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Old February 7th, 2004, 08:49 AM
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Default procedure for getting off and on ship in port?

What's the procedure for getting off and on the ship (Island Princess) on the days it's in port? Can you just walk on and off whenever you please? Is there any sort of security check when getting back on? Are there a lot of lines? I was wondering, for example, if we have an excursion that starts at 7:45 a.m. (Pilot's Choice Heli through Princess), what time we would have to "start leaving" the ship? Does it take a while to just get from your cabin (we're in Caribe, midship) to wherever you get off the ship?

-Beth

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Island Princess . . . May 22, 2004

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Old February 7th, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: procedure for getting off and on ship in port?

You can get off and on as often as you want. There is a line to get off. You check out using your sign and sail card. Then when you are ready to return, there is another line to check in. All this is done electronically. This is for security purposes, and to let the ship know when all passengers are on board before leaving a port. You are supposed to be back at least 30 minutes before departure. If you are late returning, they don't wait for you unless you are on a Princess excursion. But if everyone isn't back on board, they will try paging the passenger to see if he somehow managed to get back on without checking in. One passenger was late getting back on our Alaska cruise and had to take a water taxi out to catch up with the ship. The ship slowed SLIGHTLY to allow him to board. Princess somehow manages to keep the lines fairly short in spite of there being 2000+ passengers on the ship. We never waited over 5 minutes in any line on the Sun Princess, and I have seen other similiar comments.

The ships are long, so it can be a long walk to get anywhere. It would really depend on your proximity to the elevators. The exit is set up fairly close to the elevators. You will be told where to go to disembark. As the tide rises and falls, they have to juggle exits to keep the gangway from being too steep, so you might leave from a different place the second time you leave.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: procedure for getting off and on ship in port?

Thanks for all the info, Linda, that's great to know!

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Island Princess . . . May 22, 2004

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Old February 8th, 2004, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: procedure for getting off and on ship in port?

For a 7:45am Princess tour- that may be the meeting time out on the dock?? But you are paying a supplement for this tour- if desired- consider independent booking- ALL companies- transfer from the dock and with the first tour- no chance of missing the ship. You probably are going with ERA- a large multi-helicopter company. My tour with them, although excellent was more "shuttle like". TEMSCO and Coastal also offer excellent tours- I have gone with ALL three companies. As mentioned- there are some lines getting on/off the ship- all cards have to be scanned and sometimes slow moving passengers on the stairs. Coming back packages are scanned. You do need to be back on board 30 min before sailing. There will be a board on the gangway with the times posted. Sometimes these times change so be sure to take a look as leaving. Have a great trip!!!
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Old February 8th, 2004, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: procedure for getting off and on ship in port?

Karen,
Thanks for the info. I did contact TEMSCO about doing this Pilot's Choice with them. But they replied "To book a Pilot's Choice tour we need a minimum of 3 passengers," and there are just 2 of us. They also said we could book the tour directly through Princess and there would be no passenger minimum, so I was guessing this meant even though we booked through Princess we'll still be going with TEMSCO? The descriptions of the tours sounded exactly the same.

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Island Princess . . . May 22, 2004

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Old February 8th, 2004, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: procedure for getting off and on ship in port?

Absolutely the same vender, same tour. TEMSCO is a ship contractor that also direct books. I have sat side by side ship passengers who always paid more. "Pilot's choice" is essentionly a 2 landings, Coastal also offers this. Keep checking back with TEMSCO- they may get more passengers interested. Also you can post an add looking for people to book with you??
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Old March 2nd, 2004, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: procedure for getting off and on ship in port?

Hi BethT; Glad you asked that question...lots of good answers. I noticed that you've booked your shore excursions. We sail Sapphire Princess in August. Website says you can pre-book shore excursions 60 days in one place, 70 days in another place and brochures says 120 days? Did you pre-book via internet, phone or mail in? Thanks Marty
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Old March 2nd, 2004, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: procedure for getting off and on ship in port?

Marty -
I was able to book my excursions through Princess online about 110 days before the cruise. I think they should be available 120 days before the cruise, but it seemed that there were some problems with the website. I emailed them a couple of times about it and it was fixed soon after my second email. So, I would suggest if the excursions are not showing up as available when you reach 120 days before your cruise to email them (there's a place on the website where you can report problems with the website - click on "Contact Us" at the bottom of the screen and then look for the link for reporting problems in the page that comes up). If that doesn't work in a few days, try calling; it can't hurt!

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Island Princess . . . May 22, 2004

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Old March 2nd, 2004, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Re: procedure for getting off and on ship in port?

Thanks, Beth: I called Princess tonight to clarify the discrepancies re: "When To Book A Shore Excursion!?!!" Guess what.....all was online TONIGHT for our cruise on August 15th!? !! And, so, since we had already identified our preferences, I pre-booked tonight. Let the buyer, the web browser, the brochure reader, let ANYBODY beware...keep calling? I really appreciate it that you brought this up, Beth. I hope this inconsistent, illogical, "catch as catch can" process by Princess doesn't bode ill for me as a lst time cruiser, via internet
no less. This wonderful site is saving my fanny, I think. Marty S
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Old March 3rd, 2004, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: procedure for getting off and on ship in port?

Marty - Glad you were able to book your excursions! I think you should be safe with pre-reserving them through the Princess site, although it's my first time too so I don't know that much about it myself. have fun!

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Island Princess . . . May 22, 2004

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