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Old March 10th, 2013, 03:28 PM
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Thumbs down End of cruise disembarkation criteria

Just returned from HAL cruise on the Maasdam ending at Ft. Lauderdale. There was a huge delay in the terminal due to inadequate staffing of customs agents. We finally got to the airport 30 minutes after our scheduled flight to California. Amazingly the plane was late, and we were able to board but only after running through the airport terminal. My partner is nearing 90 years of age. Also because of the time we were unable to purchase any meals to take aboard our Southwest flight -- another huge inconvenience. I had accepted our plight until I found that everyone we talked to ahead of us in the ship terminal line had flights later than ours. My questions is this: What is the criteria used to prioritize who gets off first? Common sense would suggest that those with the earliest flights disembark first. What kind of games do the HAL staff play? They certainly had no concern for our plight putting us in a category that disembarked too late to meet our flight. I'll remember this the next time I consider going with HAL.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 07:59 PM
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Hi Dee Lee,
Usually, about half way through the cruise, they should of asked for your flight info, time, flight number, etc. They usually go by that to get the passengers with the earlier flights off first. Doesn't sound like that happened to you. What time was your return flight home? All, in all, I think you were very lucky to make your flight...
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Old March 10th, 2013, 09:13 PM
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Our flight was scheduled for 11:05, and disembarkation began shortly after 7.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 07:09 AM
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Default Similar experience

We are HAL regulars and gotten off in Ft Lauderdale many times. The earliest flight we had was 11:25am, and we also had a close call. A flight time of 11:05 is just too early. We never schedule a flight before noon, to allow a margin for various delays.

The last two trips, our flight was around 1pm, and we were delivered to the airport by 9:30. Oh well, a long wait is a lot better than a missed flight.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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For those passengers who are paying attention when they travel, there are two options to prevent the problems you had:

If you pay attention to the cruise line's website - EVERY cruise line - they will advise you not to book a flight before noon on theday you disembark.
You missed that one.

If you pay attention to the ship's disembarkation form - on EVERY ship - they ask you what time you would like to disembark.
If your ship started debark at 7am, you could have disembarked at 7am if you had told them in advance.
You missed that one as well.

Just think of your difficulties as a "Not paying attention tax."
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Old March 11th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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I do believe I have paid this tax at other venues....
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Old March 11th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about your delays and almost missing your flight.

Bruce is correct. There should have been a form delivered to your cabin about mid-cruise that would have had you inform them of your early flight. You would have received lower numbered luggage tags for early disembarkation.

If you did not receive early tags then the next step would have been to go to Guest Services and request them. I cannot see them not giving them to you if you have an early flight.

I'm sorry that it was a hard learning experience but I hope your next cruise goes off without a hitch. It's a bad way to end a vacation when you are rushing to make a plane.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 11th, 2013, 02:15 PM
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I have reports of Customs lines this past weekend for the Oasis and Allure Of The Seas too. 90 minutes in line after exiting the ship.

So beyond the usual guidance everyone needs to follow, I'll venture that Customs is reducing weekend staffing at Port Everglades as part of the federal budget sequestration.

It is Customs' game on debarkation and not something HAL or any other cruise line controls.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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I'm sorry you had to end your vacationon a sour note, but this is a cautionary tale for all of us now, with the cutbacks..book a flight a bit later to accomodate the lines that will inviarably be in airports now, and check to make sure your earlier flights, get early disembarkation.

Another think to note for next time..Get a wheelchair for your partner, to be able to get through security..an elderly person should not be huffing and puffing, struggling or rushing.
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