A few weeks ago we had a gripe about folks not following directions and the Wit families--( Nit, Half, Dim, etc. which was fun )
This isn't exactly a gripe but maybe it can help someone out there understand that it's better to work with the system than try to shortcut or outwit the system, so listen up---
I just returned last saturday from the Glory, eastern sailing of Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Martin. The current immigration laws state that if you leave from a U.S. Port ( Canaveral ), visit a foreign port ( Nassua ) and then stop at a U.S. port ( St. Thomas ) that everyone MUST clear immigration whether you get off the ship or not. Immigration officials come aboard at St. Thomas and you must present yourself to them.
The cruiseline made this clear via intercom, printed materials, etc. several times. They also stressed that those that had early excursions would be called first, etc. to try to accomodate everyone as best they could.
Platinum and concierge members met in a small lounge and one of the perks was bypassing the long line. When you go to the lounge to identify yourself to the officials, a crew member will swipe your card. This shows that you have been through the immigration procedure and is entered into the computer system. When my wife and I got to the gangplank to disembark, there were 4 couples who were being turned back--- they had their passports , etc. in hand and were trying to get the ships security to let them off. Since they had not been through immigration and their cards not swiped, they couldn't get off. Instead of playing by the rules, they had to go back and wait in an even longer line. This was only 4 couples that we saw. Probably several more that we didn't see.
Hopefully they were the last ones off the ship.
Things usually work out for the best for all concerened if everyone will follow the procedures but there's always some who seem to think the rules don't apply to them personally.
Same thing happened at disembarkation. Platinum and concierge members get priority disembarkation. There were numerous people who showed up with all their baggage trying to get off with the Platinum guests. They had to be told repeatedly they would have to wait,etc. It was becoming something of a mess but we were off and in the car by 7:30 or so.
With regards to the Wit families, as I said before, they did seem to be well represented once again on this cruise !!