Thread: NCL's airfare
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:53 PM
griffinemma griffinemma is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6

Update: Just got back from Vancouver yesterday. We live outside DC. We had "priority" disembarkation because we were in a penthouse suite. Some how we ended next to last in the line for the bus transfer to the airport. Can't figure out how that happened. Major confusion by the NCL people at Canada place about which line was for what. In the end, after standing for one and a half hours, they put us in a taxi to the airport @ NCL's expense. Note to self: next time arrange own air and take taxi to pier. The best thing to do for us would be to fly out a day early and fly back a day late.

This is not NCL's fault, but we had one of the worst experiences ever at Vancouver airport. This is just another reason not to fly on a Sunday when lots of ships get in. We got to the airport at nine for a 2 pm flight. I anticipated much boredom. (I went with my 11 yo and my husband did not come with us -- too busy working). We couldn't check in our baggage until 11 am, so we sat around for two hours. Then we got our luggage tags and went to the line for Canadian customs. The customs officials were none too happy with me because I didn't have a letter from the other custodial parent about taking my son out of the country. I had called NCL and they said I didn't need one. (Everything NCL onshore told me turned out to be true, so I'm not sure what possessed me to believe them in a question of law). They were quite irate. As a parent, I do appreciate their concern for kids' safey, but I was a little anxious to make an unschedule stop in Canada for a few days to get this straightened out. Canadian customs - that was an enormous line!!! Then we went to get in US immigration line which was also exceeding long and it was very hot. At least the customs officials were nice. Then we dumped our checked bags and got in line for Canadian security. I read all the rules(quart sized bag, laptops out). Apparently there had been a security "incident" earlier in the day and and they had to empty the terminal and all those people had to go thru security again. So security was twice as long in waiting time as it would have been normally. This was a longer hotter line than before. Toward the end, I began to seriously doubt we would make our flight. We got to the gate as they were concluding the boarding process. Then we had 6 hours of flying time!

All in all, the airport was ill prepared to deal with the volume of people. My normal response to that would be get there earlier, but United wouldn't let us check in earlier. NCL handled the diembarkation process very poorly.

Lessons learned -- never fly on cruise day and make your own travel arrangements.

But we did have a great time in Alaska!!!
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