Paul, sorry but you don't seem to like anything about the Mariner -takes longer to board. I guess we have been really lucky - we get on board and walk around meet some of the crew - actually gone to our room and the off for a drink while we wait and meet new friends. Gosh, guess we are lucky and we are just plain, normal folks, who like to cruise as we get closer to retirement.
Alamo, you don't know me so it isn't right or fair to infer I have an elitist attitude. Second, they had the firedoors shut and crewmembers standing guard until 1:00, so you couldn't to your room if you were on early.
My statement was about all ships and the tendency of people to want to get there earlier and earlier all the time. I think it is causing problems for other people who don't have a choice about arrival time. As lombard says, the contract says "Boarding is at 1:00" - maybe there is a good reason for that?
And I totally agree with Ron that Customs is taking longer & longer to clear ships these days. It used to be we just walked off of ships, now everyone has to talk to Customs & Border Patrol, and it really slowed disembarkation down. Especially when they had to get out the pen lights and lasers to inspect the birth certificates of people who didn't have passports. I understand the need for that, but once again, another reason for people NOT to push to get on the ship first thing in the morning.
I really think people should wait until 12:30 - 2:00 to get on board if they can - for their own sanity and those of others who have no choice. And corneraft, there were people in the terminal we saw who walked right in - ahead of us, and they probably did get right on. Our bus (we didn't have a private car) got stuck behind several taxis & limousines and we were looking at the terminal, stuck inside the bus for about 15 minutes. By the time we got out of it, it literally took over an hour to get on the ship.
My brother in law was in a wheelchair and we had to push him through crowds, and around crowds to get on elevators. There was no priority line for the handicapped. People were cranky and passing us up because he was "too slow" for them.
The line snaked up an escalator to the ticket counters, after tickets down a long hallway (because of a photographer taking pictures) up another escalator (we had to find an elevator each time) before you even got to the place where they take your picture for your card. Our machine broke down, so we got in the back of another line (Heaven forbid anyone should let a handicapped person in line) and when the machine we were at the front of the line for came back online people rushed up to get ahead of us, leaving us in the back of the room again. Once through that barrier it was down another long hall to get on the ship.
I am not saying people were intentionally being rude, it was just one of those situations were everyone is claustrophobic and wanted to get the heck out of there. Exactky the way I felt.
That's just the simple truth, no embellishment. I would have preferred to arrive much later but we had pre-paid transfers and they chose the pickup time for our hotel.