Star Princess boarding in San Francisco

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#21
San Francisco
1,874 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
I'll post about our boarding experience in 17 days. We may opt for the BVE though - not sure yet.
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#22
Santa Cruz California
138 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
gcvt,

I would love to hear about your boarding. As I said I am new to this. What is BVE? Probably a silly question, but if I don't ask I will never know LOL

Thanks
Rhana
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#23
League City, TX
38,939 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by rcm95060
gcvt,

I would love to hear about your boarding. As I said I am new to this. What is BVE? Probably a silly question, but if I don't ask I will never know LOL

BVE is "Bon Voytage Experience." It is meant to introduce people to a cruise ship without taking a cruise.

For $39 (booked in advance like a regular cruise and limited to no more than about 35 people) on some embarkation days in some USA ports, perople may come about the ship first (usually by 11 AM), have a tour of the ship, a photo, lunch with wine in the dining room, and even take a swim if they wish. Must be off the shipby late afternoon or about an hour before sailing, whichever comes first.

It is an ideal way to reward someone who is driving you to the pier or freinds/relatives who are not cruising with you. You get to board early when they do.

However, one can sign up for BVE without knowing anyone sailing that day.

The $39 can be applied to a cruise booked within a period of time (2 months?) after the BVE.
#24
Santa Cruz California
138 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
caribill and gcvt,

Thank you for telling me about BVE. Marilyn and I just signed up our husbands. Now we get to board early and not worry about long lines. YIPPEEE thanks again

Rhana
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#25
League City, TX
38,939 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by rcm95060
caribill and gcvt,

Thank you for telling me about BVE. Marilyn and I just signed up our husbands. Now we get to board early and not worry about long lines. YIPPEEE thanks again

Rhana
Great.

And while your husbands are aboard they can fill out the form at the Future Cruise Consultant's area to purchase Future Cruise Certificates ($100 each which would be their deposits on a future cruise).
#26
Modesto, Ca
781 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by rcm95060
Has anyone sailed on Star Princess out of San Francisco recently? What is the best time to arrive to board? Was the boarding process quick? Sailing October 21st to Hawaii and want to be prepared

Thank you

Rhana
We also had the same questions, we are on the cruise right after you.
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#27
Baltimore, MD
206 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
How will we know if we have a set time (staggered) for boarding?bwe are sailing on the Star 9-26-12.
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#28
9,523 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by MaryTiller
How will we know if we have a set time (staggered) for boarding?bwe are sailing on the Star 9-26-12.
First of all, why would you want to know?! Ignorance is bliss -- get to the pier when you want to get to the pier. The staggered times are not being enforced; they're "suggested" only, for those whose plans are flexible. That said, if you do want to know, that information would be found in your Cruise Personalizer, under Important Notices -- scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.
#29
4,053 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
Think 9-26-12 is going to be a little different.
Instead of docking at 7am, coming in at 10am.

Usually ship comes in at 7am, everyone off by 10am.
But not coming in till then. What might help.. bet
there is quite a few paxs staying on for Mexico.
Make less paxs getting off.

So I'm sure boarding will be late and they may try
the staggering boarding. If so will get e-mails soon.
Still waiting to get a cabin number!!
#30
Arizona
8,464 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Lots of good information here.

Next year will be our first time sailing out of SF (round trip) to Alaska. On our other cruises we took our luggage to the terminal building and gave it to them there. Never have had a porter offer to take it.

So some questions ... (know they may seem silly to some, but hey, there is a need to know what to expect ahead of time).

1. Is there an actual terminal building (figure there is, but want to check)?

2. Once checked in (we are the only ship in port), do you want in the building until they are ready for you to board? We shared boarding with HAL on one cruise. They checked in thru the same building, different side but they waited out on a rope off area of the pier to board not actually in the building.

3. If there is a HUGE crowd, long waits ... are there exterior restrooms as well as restrooms in the buidling? (We traveled with 3 year old one cruise, this was important to know.) We've seen them set up both ways ... some with clean restrooms (exterior that are NOT port-a-potties) and some with nothing even if you have to wait to get into the building.

We cruised out of San Pedro (RCCL). The last time it was port-a-potties outside the building and inside there were regular restrooms but only once you got into the building. What was interesting, was when you went to get your luggage at the end of the cruise as soon as you went into the luggage area you couldn't go back to the restrooms just on the other side of the door.

4. Anything unique we should know about this pier/check-in for Princess?

Thanks.
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Grand Princess 05/2013 to Alaska/Glacier Bay
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#31
Silverdale, WA
2,305 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
The "building" is a very old warehouse type of pier. Once you check in, there is an upstairs waiting room. There are bathrooms there as well as right inside the doors to the terminal, before you go past the security at the front door.
#32
Sonoma, CA
6,667 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by MilliesMom
Lots of good information here.

Next year will be our first time sailing out of SF (round trip) to Alaska. On our other cruises we took our luggage to the terminal building and gave it to them there. Never have had a porter offer to take it. Porters will take your bags to the left of the entrance doors.

So some questions ... (know they may seem silly to some, but hey, there is a need to know what to expect ahead of time).

1. Is there an actual terminal building (figure there is, but want to check)?There is an old pier.

2. Once checked in (we are the only ship in port), do you want in the building until they are ready for you to board? We shared boarding with HAL on one cruise. They checked in thru the same building, different side but they waited out on a rope off area of the pier to board not actually in the building.

3. If there is a HUGE crowd, long waits ... are there exterior restrooms as well as restrooms in the buidling? (We traveled with 3 year old one cruise, this was important to know.) We've seen them set up both ways ... some with clean restrooms (exterior that are NOT port-a-potties) and some with nothing even if you have to wait to get into the building. There is a rest room just inside the entrance doors at the right.

We cruised out of San Pedro (RCCL). The last time it was port-a-potties outside the building and inside there were regular restrooms but only once you got into the building. What was interesting, was when you went to get your luggage at the end of the cruise as soon as you went into the luggage area you couldn't go back to the restrooms just on the other side of the door.

4. Anything unique we should know about this pier/check-in for Princess?

Thanks.
Enjoy your cruise. Don't forget to be on the deck or your balcony for going under the Golden Gate bridge.
#33
Arizona
8,464 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by pegpowell
The "building" is a very old warehouse type of pier. Once you check in, there is an upstairs waiting room. There are bathrooms there as well as right inside the doors to the terminal, before you go past the security at the front door.
Originally posted by Nancyquilts
Enjoy your cruise. Don't forget to be on the deck or your balcony for going under the Golden Gate bridge.
Thanks for the information ... good to know.

We absolutely plan to be on the balcony or up on deck to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Can't wait. We are so excited.
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Alaska/Glacier Bay - Grand Princess Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1856141
(note: photos no longer show because of website being gone --- lots of good information though about our trip and the Grand Princess)

Grand Princess 05/2013 to Alaska/Glacier Bay
RCCL Mariner OTS 4/2009 to Mexican Riviera
Carnival Spirit 11/2007 Acapulco
Carnival Spirit 4/2007 Mexican Riviera (Cabo/LaPaz)
Dawn Princess 9/2006 (Alaska)
Carnival Spirit 1/2006 (Acapulco)
RCCL Viking Serenade 4/1999 Ensenada
Carnival Elation 4/1998 Mexican Riviera (Puerta Vallerta)
RCCL Viking Serenade (11/1995) Ensenada
NCL Southward (1994) Ensenada
Pacific Princess (9/1986) Alaska
#34
las vegas
178 Posts
Joined May 2011
I sailed out of the golden gate on the star in may, 2012... and it was soooo windy you had to hold on to everything on deck..but very nice view of the bridge and sf bay. good luck.
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#35
Arizona
8,464 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by only1deejay
I sailed out of the golden gate on the star in may, 2012... and it was soooo windy you had to hold on to everything on deck..but very nice view of the bridge and sf bay. good luck.
Interesting that you should mention that ... I saw a video on YouTube and the wind noise was all you heard. It will be a wonderful cruise either way, and I can't wait to see the bridge, be in San Francisco, and also to cruise to Glacier Bay.
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Alaska/Glacier Bay - Grand Princess Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1856141
(note: photos no longer show because of website being gone --- lots of good information though about our trip and the Grand Princess)

Grand Princess 05/2013 to Alaska/Glacier Bay
RCCL Mariner OTS 4/2009 to Mexican Riviera
Carnival Spirit 11/2007 Acapulco
Carnival Spirit 4/2007 Mexican Riviera (Cabo/LaPaz)
Dawn Princess 9/2006 (Alaska)
Carnival Spirit 1/2006 (Acapulco)
RCCL Viking Serenade 4/1999 Ensenada
Carnival Elation 4/1998 Mexican Riviera (Puerta Vallerta)
RCCL Viking Serenade (11/1995) Ensenada
NCL Southward (1994) Ensenada
Pacific Princess (9/1986) Alaska
#36
San Francisco
3,873 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by MilliesMom
Interesting that you should mention that ... I saw a video on YouTube and the wind noise was all you heard. It will be a wonderful cruise either way, and I can't wait to see the bridge, be in San Francisco, and also to cruise to Glacier Bay.
Also be aware that the Bridge may be essentially invisible when you sail under it, depending on the fog. Last week I was out at the Presidio, and by sailaway hour, all that could be seen was the top of one of the towers.

Good luck!
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