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Old February 25th, 2006, 12:43 AM
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Default Disembarkation Horror!

Heads Up! My partner and I were on 1/06 cruise from LA and experienced a horrendous disembarcation! Our cabin was on same floor of the gangway to exit ship and we were first colors to be called to exit BUT the narrow hallway outside our cabin QUICKLY filled with passengers who should NOT have been there with their luggage! The hallway was one continous people jam and we stood there for 50 minuets without moving two steps! There were people in wheelchairs, LOTS of seniors and even several room stewards held at an absolute stand still. We could hear various colors being called to exit BUT simply could not move. Our hallway was a disaster waiting to happen and passengers levels of anxiety and panic were raising rapidly. It was a horrific claustrophobic experience I will never forget and came close to fainting for lack of adquate ventilation throughout the hallway. Finally, a desperate woman who was also suppossed to exit first for an early flight began screaming for people to move to the left to allow her to pass....suddenly ALL those passengers who were NOT called BUT in line crowding the hallway, moved over and we made our desperate escape. If you find yourself in similar situation be sure to ask people in line if their color has been called because ship staff is no where to be found. And if their color has not been called, to move over to the left of the hallway to allow those who have been called room to exit. This was THE most terrifying experience I have ever had exiting a cruise ship and will NEVER again take this particular cruise again.....staff at the exit doors had ABSOLUTE NO CLUE of the hundredes of passengers stuck in that narrow hallway for nearly one hour. Ship travelers you have been warned!
Henry (he88062@yahoo.com)
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Old February 25th, 2006, 07:18 AM
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your experience brings to mind with mega ships coming on line such as the Freedom of the Seas, how will the cruise lines handle not only final disembarkment but also shore tenders with those volumes of passengers

On the Conquest last November, we took advantage of carrying our own bags off the ship, we were up at 0545 encountered no lines or bottle neck and we were off the ship , clear customs and on the curb waiting for our bus at 0600

It will be interesting to see how this is handled in the future and if passengers will comply
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:32 PM
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It was the fellow passengers who disregarded the announcements of the crew and who put us all in harms way. I was sooo angry and upset at all those idiots who had absolutely no reason to be lined up before being called. People will do stupid things like crowding into a narrow hallway with other just to try and by pass "authorities". HOWEVER, given this fact of human nature....the crew should know that some guests will do the very opposite in instruction and orders no matter the stupid and dangerous consequences which might occur to others and assign crew members specificly to patrol the exit lines, especially in narrow corridors leading out, for passengers who do not belong there....NO Crew person ever asked for color identification while we were in line and they should have. The problem is mainly a result of inconsiderate individual passengers but the crew should also be more helpful in seperating those who havent been called from those who have, especially around the narrow corridors leading to the exits.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 12:59 AM
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Ship employees could at least have a color-checking station BEFORE one enters into the smaller spaces and hallways so that bottlenecks don't occur due to people trying to disobey the rules. I agree, that situation that the OP described is not only unnessasary but it is also a safety hazzard.


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Old February 26th, 2006, 03:55 PM
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Default Crews NEED This!

Lets hope crew and cruise line administrators read some of these replys and post from others like ourselves who have experienced these hazaradous disembarkations....its only a matter of time before passengers panic and stampede towards the exits and passengers die tragiclly because crew didnt care enough to check exit lines for colors that have been called ONLY and then send those who have not been called back to wait. Lets hope someone who makes these decisions hears our plea.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 09:41 PM
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what ship was this
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Old February 26th, 2006, 11:47 PM
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My experience occured on the Princess Cruise line Island Princess from LA to Hawaii and back BUT I have been hearing from several people who have had similar experiences on other cruise ships too. Just be aware of this situation and dont let yourself get caught stuck in a line in a cabin corridor waiting to be let out because you wont.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 08:48 PM
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Default bad experience disembarking

Thanks for the warning. We always wait in our room until called but when we went down there were lots of people waiting around the gangway area which surprised me as we were among those leaving last. I wonder what it was like earlier. What a dangerous situation that was for you and I agree that the crew should be supervising so that only those called get to go to the disembarkation area.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 10:03 PM
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Disembarkation woes are not unique to any particular cruise line. It seems that some ships handle it better than others, even within the same cruise line. I don't think you will get the crew too involved as the cruise is over and basically they could care less.
One of the worst I ever saw was on the Sensation a few years ago. It was basically a " rush, crush, push and shove " thing to get off and heaven help you if you fell. Then again, I've seen some pretty well organized disembarkations on Carnival.

On RCCL's Granduer of the Seas a few years ago it was a repeat of what we saw on Carnival's Sensation--- no place for the faint-hearted-- people were everywhere-- in hallways, stairs, pushing, shoving, etc. We had an early flight and made it because we were able to out-muscle some of the weaker folks and then hopped a cab to the airport. Color of tags and early flights meant nothing to the crew.
Then again, have seen some smooth-as silk disembarks on RCCL.

It is a problem at times and as the cruise lines have had years to get it right, they apparently aren't too concerned about it. I think it has something to do with the fact that on some ships the powers-that be do try to exercise some control and on other ships they just let it happen.

It's funny that those same nice folks you met at dinner can turn into monsters when it comes to getting out the door on the last morning.
Just eat a hearty breakfast for the extra strength you are going to need,
be sure that you don't fall under the hooves of the stampeding herd and pick out the frail and weak looking ones to muscle out of your way.
That with a little luck will usually get you off amongst the first 3-400.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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This is one reason why we NEVER book an early flight, and try to be one of the last to disembark.

I hate rushing, pushing & shoving. It is NOT worth it. We're only going home, and who wants to do that.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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There is another problem along the same lines as this and that is people who will sit on the stairways with their luggage waiting for their color to be called. Passengers who are lined up trying to exit the ship have to stumble over these squatters when descending the stairs. Even though the announcements over the PA systems requests them to not congregate in the stairways and aisleways they'll do it anyway.

We've learned to sit in the buffet area with a cup of coffee and a book and wait until the last of the passengers have exited. We then leisurely stroll off the ship, easily find our luggage, and clear customs.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old March 16th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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Is is better to carry your luggage off the ship with you or "Tag it and Bag it" the night before and get it when you get off the ship? Do you disembark earlier if you carry your own luggage? My wife and I arrive back in port (Miami) around 8am and have a flight out of the Airport at 1:45pm. What is the best way do disembark?

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Old March 16th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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Hi Goose

Trying to hand carry all your luggage off is a huge pain. Your better off setting it out the night before and only carrying little things. No. You do not get to leave the ship any earlier if you carry it yourself. They do it by tag color which you get the day before leaving the ship. Make sure you distinguish your luggage so its easier to find. Things go a lot quicker if everyone does that. You need to make sure you let the purser know the time of your flight. They will arrange it that you are in the first groups to leave the ship.

Have a great cruise.
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Old March 19th, 2006, 09:51 PM
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We had an early flight out of Puerto Rico so we (my mother and myself) were the first group to be called. Once we went through customs and saw the sea of luggage it became a free for all! Some people were so rude knocking peoples luggage over looking for their own. I finally got a porter (Frank became my best friend) after a gentleman (I use that word loosely) yelled at me for making a comment about how crazy the entire process was. I was informed by Frank that they let too many people down and some passengers that were getting luggage were not supposed to be down yet (different color tags)......Frank, I found out was a University student that worked as a porter for extra cash...Thanks again!
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Old March 20th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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Why would anyone push and shove to get off of the ship. They will have to drag me off kicking and screaming! hehehe
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Old April 11th, 2006, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas
There is another problem along the same lines as this and that is people who will sit on the stairways with their luggage waiting for their color to be called. Passengers who are lined up trying to exit the ship have to stumble over these squatters when descending the stairs. Even though the announcements over the PA systems requests them to not congregate in the stairways and aisleways they'll do it anyway.

We've learned to sit in the buffet area with a cup of coffee and a book and wait until the last of the passengers have exited. We then leisurely stroll off the ship, easily find our luggage, and clear customs.

Regards,
Thomas
The last cruise that me and my family were on, everyone had to stay in their cabins until their deck was called. Then we could leave. We walked right off the ship. Everyone was just sitting watching tv, everyones doors were open. But the hallways were clear.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas
There is another problem along the same lines as this and that is people who will sit on the stairways with their luggage waiting for their color to be called. Passengers who are lined up trying to exit the ship have to stumble over these squatters when descending the stairs. Even though the announcements over the PA systems requests them to not congregate in the stairways and aisleways they'll do it anyway.

We've learned to sit in the buffet area with a cup of coffee and a book and wait until the last of the passengers have exited. We then leisurely stroll off the ship, easily find our luggage, and clear customs.

Regards,
Thomas
The last cruise that me and my family were on, everyone had to stay in their cabins until their deck was called. Then we could leave. We walked right off the ship. Everyone was just sitting watching tv, everyones doors were open. But the hallways were clear.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 04:22 PM
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Most ships I have been on, place passengers into lounge areas by ticket color. One so they can get into sorting out the cabins for the next "fun people" and two allowing for a controlled disembarkation of the ship.

That scenario he88062 sounds not only chaos, but dangerous.

Reading your report, I guess that some guests did their own thing and confused the situation by being in areas they should not have been.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 04:34 PM
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Our last cruise on HAL, we were to get off at 10:30am...towards the tail end of things...like the other posters here...we were in no hurry for disembarkation .

So we had good breakfast...walked around the ship, the Oosterdam (beautiful ship by the way)...we didn't have to be out of our cabin until our color was called at 10:30am.

BUT we were called at 9:30am and were off the ship completely with our luggage in hand by 9:45am no fuss, no pushing, no rush! BOOOoooooooo ...we would have like to stay on just a little longer. But we could see the staff cleaning like crazy! But not one of the staff made us feel like we NEEDED to be out of our cabin so they could clean it. But when our color was called at 09:30am...we sadly left expecting long lines...but there was NONE...just zip zip and your off.

But this isn't the way we have previously experienced disembarkation. It's usually terrible...with long lines, pushing, people in bad moods, with missed flights and all. That previous pleasant cruise personality just melts away. Your cruise ends with a wimper and a tear.

Just image the joy we will all have on future Mega ship cruises with five to six thousand trying to get off. The Powers that Be haven't even worked out the bugs of getting us off the ships NOW without horror stories. Ahhhhh can't wait!
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Old April 19th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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we always get up early and go the lounge and set there unilt are color is called never any problem
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 01:42 PM
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The only problem I seem to have every time is we have a piece of luggage is another area. Then it's hunt down someone to find the mystery luggage area.
Maybe I should just ask when I get there and do it right away.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 06:49 PM
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boy, our last cruise on the vision of the seas was not too smooth. we had to exit our room by 8:00 and sit in the theater until we were called. It was around 10;00 when we finally got off. we grabbed our luggage and went to look for a phone to call the shuttle bus to take us back to the hotel where our car was. My cell phone was in the car so we had to find a phone. There were two phones and both in use. I knew the shuttle driver left for the day at 11:00 and we needed to call him. I waited for the phone, then I pleaded for the phone and then I cried for the phone. the two young men were on the phone to girlfriends and were not about to give up the phone. I called security over to see if they could ask them to let me call the hotel, no go. Now it is 11:00 and I have been waiting for the phone for an hour. I was hot, we feel like idiots waiting there with our luggage. finally, one man took pity on me [ after an hour ] and let me call the hotel for the shuttle. then another hour goes by, and where is our shuttle? Back to the phone and surprise of surprises the same guy is back on the phone, so frustrating. He let me call again and I have about 3 min. on my phone card and no change. I get the hotel and they are so sorry but the driver went to Long Beach not san Pedro and he would be right there. He finally arrived and took us back to Long beach and as we are loading our luggage and realized we are missing one. so, back to the San Pedro port [ in our own car atleast ] and went backwards through security to pick up our bag. Now, can any one top that? the lesson learned, take our car and park it in the paid parking lot and wait for no man. Even with the hard time waiting and the rudness of people to stay on the phone for an hour, we love cruising, but we learned a lesson that day and will change how we do a few things.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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You right on the button with the phones usage at the pier.
We saw the same thing a few trips ago out of Ft. Lauderdale. Port Everglades.

The crew tied up the two phones at the pier most of the am.

I had the Super Shuttle number but could not get a phone to call them.
I just improvised - found another shuttle service - asked where he was going - to Miami airport - well how about two more - for how much. Sold.

Sometimes you have to look around and improvise. I know it's a bummer coming off a relaxing cruise to go into madness land. You would think that the cruise companies would have a phone bank somewhere on the pier area just for the passangers. And a seperate one for crew usage.

The Crew people have only a few hours to conduct any outreach to home on any available phone they can find. So it's hard to tell them to hang up as they are trying to have a family life via phone.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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Here is the funny thing, a woman getting off the same cruise threw a huge fit when her limo service arrived and it was not a stretch limo but some kind of an suv, looked like an Escalade. she threw her bag to the ground and started screaming that it was an unexceptable ride and we were thinking how sad to have just gotten off the cruise in relax mode and then throw a hissy fir over your transportation, especially when we had none. In the time we were waiting they finally came back with not one, but two limos, one black, one white. I guess they weren't taking any chances with her. I wonder who had the pleasure of her company at dinner.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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Actually, I have not had any problems with debarkation.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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I didn't either. I wasn't in any hurry since I was walking across the street to drop off my bags and enjoy Old San Juan for the day.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goose
Is is better to carry your luggage off the ship with you or "Tag it and Bag it" the night before and get it when you get off the ship? Do you disembark earlier if you carry your own luggage? My wife and I arrive back in port (Miami) around 8am and have a flight out of the Airport at 1:45pm. What is the best way do disembark?

Goose
We did early disembarkation on our Grand Princess cruise out of Galveston last November because we had to get to a football game in Houston by noon. Earlier in the week, everyone got a note from the bursar's office asking who wanted to do it -- no excuses necessary. We turned in the form and got up early and had breakfast. I think around 7 am or so, they called for early disembarkation and we walked off with hardly any wait. My husband had broken his ankle in Cozumel (though we thought at the time it was only sprained) so we were a little worried about carrying everything off but we made it somehow. Thank goodness for rolling luggage!

We cleared customs, hopped on the parking shuttle that was already waiting, and were crossing the causeway by 8:30 a.m. My family that had stayed on the same deck didn't get off until 1 p.m. but they live in Houston and weren't in any hurry.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 05:51 PM
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We got off of Caribbean Princess on 4/29. We had found a "great" parking arrangement for $5.95 a day, and getting a ride to the pier was no problem. I should have know that you get what you pay for. After waiting for over an hour for their shuttle, and calling the office 3 times, ony to be told that the driver was "over there, looking for you", we finally gave up, and got a a cab to the parking venue.

next time, if I use that facility again, I'll build the cab fare into my cash outlay, and not spend so much time waiting
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Old May 8th, 2006, 06:17 PM
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I agree, waiting was the worst and next time we will save some money for a cab ride to the car actually the san Pedro parking lot was right there, so if we had been smart enough to park there we could have walked to our vehicle, live and learn
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