Of four cruises, I have only boarded in Miami one time and that was for a RCCL cruise right after Thanksgiving. That boarding was a breeze. Walked right to the desk, showed docs, and boarded. A ten minute process at most.
In May, we cruise on the Victory along with my elderly parents. My concern is that they may have to stand for a long period of time and my mothers health is not what it use to be. Does anyone know or can share there experience with embarkment and the wait times in Miami ?
On past CCL cruises in other ports, we have waited from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.
On Glory - 05-06-06
Sensation,Jubilee ,Maj.of the Seas,Conquest, Victory.
I haven't embarked in Miami before, but will late this Summer. Am also interested in wait times in Miami. We've always left from Tampa and found Carnival to have their act together when it comes to embarkation. I would certainly think that even in another port, Carnival reps would be trained the same way about getting folks checked in and on the ship. I guess the only variable might be the physical set up of the port in Miami........
I think it makes a difference as to which route you are cruising.
If you are going the Eastern Route --- that means the people getting off the ship
are coming back from Western which means they all have to go through imigration
and the non-US citizens have to go through the line to get their passports back. This takes longer. If you are going the Western route --- that means the people getting off the ship are coming back from the Eastern route ...and they have already gone through imigration and did the whole passport thing before getting off the ship in St Thomas USVI.
We sailed the Eastern route --- and I arrived at the Port Of Miami at 11:00AM
(normally this would mean I am on the ship by 12:30PM)
At 1:30pm they STARTED boarding, we got on the ship at 1:40pm because we were in the first group to board. We did have a spot to sit, because we got there early enough to be in the first group. However, most people were standing in line for a VERY long time.
I thought it was the worst embarkation...., but after it is out of the way, I really enjoyed the Victory and the cruise....I hope you have a great time.
Location: Near Liz's favourite home, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, U.K.
Re: Re: Past Victory Cruisers-Embarkment Question
We sailed on the Victory late Nov last year from Miami on the Eastern Caribbean route.
We arrived at the port just before 11.00 a.m. Having previously sailed out of Tampa, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, w found the Miami Terminus to be very basic and guest unfriendly (if anyone has ever gone on RCCL from San Juan, you will well undersand where I am coming from).
For us, for some reason, even though we had already filled out our Fun Pass on line and had all docs ready, it took 30 mins. for the guy to process us before we received our sail and sign card. He had to tear up the first set of papers with my Credit Card detail on as he didn;t seem to know what he was doing - not a good start at all!
Eventually we made it upstairs and got to be seated around 12.30. We were aloud to board as from 1.00p.m. but told that our cabins would not be available until about 3.00.
We expected a long wait so antiicipated it. However, with Miami being Carnival's headquarters, I would have expected them to spend some money on the Terminus to make their guests feel welcome. It was very cold and very much like being hered like Cattle.
In comparison, Tampa was far better and San Juan was a breeze. The Terminal there has beautiful shops and if you have time on your hands there waiting to board, there is plenty to do and see. Not so in Miami I am afraid.
We sailed on the Victory the last 2 years in a row and had no problem with boarding each time....(we are sailing on the Valor also May 1 and will think of you in the next terminal!!). We always like to get there early and beat the crowd...once you get there after 11am the line is a mile long so I would rather have a quicker check in process not standing so long and then grab a seat upstairs and relax rather than get there late. Plus we are so excited we make our van shuttle pick up for about 9:30am (we live about 1/2 hr from Miami and go with other family members...8 of us this time), so we can get there about 10am. We didn't have to wait in line to check in more than 5-10 minutes, they looked over our docs, credit card, ID's etc and then we went upstairs(which has an escalator) with our carry-on bags and stopped at the desk to get our Sail & Sign cards, then took a seat closest to the escalator where they would start boarding and relaxed. Brought canned soda and water, some snacks, a magazine to read and my son's Gameboy will keep him occupied indefintely! They started boarding us both times about 12-12:15 pm and we were one of the first ones on the ship. Stopped to insert our Sail & Sign card at a desk and take our picture, and had to walk down a rather long hallway at one terminal. We couldn't put our bags in our room until 1pm since they are still cleaning them, so we made a beeline to the lunch buffet, almost skipping with joy as we went, had a great lunch and felt we had the whole ship to ouselves for an hour! By the time we were done we put our carry-ons in our room, almost screaming with joy at our lovely balcony cabins,barely able to contain our excitement. We are going early again May 1..have a great cruise!!! 22 more days to go!!!!!!
I don't know if you remember but also keep in mind the immense amount of traffic trying to get into the port area on embarkation day. They sometimes have security officers along the causeway slowing things down, and depending on how many ships are getting back into port, if there are 3 ships letting people off that means up to 9,000 people are getting off the ships and another 9,000 trying to get into the port to get on them all within a couple hours of eachother. Cars, taxis, and buses are everywhere and you are almost at a standstill trying to get into the terminal area to be let off. We made our pick up time for our private limo van for 10am May 1 but are going to change it to 9:30 so we can get there early and beat some of the crowds and secure a seat in the waiting area. Have a great cruise!! Post your vacation experience when you get back...I will also.
I have sailed several Carnival ships out of MIA. The wait can be horendous and new boarding is often delayed by customs, immigration, Coast Guard inspection and/or previous pax who do not properly do customs, imigration or settle their on board accounts promptly.
I would suggest getting to pier around 12 noon. I know this is generally the most crowded, busy time but Since your Mom has problems here is what we did for my hubby who had trouble walking. Just inside the door is a Carnival employee. Ask him/her for a wheelchair. You will get an escort that has a way to get you right thru ALL the lines (check-in, key card, picture) and take you all the way to your cabin. We always tipped and found it well worth the $$. You can request the same service from the pursar's desk for debarcation. Gets you off the ship right after self debarcation pax, no colors to wait for.
Also, do the fun pass on-line for everyone. Print out copies ic case of computer glitches. They frequently happen on all cruise lines and it is a BIG time saver.
Thanks. We are hoping to be there around 10:30 or shortly there after. We are stopping over Sat. night to stay with my aunt who lives on Lake Okachobee(spelling?). I understand that she is approx. 1 1/2 hours from Miami. We are hoping to get away by 7:30 AM.
marvhollly, Thanks for the tip. I will do just that...
On Glory - 05-06-06
Sensation,Jubilee ,Maj.of the Seas,Conquest, Victory.
Hi TC Topcat..I live near Lake Okeechobee as well and work out there, good idea to leave early when leaving your Aunts home..depending on what CITY she lives in whether it be Okechobee itself, or Belle Glade or any other, traffic can sometimes be a mess leaving from there...check with your Aunt, I am sure she knows the best way..Good Luck!!