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-   -   NCL Spirit Disembarkation at New Orleans (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/norwegian-cruise-lines/359174-ncl-spirit-disembarkation-new-orleans.html)

beflynow December 14th, 2008 06:07 PM

NCL Spirit Disembarkation at New Orleans
 
We stood in line with no chairs for three hours in a hallway to get off. NCL staff stated Customs only had four checkers, normally eight for over 2000 passengers.

Since this was the case, the staff should have held passengers in comfortable waiting areas. Many missed their flights. NCL, Customs and the New Orleans Port Authority should be ashamed. We'll take our business to another Port and avoid the Big Uneasy like the plague.

Will

nmnita December 14th, 2008 08:01 PM

Re: NCL Spirit Disembarkation at New Orleans
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by beflynow
We stood in line with no chairs for three hours in a hallway to get off. NCL staff stated Customs only had four checkers, normally eight for over 2000 passengers.

Since this was the case, the staff should have held passengers in comfortable waiting areas. Many missed their flights. NCL, Customs and the New Orleans Port Authority should be ashamed. We'll take our business to another Port and avoid the Big Uneasy like the plague.

Will

Will, could you tell us when this was??? Just making a blank statement won't solve any problems or help get your point across...Sorry,this is not the job on the cruise line. They need to clear the ship to allow the passengers on the next cruise to board..This is a problem for the port Authority, again, when did this happen?? I notice you are a first time poster, no information on yourselve, you didn't mention whether you missed your flight, etc. Give us some details if you want to have your complaint taken seriously.

Nita :roll:

Kuki December 14th, 2008 08:40 PM

Quote:

I notice you are a first time poster, no information on yourselve, you didn't mention whether you missed your flight, etc. Give us some details if you want to have your complaint taken seriously.
I don't think there is any particularr required minimimum # of posts for a poster to be "taken seriously". And greeting every new poster with a defense of the cruise line against a complaint, rather than simply asking for more information, is a great way to encourage them not to come back to the site to explain. A friendly and inquiring reply would be much more helpful.

beenie weenie December 14th, 2008 09:22 PM

There seems to have been recent issues with the port in NOLA. Nita even commented about them on her recent Spirit cruise. Several of her fellow cruisers also sounded off about it. It must have been pretty bad.

Unfortunately it would seem the Port Authority is having a personnel shortage at the moment according to a few emails that were recently exchanged by cruisers, NOLA Port Authority and the CVB. They did state they were working together to try to resolve the issue. Many businesses in NOLA are fighting the same battle. However, NOLA really needs the tourism and the dollars. I would encourage you to reconsider your decision to swear off NOLA for good. As I can assure you, everytime I have sailed to/from there we have had excellent experiences. So I am hopeful it will improve. We will be cruising from there again Feb 7th and 12th as well. I appreciate your post and will make a point to take my time getting on and off the ship and not getting in a hurry to go anywhere. Also I won't get in any big hurry to get in that line that is going nowhere fast.

I have had bad embarcation/debarcation experiences at other ports, luckily I tried them again later and was glad I did. Everytime seems to be different. So just because NOLA was a nightmare this time is no guarantee that a different port will be better, or that NOLA will continue to be bad. Also timing is everything. We always arrive early (except for our latest cruise cause we overslept lol :oops: Thats a whole other story) But anyhow when we sailed the Liberty out of FLL on its maiden caribbean voyage, we got on the ship very nicely, no probs. BUT our friends who showed up a coule of hours later were very unhappy. Something went wrong (never found out what) embarcation stopped. Babies and elderly people were sufferring out in the hot, hot sun. The cruise line did nothing for them, no water, nothing. After a while people started to succumb to the heat and ambulances came to care for them and take them to the hospitals for treatment. It was awful, but if our friends had not told us about it, we would have been oblivious to the whole thing since we got on first before any of this. So sometimes even though we're on the same ship as someone else, our experiences differ.

I understand how frustrating these experiences can be. I have been there and done that, but I am confident things will improve at this port.

beflynow December 14th, 2008 09:36 PM

New Orleans Disembarkation: NCL Spirit, 3 HR. Standing
 
Nita:

1) We disembarked on Sun. Dec. 7.
2) Customs did not have enough staff show up.
3) NCL should have held passengers in waiting areas on the ship until the line started moving. They were very disorganized.
4) Cruisemates does not require all the info you desired about me personally, but since you asked, this is our 12th cruise and first posting on this site. We thought we were performing a service warning others to be aware. If NCL can't get you to the Customs counter in less than three hours, then you may desire to consider alternatives.
5) We know many in our section missed their flights because they had departures at 1:30 and 2:00 but were still standing in line at 12:30 trying to get to the customs counter. My wife and I were driving since you asked, if that detail was relevant to consider our posting "serious" in your opinion. We live in La.
6) If you or anyone else needs any further information, my address is:
beflynow@aol.com

7) Many elderly were having problems: No chairs or restrooms in the terminal hallways. Some elderly finally just sit on the concrete floor.

So, I'm not sure if all of the above info meets your "serious" threshold, but that is what happened to us and we hope it does not happen to others.

Will

Kuki December 14th, 2008 10:55 PM

On several cruise returning to the port of Miami we've faced very long waits for customs & immigration. The cruise lines themselves will tell you they make them crazy with their lack of consistency.

The flip side, of course, is the cruise lines should be prepared with a plan b with the way they handle debarkation, when these incidence arise.

I personally believe the problem has been made more complicated since the cruise lines started allowing self debarkation (meaning you can take your own luggage with you and get off first).

shoreguy December 14th, 2008 11:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kuki
I personally believe the problem has been made more complicated since the cruise lines started allowing self debarkation (meaning you can take your own luggage with you and get off first).

Add in all those that just jumped in line before their color was called as time passed. On thing about NCL is they let you stay in your room until you are called to disembark. If you choose not to wait in comfort then you get stuck in the ugly line when on ocassion things back up.

beenie weenie December 14th, 2008 11:13 PM

One thing I have seen a few cruise lines do that really frosts my butt, is to start calling colors before they are even ready for those people to disembarc so they are packed into stairwells and hallways liek a can of sardines waiting to get off for long periods of time, or they call them and get them off the ship so the passengers are just standing in line in the port building waiting and waiting and waiting, which it sounds as though that is what happened to this gentlemen and some other folks who ended up waiting in line as long as 4 hours.

nmnita December 15th, 2008 07:01 AM

Re: New Orleans Disembarkation: NCL Spirit, 3 HR. Standing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by beflynow
Nita:

1) We disembarked on Sun. Dec. 7.
2) Customs did not have enough staff show up.
3) NCL should have held passengers in waiting areas on the ship until the line started moving. They were very disorganized.
4) Cruisemates does not require all the info you desired about me personally, but since you asked, this is our 12th cruise and first posting on this site. We thought we were performing a service warning others to be aware. If NCL can't get you to the Customs counter in less than three hours, then you may desire to consider alternatives.
5) We know many in our section missed their flights because they had departures at 1:30 and 2:00 but were still standing in line at 12:30 trying to get to the customs counter. My wife and I were driving since you asked, if that detail was relevant to consider our posting "serious" in your opinion. We live in La.
6) If you or anyone else needs any further information, my address is:
beflynow@aol.com

7) Many elderly were having problems: No chairs or restrooms in the terminal hallways. Some elderly finally just sit on the concrete floor.

So, I'm not sure if all of the above info meets your "serious" threshold, but that is what happened to us and we hope it does not happen to others.

Will

Will, that is why I asked which sailing;; We were on the same one and from what I have been told, this was an exception, not the rule.
The week before there were no problems. On the 7th we had peole inour group of about 20 that missed their plane (actually one person) but it did happen. It was a disaster, I agree but I still don't know what NCL could have done. There is only one way off the ship.

I am sorry I got so snotty with you, of course no one is required to list anything about themselves and it is none of my business, I just hate to see someone think something like this is a problem at NOLA all the time. Yes, we were told many did not show up for work.. if it continues that would be a whole different story.

Kuki, I think express disembarkation was fine at the beginning, but agree it has caused more problems than it has solved:

Shoreguy, in this case, you wouldn't believe how many people paid no attention to their color tags and how many gathered in the atrium area. The captain did request people be patient as the ship had not been cleared, he asked that we wait til our color was called, this was about 8am or a litttle later. Of course if your cabin door was closed and your TV not on the ship channel you would not have heard this.

The good news, just read 2 reports (2 other threads) yesterdays debarkation went very smoothly. It does sound like Dec 7th was an exception..
Nita :roll: :cry:

beflynow December 16th, 2008 01:28 PM

New Orleans Update: NCL
 
Just received a $75 per passenger credit from NCL in the mail for the three hour wait, no heat in the cabin and other problems we experienced.
The credits must be used on another cruise, which is questionable under the circumstances.

At least NCL is addressing the complaints and hopefully doing what they can to solve the problems. If Custom employees don't show up for work, NCL staff should not release the passengers from waiting areas.

We could consider New Orleans agains if Customs, the Port Authority and NCL could coordinate better and deliver a smooth and timely embark and disembark process. No one desires to be treated like cattle on vacation even if the cruise was free.

If the delays and problems continue, passengers will take their business elsewhere and everyone suffers, especially in a recession. If you are considering booking, perhaps you or your travel agent can specifically inquire of NCL the expected wait times therefore, letting them know smart buyers are aware of these issues.....they'll get the message.

Hope this info helps all concerned.

Will

nmnita December 16th, 2008 02:58 PM

well at least they are trying, I would think the credit had more to do with the lack of heat than the wait. If they sent a $75 credit to everyone that had to wait that day, wow!!! Was it a credit toward another cruise or an OBC? I know how you feel and I am not trying to start a war (we have enough of that) but these things do happen, from time to time, not just with NCL. All of us, who have cruised more than a few times can relate stories about embarkation and debarkation that would shock you. Does it happen often? Absolutely no, but it does. The same as missing ports for all sorts of reasons, not common but most of us have experienced this.

YOu keep going back to the cruise line should have held you on the ship: It seems like this was a no win situation for everyone. If they held you on the ship they couldn't start boarding the next group of passengers, ticking those guests off and perhaps even being late leaving NOLA> It seems to me either way, someone was going to be pretty upset. NCL did hold debarkation off for about an hour, but obviously that wasn't enough. You did get a credit at least, if you choose not to use it that is something else.

I do hope, regardless of what cruise line you take next time you have a positive experience. Most cruises are more plus than minus and most that sailed on the Spirit, Nov 30, that I have talked with or seen reviews from had a great time with the exception of debakation.

Nita :wink: :-P


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