Hi Everyone.. I am booked on the May 17th Carnival Pride out of Orlando. This will be my 4th crusie and I love them. The only problem I have is I am a worry wart!! I want to know how everyone feels about security after 9/11. What do you think if you sailed after it?
I sailed on the Ecstasy in the beginning of March and am on the Paradise on May 12. The only difference in ship security that I could see (or was really aware of) was that Carnival had added the picture linked to your Sign and Sail card (don't know when they added that, but it was not done on the Fantasy when we sailed last May). and they double checked your id before you physically got on the ship.
I personally am not a worry wart, so worrying about security does not bother me. The only change I have made is that I re-did my air to Miami so that we could get in the day before so that we did not have to worry about airports shutting down because the screener was asleep or the machine was turned off of some idiot decides to carry on a plastic grenade or ...
Barry has some good points, if possible go the day before or at least make sure your flights arrive very early and allow you lots of time for inroute delays. Same goes for your return, allow plenty of time, 2 hours or so, to complete securyt checks on airlines. As for the ships, there are q number of new policies in effect, most which you will not, nor should you notice. For security reasons these issues and checks are not made public, what would be the point if you told everyone? What you will notice is that they will now take your photo before you board and whenever you leave and enter the ship the photo will come up on a screen to match you to the boarding pass (aka Sail & Sign card). You will also notice that they will check your id more closely which is why a passport is so highly recommended. When we returned from a Southern Caribbean cruise last week EVERYONE was required to go through immigration, including US Citizens before the ship was cleared for disembarkation, which meant we had to get up at 6am to stand in a line to show our passports onboard the ship and be checked off a list. You will also notice the USCG escorting the ships, or at least watching them very closely when both entering and leaveing port and while in port. My personal opinion is that you are pretty safe onboard a ship.
Jim is correct. Other points new where that EVERYONE was required to go through immigration, including US Citizens before the ship was cleared for disembarkation in St. Thomas, and for final disembarkation, which meant we had to get up early even if you weren't planning to go ashore to stand in a line to show our passports onboard the ship and be checked off a list. You will also notice the USCG escorting the ships, or at least watching them very closely when both entering and leaveing port and while in port. We saw this too in Nassau and St. Thomas as well as Port Canaveral, too. If you don't have passports, it is still a good item to purchase now. The St. Thomas immigration issue was new from November, too.
I don't believe you need to worry about security on board. We sailed over the New Year's holiday and going again on June 22nd on the Pride. The cruise lines have taken many steps to insure the safety of their passengers. Some measures are obvious, others are not seen or discussed publicly. Just board the ship and have a great cruise and don't worry about anything except when is the next meal.
Last August my husband and I sailed on the Inspiration..... Carnival had already instituted the picture id.... it really was no big deal and did not slow down the process of either leaving the ship or returning at ports...
We were actually on a cruise during the Sept. 11 tragedy. We were on a beach in Antigua when we got the news. We were sailing on the Destiny out of San Juan. Yes, very far from home with airports shut down. The cruiseline kept us informed of the situation and even offered us to stay on board for $199. per person for the next week if our flights had been cancelled or we couldn't find a hotel. The security at the airport and onboard is very tight. We cruised again in February. Another added security procedure for the cruiseline is that all carry-on bags are checked and all luggage is scanned by the cruiseline. As far as the airport, my boyfriend was searched twice and myself three times during random searches. You know what I say to that? Thank you for keeping me safe!
Oh, and one more thing, scuba divers check the hull twice before and after every trip.