Here is an idea to speed things up. Get rid of the damn photographer at the gangway (or whatever it is called). Have that photographer on the ship and have a specified time to get your picture taken with the out of date life preserver with the ships name on it.
Costa Atlantica, 3/23/03
Jewel, 2/1/10, RCI cancelled our cruise, (insert sound of sobbing)
Set2cruz, Yes, get rid of the photographer or at least have a seperate line for those who want to wait for a photo. It bugs me that the cruise line is putting the chance to earn a bit more revenue ahead of our comfort! We bought that photo on our first cruise( and about 4 others) but now we don't bother, so why can't we just get the heck on!!
This rates right up there with the crummy "port talks" that are nothing but shopping pushes!
<<the cruise lines DO NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW THE U.S. CODES>>
It's strange to me how people can make such broad allegations without any facts to back them up! The above statement is patently incorrect, as anyone doing his or her homework could have easily ascertained.
In the summer of 2000 a 3-judge U.S. federal appeals court panel, in a case filed against NCL, ruled that foreign-flagged cruise ships which operate in U.S. waters and dock in U.S. ports are subject to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I am not aware of any subsequent ruling which has overturned that decision.
The Carnival family of cruise lines has reportedly drawn up a 6-year plan for ship renovations to comply with the ADA. Several cruise lines are now designing new ships from the keel up with wheelchair access in mind. HAL is reportedly in the forefront of accessible cruise travel, offering a variety of services to guests with mobility, sight, and breathing difficulties.
This is all very good news for disabled cruisers like our CruiseMates friend Seahunks and many others. Hopefully, this will lead to easing the problems of the handicapped in the embarkation and disembarkation processes, as well as in other areas of their cruise experience.
It seems like a distant memory now, but two weeks ago I boarded the Crystal Harmony in San Francisco. I arrived fifteen minutes after the scheduled start of boarding expecting a long line and wait, but it was essentially a walk through with no delays at all. The difference was an extremely alert and helpful boarding staff who escorted passengers individually from beginning to end. They separated those who needed more assistance from those who were ready to go, so there were no holdups. People who needed more time because of disability or paperwork issues didn't hold up the rest and everyone was happy. I didn't even see the ship's photographer, although there must have been one since some people did opt for boarding photos. There were only 900 passengers to process in this case, but it ran like clockwork.
Debarkation was even smoother. I stayed in my cabin until fifteen minutes before my group was called [no annoying announcements, btw], then walked directly to the debarkation ramp and was on the street, bags in hand, in about two minutes. As with all of its service, Crystal knows how to do things right.
Stress-free boarding was due in large part to my not having to deal with any airports along the way. How pleasant it was not having to endure endless security checks and long lines with hurry-up-and-wait. I intend to give airlines as little business as possible until they streamline their check-in procedures.