were supposed to start boarding at 1:00pm and did not even start until around 3:00pm so, bring a good book, just in case. We also wanted to upgrade and were told we had to wait until the ship pulled away from port before they would know of any cancellations.(They were none)
 
Jan 24th, 2003, 11:49 AM
  #9  
pam
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Cd, which cruise line was this on if you don't mind me asking?
 
Jan 24th, 2003, 12:06 PM
  #10  
cd
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Pam
CostaAtlantica
 
Jan 24th, 2003, 12:36 PM
  #11  
Lenore
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You can probably fill out all the paperwork (immigration, emergency contact etc) on line ahead of time. If so, then you should be able to use the "fast lane" and avoid the long lines. Another little time saver is upon disembarkation, find your luggage and grab a porter. They will get you through the line and out to the curb so much faster and customs never looks twice. It is sooooo worth the $5 tip!
 
Jan 24th, 2003, 02:43 PM
  #12  
pam
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Cd, Thanks. I am sailing tomorrow on RC out of PR. That is why I was wondering.
 
Jan 24th, 2003, 09:24 PM
  #13  
Paul Therault
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There are many reasons a ship willnot allow boarding at the usual time. The main problems are:

1. Coast Guard inspections
2. CDC surprise inspections
3. Kitchen cleaning and opening of the buffet

The passenger problem is: No one tells you what is going on.

Paul
 
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