You're standing in line - even a fairly short line - and the mild, meek, smallish guy in front of you steps up to the counter and you hear the dreaded words, "Oh, you need to fill those forms out completely." And he's in line for himself, his lovely 500 lb wife, and their 14 kids, who now come out of nowhere and begin screaming for money from Daddy and Daddy won't get out of line to fill out his forms because Momma is yelling at him to stay in line or she'll flatten anyone who tries to make him move. Then the air conditioning in the hall fails and the lights flutter and the electricity goes out, stopping all embarkation for 30 miutes while the kids screaming intensifies. You FINALLY get to the counter and you hear the next dreaded words, "We don't seem to have you in our system..."
Believe it or not we have encountered passengers that don't have the forms filled out, and I just don't understand that one, you only have them for a week or 2 before you even leave home and yes that really slows the whole process for everyone. Next major gripe for me after the dreaded pool lounge chairs :-)
Oh, and don't forget my all time favorite - the group ahead of you is a bunch of kids on spring break, without apparent adult supervision (ok, there may BE a chaparone, but he/she's drinking on the deck already - they KNOW what's ahead for the rest of us) AND the kids apparently don't know when or where they were born, what their SSNs are, their parents names, etc etc etc!!
And don't forget this one.....you're next in line and the fire alarm goes off. Everyone out of the building and huddle together across the street. You know that as soon as you're allowed in the building you will wind up at the end of the loooonnnnnggggg line. Unless you're lucky enough to have a daughter that sprints ahead, running a zig zag pattern, knocking little old ladies out of her way to get you back to the front of the line because this is her first cruise and she is so excitied!!!! And here I come dragging the grandkid who can't walk that fast but WE MADE IT!!!!
That's why I wish I could take my son with me. 6' 4" tall (can't lose him) and I send him ahead (he gets there real fast with his long legs & skinny too). But alas... it'll be hubby and I with my parents... So, I do believe that it will be me, waiting for all of them to pull up from behind. Because I'm that little girl whose very excited to go on our cruise!
In fact, I've got 185 days and counting
Radiance of the Seas - Inaugural Cruise - 14/Day Panama Canal
For my first cruise, it was the preregistration in Miami airport. Booked the air-cruise package and instead of getting flown out the night before the cruise and put up in a hotel, we got a red-eye from the west coast. Then, no cruise representative meets the plane, so we ask several airport personnel where we are supposed to go and finally find the RCCL registration desk down by baggage claim where there is a LOOOOOONG line. Wait in this long, hot, tired line for about 1 hour until we get registered and then are told to meet back in the area in 1.5 hours for the bus. Silly us, no one mentions there will be a line to get on the bus, which apparently started the moment we left to pick up lunch. Another long, hot, tired wait in line for the bus. The bus driver gives a tour of Miami in a thick accent on a bad P.A. system. When we arrive at the Port, there is another long, hot, tired wait in line to board the ship (yes, even for those of us who preregistered). We finally get on board in time for departure.
I now book our cruise and airfare separately, take a shuttle to the ship, and time our arrival at the Port for about the same time the cruise begins boarding.
Yeah!! Teresa...you figured it out!! Package or no package, it is best to grab the taxi and go to the port ahead of all the "tour busses"!! I love watching the crowds of people from up top! The earliest is the best!
I have learned this along time ago. You can also time your embarkation when no one is in line. I have done this one time and I was amazed you are still in time for all the hoopla and such.
The only time I prebook air and cruise is when I go out of the country. Since I travel alone or with another woman we are caustious about our surroundings. Happy Travels
Some of these stories are horrific. We recently sailed on the Independence in Hawaii. Before boarding we spent two nights at the Raddison Maui Prince where we were allowed to "preboard". It was wonderful and felt so good while we watched all of those other people standing in those LONG lines.
We were the first to board and our luggage was actually in our cabin when we arrived.
This was my first cruise and it sounds like I was pretty lucky.......