Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Cruise Discussion Topics > Ask a Cruise Question
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Ask a Cruise Question Post your general cruise questions here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old May 24th, 2013, 05:38 PM
hbooden hbooden is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 123
Default Port times true?

As a first timer I have a couple of port stop times. How trye are the times that are listed in the itenerary ? Do you ever arrive early/late???

Also I have read in places that the time you have to be back on board is different from the time listed...by a lot?

My last one is how horrible is it to get off of the ship on port days? Super long line?

Thanks in advance obviously I am new at this!
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old May 24th, 2013, 05:59 PM
cdavid46 cdavid46 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Mississippi
Posts: 404
Default

No dumb question here!

The one rule you should never forget about cruising is THE SHIP LEAVES ON TIME! So, this means that the port times listed in the itineraries are pretty accurate. They may vary by a few minutes, but they will be very close to what is shown. Yes, you do have to be back on board earlier than the time shown in the brochure. Normally, it is 30 minutes to 1 hour before sailing time.

Getting off is not a big issue. First, not everyone gets off at every port and, certainly, not everyone gets off at the same time! Some like to lounge around and have another cup of coffee before getting off and others will rush to be the first in line when the ship is readied for passengers to disembark. On ports where tenders are not required, the process is easy and you should not expect much of a wait. When you have to tender, some cruise lines will provide tender "tickets" that stagger the passenger disembarkation times to avoid too much congestion. The exception to this is if you are going on a ship sponsored excursion. If so, you are normally the first to be called for disembarkation.

Simple? Cruising is all about simple and relaxing! Hope you have a great cruise!!
__________________

Life's a Beach!


Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old May 24th, 2013, 06:03 PM
paul929207's Avatar
paul929207 paul929207 is offline
40,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Posts: 43,968
Default

Welcome to Cruise Critic.
Ships are usually on time arriving in ports. In can be 15 to 30 minutes after arrival that passengers start to disembark
Usually, you have to be onboard 30 minutes before the scheduled sailing time.
There is usually a rush to get off when the ship is cleared. It can take 10 or 15 minutes to clear the initial rush. If you are not in a hurry, just relax and get off when the mob is gone.
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old May 24th, 2013, 06:04 PM
Hlitner Hlitner is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: New Cumberland,PA, USA
Posts: 18,989
Default

It would be rare for a ship to arrive more then a few minutes early unless there was a good reason. Cruise ships generally cruise at the slowest speed possible to make their port on time since faster speeds equal burning more expensive fuel. Also keep in mind that if your ship is tendering at a port (as compared to docking) it can take a very long time to get all the passengers ashore. As a general rule they expect you to return to your ship about 30 min before sailing time (when docked) and when tendering it is the norm for the last tender to depart from shore about 30 min prior to the scheduled sailing time.

As to getting off the ship, it really depends on the ship. It normally takes about 20-30 min for a ship to be cleared by the authorities after docking (or anchoring). At that point there is often a rush to get off and it can take a while to work yourself through the line.

Hank
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old May 24th, 2013, 06:21 PM
boulders boulders is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,362
Default

Sometimes the ship is late getting into port. Sometimes ports are missed completely. Certain ports are notorious for being missed. It's often due to the weather/winds/current.
__________________
Previous Cruises

42 nights with RCCL, 7 nights with Carnival, 11 nights with Disney, 14 nights with Princess, 45 nights with HAL
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old May 24th, 2013, 06:38 PM
Krazy Kruizers's Avatar
Krazy Kruizers Krazy Kruizers is offline
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 87,698
Default

Welcome to Cruise Critic.

Very rarely will you find super long lines to get off the ship in the various ports. When a ship arrives late to a port for whatever reason, lines do tend to grow as people are anxious to get going on private tours or whatever else they want to do.

If your itinerary indicates that you are to leave at 5 PM (for example) -- that means you are to be back on the ship 1/2 hour before it sails -- in other words -- at 4:30. If we are out on our own, we always make certain that we are back on the ship by 3:30 - 4 PM.

If you are on a ship's excursion, and it runs late -- do not worry - the ship will wait for you. This has happened to us a couple of times. One time when we were in Puerto Chiapas, a tour bus got stuck in the mud and we had to wait over an hour for those people to get back to the ship.

But if you are on your own and don't get back to the ship on time -- it will not wait for you.

We have arrived early at ports -- one time in the middle of the night because we had missed a port the day before. Still no one could get off the ship early as it had to be cleared by the local authorities.
__________________
Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Far, far too many cruises to list.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old May 24th, 2013, 07:03 PM
hbooden hbooden is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 123
Default

You guys are awesome love it thanks!

I am so excited!!!
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old May 24th, 2013, 07:25 PM
RunnerGirl26.2 RunnerGirl26.2 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 466
Default

Caribbean Princess was frequently late into Curacao this winter. So much so that for our trip the arrival time changed from 1 pm to 2 pm a couple of weeks before our departure. We were later than 2 pm arriving due to 30 to 35 knot wind. Actual arrival was closer to 2:30 or 3 pm. (do not recall exact time).

It does not hurt to bring your daily newsletter with you with times listed. Also be sure your watch is set to the same time that the ship is using.
__________________
Gert
  • Caribbean Princess; March 2014; Western Caribbean
  • Caribbean Princess; January 2013; Southern Caribbean
  • Island Princess; May 2012; Anniversary Cruise; Alaska--Voyage of the Glaciers, Northbound
  • Sapphire Princess; September 2010; Alaska Inside Passage

Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old May 24th, 2013, 09:03 PM
hbooden hbooden is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 123
Default

And I just realized that dyac lol sorry for the typos in the original post!
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old May 25th, 2013, 01:03 AM
Cruisin' Chick's Avatar
Cruisin' Chick Cruisin' Chick is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In the Valley, CA
Posts: 19,608
Default

Much of the info above is right.

Here's the scoop in a nutshell:

1) Most likely the ship will arrive in a port by the time and leave at the time listed on your itinerary info.
2) When the ship arrives, the port master has to give the go ahead for the passengers to leave (if you're in the right place at the right time, you may see the little boat approaching the ship)
3) If the ship is docking at the pier, the gangways are put down and generally passengers leave in order that they are lined up (unless some passengers get first priority due to their loyalty program status, their cabin category, early excursions booked through the cruiseline).
4) If the ship is tendering, that means it will anchor away from the port. Tender boats (often life boats) will be lowered so that passengers can board them. These will travel to the pier and then passengers can go into the port. As only a small number (maybe 40 or so) can tender at one time, priority tickets are given to those I listed in #3. The ship's newsletter for that day will give the location for everyone else to go to in order to get tender tickets (sometimes a dining room). But at some point, you won't even need a ticket if you time your arrival right.
5) No matter which (docking or tendering), always check the newsletter for vital info. And everyone in your group should check their watches against the ship's time (very important). Bring that newsletter (it will list what time to be back ON BOARD) and bring your photo ID and cabin keycard. Before you leave the ship, your card will be scanned so that the ship will have a record of you leaving.

Many ports will not allow you to take food off the ship. If you feel you might need to snack (before finding an eatery in port or before returning to the ship for lunch if that's what you want to do), often you can pack an unopened factory-sealed snack in your purse or pocket.

6) If you aren't on a ship-booked tour or excursion, keep track of the time and return to the ship before the time listed (as you get closer to the time, the line will get longer). For tenders, plan on getting to the line up area about an hour ahead as that line will get long. Remember what I said about the limit of capacity on a tender.

7) Usually before you can get in line, there may be a security checkpoint. Have your photo ID and cabin card ready to show as well as be prepared to have your bags checked (doesn't always happen but they have the right to search you).

8) Sometimes weather or other problems may prevent the ship from getting to a port. So if you book an independent excursion, make sure that the company won't charge you anything if can't get to the port. Some well-run companies will keep on top of the ships arriving or not, but it's a good idea to have contact info with you just in case. If you're on a ship's excursion, you don't have to worry as that will be cancelled automatically. A few cruise lines such as Princess don't charge your account until the day of that port.

9) You don't even have to leave the ship in any port, except for disembarkation day, of course.
__________________
Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii

Read about my most recent cruise at
http://www.sites.google.com/site/holidayalohaii/home
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old May 25th, 2013, 05:08 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is offline
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 63,625
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbooden View Post
As a first timer I have a couple of port stop times. How trye are the times that are listed in the itenerary ? Do you ever arrive early/late???

Also I have read in places that the time you have to be back on board is different from the time listed...by a lot?

My last one is how horrible is it to get off of the ship on port days? Super long line?

Thanks in advance obviously I am new at this!
The times are usually fairly close but sometimes reflect the time you arrive in port rather then the precise time you get off the ship. Sometimes, the clearance of the ship by the local authorities will take an additional 30 to 45 minutes. It is possible to arrive to port early or a little late.

Usually you have to be back on the ship 30 minutes prior to sail away. I would aim for an hour.

Getting off the ship ranges by port and by ship. Sometimes it take just minutes with no lines and sometime a little longer with some lines. If you are not docked and anchored off the port it will take longer because of the tender service.

Keith
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old May 25th, 2013, 06:31 AM
Bonnie J. Bonnie J. is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: North Carolina Coast!, USA
Posts: 4,400
Default

Someone said 40 people per tender. We cruise a LOT (13 cruises last year) and have tendered many times. The life boats hold well over 100 people as do other tenders from the port. It will be announced on the ship when you no longer need tender tickets. We go ashore then if we don't have a tour reserved. No rush then, no long lines.
__________________
CRUISE LINES
Dolphin
Commodore
Regency
Premier
Cape Canaveral Cruises
Carnival
Royal Caribean
NCL
Celebrity
Princess
Costa

Last edited by Bonnie J.; May 25th, 2013 at 06:31 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old May 25th, 2013, 09:33 AM
hbooden hbooden is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 123
Default

I am truly becoming a cruise critic fan thank you everyone.

I was asking because or first port will be San Juan and the schedule says 3-9. So we really won't have a lot of time there now I know not to get carried away with the plans!

Again love all the different views thanks
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old May 25th, 2013, 09:34 AM
hbooden hbooden is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 123
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie J. View Post
Someone said 40 people per tender. We cruise a LOT (13 cruises last year) and have tendered many times. The life boats hold well over 100 people as do other tenders from the port. It will be announced on the ship when you no longer need tender tickets. We go ashore then if we don't have a tour reserved. No rush then, no long lines.
Oh my! 13 in one year? Jealous!!!! We're you ever home?
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old May 25th, 2013, 10:32 AM
Bonnie J. Bonnie J. is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: North Carolina Coast!, USA
Posts: 4,400
Default

We started cruising in 1984 and 5 of those different cruise lines no longer exsist. Before we retired we only did one cruise a year.
We weren't home much last year but 10 of our cruises were on the Fantasy, mostly 5 days, out of Charleston, SC just 4 1/2 hours from us. We did the Miracle in March then a B2B on the Freedom in late November from Fort Lauderdale and we drive to FL too. Tomorrow we are going on the Glory out of Norfolk and August 27th back on the Fantasy.
We know many officers on the Fantasy and got to know the captain well. He took us to his cabin once. He just got tranferred to the Glory and we are having dinner together in the Steakhouse Tuesday evening.
We are both retired and I do substitue teaching and all that pay goes into our cruise fund.
My husband belongs to John Deere annonomous (SP!). He buys broken John Deers and other stuff, fixes them, then sells them and that too goes into our cruise fund.
We are rehabbing an investment property and that suffered so not as many cruise this year. We've got to finish it so it can be rented
Guess you can tell we are cruise-a-holicks.
__________________
CRUISE LINES
Dolphin
Commodore
Regency
Premier
Cape Canaveral Cruises
Carnival
Royal Caribean
NCL
Celebrity
Princess
Costa
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old May 25th, 2013, 10:35 AM
cdavid46 cdavid46 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Mississippi
Posts: 404
Default

[quote=hbooden;38504701]I am truly becoming a cruise critic fan thank you everyone.

I was asking because or first port will be San Juan and the schedule says 3-9. So we really won't have a lot of time there now I know not to get carried away with the plans!

The port in San Juan is right at Old San Juan and it is easy to walk around and see the old city. You don't need a long port call there. We really love San Juan and look forward to every chance we get to port there! Have a great cruise!
__________________

Life's a Beach!


Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old May 25th, 2013, 12:47 PM
taglovestocruise's Avatar
taglovestocruise taglovestocruise is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Southern California
Posts: 623
Default

Ship time and port time are not always the same. Make sure you keep your watch set for ship time. Had some tablemates almost miss the ship because their cell phone reset to port time after they left the ship,
__________________
2013 Ruby Princess Grand Mediterranean
2013 Mariner of the Seas Transatlantic
2012 Mariner of the Seas Transatlantic
2012 Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera
2011 Sapphire Princess Mexican Riviera
2009 Radiance of the Seas Mexico
2009 Mariner of the Seas Canada
2009 Mariner of the Seas South America
2008 Brilliance of the Seas Mediterranean
2007 NCL Pride of America Hawaii
2007 Monarch Mexico
2005 Carnival Spirit Mexican Riviera
2004 Adventure of the Seas Caribbean
1980 Song of Norway Caribbean
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old May 25th, 2013, 04:29 PM
Mary Ellen Mary Ellen is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Colorado
Posts: 7,161
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie J. View Post
Someone said 40 people per tender. We cruise a LOT (13 cruises last year) and have tendered many times. The life boats hold well over 100 people as do other tenders from the port. It will be announced on the ship when you no longer need tender tickets. We go ashore then if we don't have a tour reserved. No rush then, no long lines.
I agree. We've been cruising for over 30 years and have never seen a tender that was limited to holding 40 passengers.

Since the OP was particularly interested in San Juan (Puerto Rico presumably, there are others ) tendering won't be an issue there.
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old May 25th, 2013, 04:49 PM
SadieN SadieN is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
Posts: 11,540
Default

Use a regular watch for ship's time. Sometimes cellphones will autoset to the local time.
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old May 25th, 2013, 05:48 PM
OCruisers OCruisers is online now
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 15,512
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by boulders View Post
Sometimes the ship is late getting into port. Sometimes ports are missed completely. Certain ports are notorious for being missed. It's often due to the weather/winds/current.
Yes, all of these things can and do happen from time to time.

LuLu
~~~~
__________________
Happy Sailing! OCruisers (LuLu & Roundman)
80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:54 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.