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Old June 15th, 2007, 06:12 PM
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Default Anyway to skip the long line boarding the ship?

Is there anyway to avoid the long line to board the ship? Our plane gets into Seattle at noon July 8th, 2007, so can't do the early boarding at 11 am.

We filled out the preboarding papers and sent them 30 days ahead of time like they suggested.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 07:02 PM
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By the time you get your luggage and the transfer to the ship, you probably won't be at there until maybe 1 or 2pm.

Sorry, I can't think of any way you can avoid the long lineups. Even doing your immigration form on line, doesn't mean a thing because most of the other passengers will have done it too.

Unless you are in a Deluxe Suite, you will have to stand in line with everyone else.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 09:04 PM
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Thank you for your quick response. I thought maybe that was the case.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: Anyway to skip the long line boarding the ship?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianeisme313
Is there anyway to avoid the long line to board the ship? Our plane gets into Seattle at noon July 8th, 2007, so can't do the early boarding at 11 am.

We filled out the preboarding papers and sent them 30 days ahead of time like they suggested.
Lots of people disagree with me, but I say take your good old time getting off the plane and getting your luggage. Then relax and have a drink or a bite to eat at the airport ... planning to get to the ship by about 2:30/3:00 p.m. Generally, most everyone else is onboard by that time, and you will absolutely breeze through embarkation.

I remember when I did my Hawaii/South Pacific cruise in January 2006. I was staying at the Holiday Inn right across the street from the pier. One look at those lines in the morning and I said no way. There is no Lido luncheon buffet that is worth standing around in that line for. So, I went back to bed, setting my alarm for about 11:30 (check out was at noon). I then got up, took a quick shower, got dressed and called for a bellman to bring my bags down to the lobby. I sat in the lobby socializing with other people waiting to get a shuttle across the street with their luggage, and I don't think we actually boarded the shuttle until after 2:00 p.m. Because of that, I just walked through the various check-in stations and onto the ship. My cabin was also ready for me.

Just about everyone wants to hurry, hurry and get on the ship. Because of that, most often the lines will be longest earlier in the day.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old June 16th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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Thank you for your reply blue skies. That's a great idea. I knew on Carnival's Valor it was around 1 pm and we were in a very long line trying to get on. We have never been able just to walk thru like you describe, that would be so nice.

I wonder if we would miss the shuttle (transfer) to take us to the port if we waited around the airport or would they constantly be running all day? Also the Hal person, who is to meet us at the airport, would they be there all day. They have the time of our arrival and the plane.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Sorry - but I don't agree with Kyros. Who wants to hang around the airport and I would rather eat lunch on the ship than eat at any airport where in my opinion the food isn't that great. Why pay for lunch, when it's free on the ship.

Also, if HAL has your flight # and arrival time, the HAL rep will be wondering where you are and if you missed your flight. If there are no more passengers to wait for, then they are going to leave and not wait around and see if you show up. They have a manifest that they check off as they greet you at the luggage carousel or as you board the bus. Please, don't keep them and the other passengers waiting just because you don't want to stand in a long lineup. Actually we've never found the lines to be that long as they have many agents checking in the passengers.

Enjoy your cruise.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 02:55 PM
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Thank you dee-dee for the info and glad to know the lines aren't that long with the Hal cruise line. What time do you usually check in and have you done any July sailings to Alaska?

Carnival Valor had lots of customer service people checking people in, but the line reached a long ways outside the warehouse type place before you even got close to inside to check in. That was a January sailing to E. Caribbean.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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I agree that if you come around 2:30 to 3:00, you can practially just walk on, however, I still love to show up at the pier at 10:00, get in line and wait. I don't mind it, it's part of the excitement for me and we are usually some of the first to board after the wait and we're on and done. I want to get my money's worth and be on that ship every moment I can. So I don't mind the hour to hour and half wait in line to board and be on first.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Anyway to skip the long line boarding the ship?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianeisme313
Is there anyway to avoid the long line to board the ship? Our plane gets into Seattle at noon July 8th, 2007, so can't do the early boarding at 11 am.

We filled out the preboarding papers and sent them 30 days ahead of time like they suggested.
If your flight is arriving at noon, by the time you get to your ship (Noordam, right?) it will be 1 pm, so just head straight to pier from airport, because frankly, you don't have a whole lot of time to play with. Noordam departs Seattle at 4 pm, lifeboat drill is at 3:15 pm, they would like everyone on board by 2:30 pm. Boarding commences at 11:30 am in Seattle. You won't have a huge line.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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Thank you all for your responses. It does sound like a good idea to get there as quickly as possible. Yes, we are excited and can hardly wait to board. 10 am that is early, never done that yet. We always seem to fly in around noon or so.

Is it true that American Airlines is bad with delays? Anyone have any trouble getting to the port on time because of AA?
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Old June 16th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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I would never ever flyin the day of a cruise. The day before to be safe always. I think that is a must. You never know what can happen. It is less stressful that way and we are well rested for the next morning and our first day on the ship. I would never risk it.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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We have always flown in on the day of the cruise.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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I have never had a problem with American Airlines. They always get me where I am going on time. Especially in the summer. I usually do fly in the day before just because I don't want the added stress of delayed flights. The lines at HAL or nothing like the lines at Carnival. The lines at HAL move very quickly. Have a great cruise.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Thank you so much for the information. Good to hear about HAL lines moving so much faster than Carnival's. That's the only experience we have had so this will be a wonderful change.

We always had good luck with American Airlines too, but I heard/read there has been more problems since they absorbed TWA. I did find a sight online with statistics for flight numbers and they looked pretty good for our flight #'s. One of our flight numbers was 77% on time and the delays as 27 minutes.

http://www.flightstats.com/go/Home/home.do

I found this worked best by putting in the airport you start at and the first place you land instead of the destination. Like we have to change planes in Dallas so I put our city to Dallas for those flights on time status which were excellent for the time flying, then checked from Dallas to our port city for those flights on time status which was 77% status.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianeisme313
Thank you for your reply blue skies. That's a great idea. I knew on Carnival's Valor it was around 1 pm and we were in a very long line trying to get on. We have never been able just to walk thru like you describe, that would be so nice.

I wonder if we would miss the shuttle (transfer) to take us to the port if we waited around the airport or would they constantly be running all day? Also the Hal person, who is to meet us at the airport, would they be there all day. They have the time of our arrival and the plane.
If you are talking the cruise line shuttle ... like a transfer to the ship that you paid for ... you're stuck. You have to get that when it's available and I doubt it runs all day. It is synched with the various flights arriving with folks onboard also heading to the ship. But, depending upon the distance from the airport to the pier, you might be better off bagging the cruise line's shuttle and just grabbing a cab. Then you could arrive at the ship pretty much anytime up until 4:00 p.m. or so.

It's interesting that you say you've never just walked onto the ship the way I describe. On EVERY one of my cruises, with the exception of the last, it took me all of ten minutes tops ... from the time I arrived at the cruise terminal, to when I was walking onboard the ship. On the last cruise, the Veendam, there were some problems with disembarkation of the previous cruise and as a result, even though I got to the port around 2:00 p.m., there was still a long snaking line outside of the terminal. The ship itself didn't actually pull out until well after 7:00 p.m. as a result of the problems. So, I guess there was no way to avoid that bottleneck. You could always wind up with the isolated bad embarkation.

However, as a matter of course, arrive late and you'll generally walk right onto the ship. Embarkation was never meant to be stressful. In fact, it should be relaxing ... just as you hope your cruise will be.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old June 18th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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I can't say it was stressful (a trip/cruise is only as stressful as you let it be) to embark onto the two cruises we were on, but it certainly was not 10 minutes to arrive and get on the ship. It was a wait. I don't know if this was because of a delay embarkation each time or if it just the way it is with Carnival. It's just all I know. Long, long lines waiting to get on. They were both January cruises to the Caribbean embarking in Miami. We are walkers so long lines are no big deal, but just wondered if there was a way to get around it. The last cruise we carried our luggage onboard the airlines and walked out to a taxi and went directly to the ship. It didn't save anytime waiting in a long line though. It was a more pleasant getting out of the airport terminal faster though. Of course, that is impossible to do now with the tighten security, so we will be checking the luggage in and using the HAL transfers.

Thank you for your reply and information.
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Old June 25th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruisingJen
I would never ever flyin the day of a cruise. The day before to be safe always. I think that is a must. You never know what can happen. It is less stressful that way and we are well rested for the next morning and our first day on the ship. I would never risk it.
Unfortunately, I often have no choice but to fly in on the day of my cruise ... at least for cruises departing from the east coast. For west coast departures, I often have no choice but to spend a night pre-cruise in a hotel, simply because there are no flights that will get me to the port city in a reasonable period of time before the cruise departs.

So, in many cases, I will continue to fly in on the day of the cruise, and hope the "force" is with me.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old June 25th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDee
Sorry - but I don't agree with Kyros. Who wants to hang around the airport and I would rather eat lunch on the ship than eat at any airport where in my opinion the food isn't that great. Why pay for lunch, when it's free on the ship.
No need to be sorry ... most people disagree with me on this point.

I guess I just have a very, very strong aversion to waiting in lines with a crowd and would rather just take my time getting to the ship even if it means missing lunch. I just make sure not to cut it too close.

But most people, when I share that philosophy with them, disagree and say they would much rather wait in lines, if necessary, to get on the ship at the earliest possible time.

To each his own.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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