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For discussion: How does embarking early affect the cabin stewards?
I have read various posts from people who stated they embarked as soon as they were allowed even though it was earlier than the "stated" time in their docs. Many have stated their rooms were not ready, so they just dropped off their bags and began to explore the ship.
Part of me thinks, it is like an airplane where the cabin crew will inform the gate it is ok to begin boarding and therefore the pier would not allow it if the cabin crew aboard ship were not ready. I wonder how that affects the cabin stewards who are having to clean around some new person's "stuff" if that particular cabin is not ready.
We will be in Vancouver two days before our cruise and with check out from the hotel, of course we will love to get on board as soon as possible. In this particular instance, I really want to do the right thing.
If they let you on before your room is ready, do you shlep your carry-ons around the ship or do you dump them at your stateroom?
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I haven't really thought about this being a problem for the stewards before. We ALWAYS get onboard early, we're usually at the pier by 11:00am. We usually go dump our carryon's in the cabin as soon as we can. We only carry on 1 small bag each, though and put them in the closet or somewhere out of the way. I never had anyone act like it was a problem for them but I suppose it could be annoying.
I can only speak to my own experiences - we usually get on fairly early, but I have yet to encounter my cabin not being made up. I usually unpack immediately, but if the room were still being made up, I'd just go hang out elsewhere after I dumped my carry-ons.
It's always struck me as odd that the lines show 2PM as the embarkation time, I'd think they'd want people embarking as soon as practical.
Last cruise: Equinox Western Dec.2010
Next cruise Constellation Sept.2011
After that: Who knows?
First stop is the stateroom, and we know it won't really be 'ready'. If there is someone there in the room working, we ask if it would be ok to drop the bags. The response has always been yes. I think this is something that is 'normal' (people dropping their bags off, even if the room isn't ready).
I would say, get on board, drop the bags, then head for a ship exploration.
We love boarding early. We begin our day with a lesiurely breakfast and then head off to the terminal. In April we arrived at the pier in Ft. Lauderdale about 10:30 or so and had to wait for awhile before anyone was allowed to board. I love getting to the port early and watching everyone getting ready for their trip -- it's better than being in the hotel room waiting. We are CC members and usually have a CC or suite so we are among the first to check-in. In April I think we were among the first on the ship -- it's so much fun to think that the ship is just waiting for you to board! Once we boarded we headed off to find our room which was "almost" ready; we asked our cabin attendant (who was wonderful) if we could drop off our bags. He said of course, we dropped the bags and were off exploring.
We also like boarding early because we always stop by the spa early and ask spa if they need spa models for their spa tours later on that day. Last cruise I had a facial and my husband had some kind of massage. That's fun to do and a great way to start of the cruise relaxed plus you get a free spa treatment.
Celebrity does ask you to wait in common areas when you board early before the rooms are finished.
Flagger - they originally (back in the early 90's) did boarding after the entire ship was ready. Everyone was given a card with a number when they arrived at the pier. Captain's club were given a letter card (A). When the ship was ready they would let A's board before they started calling the numer groups. The earliest people would get cards with 1 until so many cards were given out, then they would give out 2's, and so on. Each time they called a number group they also included the A's for any later arriving A's. On our first cruise, we got to the pier at noon and we had number 12. Boarding started about 1 pm.
Their new method is much nicer - however, if you do board early and want a white glove escort to your room, you will have to go back to the main boarding area. Otherwise, when they announce the cabins are ready, you can go to your cabin yourself.
We have found that our cabin was ready about 50% of the time when we boarded early. Even if it's not, we put our carry-ons in the closet and then head out to get our soda sticker, re-acquainte ourselves with the ship, and grab a bite at the buffet.
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we always board early but steer clear of the cabin till the "all clear" announcement comes, which has been no later than 1 pm in our four X cruises so far. Last time, for the first time ever, we did try popping by the cabin to drop off our carry-ons -- it was about 11:45 am -- our steward was still working on the cabin and while he was gracious and pleasant, I felt we had interrupted, so next time we will go back to keeping the carry-ons with us till the cabin's fully ready ...
In March, we got onto Royal Carribbean's Grandeur of the Seas at 10:30 and, with no notice to the contrary, went to our cabin. The door was open and it was in the process of being cleaned. The cabin steward appeared to be very angry that we had appeared so early and at first told us she would throw out anything we left in the cabin. Eventally, she calmed down and let us put our carry-ons on the couch. We then went to a lounge area to await the noon lunch. While we appreciate that the cabin staff has a lot of work to do between one horde of passengers and the next, we were taken aback by the rudeness of this particular individual. Perhaps she was having a bad day since she endeavored to be pleasant thereafter. If there is fault here, it seems to rest with the management staff. When passengers are let onto the ship, they should be told what they can and cannot do. This should not be a negotiation between passengers and the cabin staff. After all, as my wife said to the individual at the passenger relations desk, we are here on vacation. Our next cruise is on Celebrity.
We have never had a problem dropping off our carry-on's and begin the process of exploring the ship.
RC has a new policy on some of it's ships that you can't go back to your stateroom until 1pm. They will have the fire doors closed that go back to the stateroom area........at least that is how it was for us on the Brilliance. We still were able to go back through the fire doors and drop off our carry-on's.
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2 weeks ago on the Carnival Miracle my wife and I got on the ship by noon and went to our cabin (a CAT 11 wrap around Suite) and there was a Travel Agent tour in there, when we showed up the TA's joked about being the welcoming committee.
When we asked our Cabin Steward for ice he said that they weren't expecting passengers so early and the ice machine was being sterilized.
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