Two questions about sailing Explorer on Eastern Caribbean cruise

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#1
2 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
We are planning a 10-day Eastern Caribbean cruise in 2020 on Explorer (Miami-Miami) and were hoping some of you who have done these routes before could offer us a little insight on a couple of items.


1) Concierge (D, E) vs. Superior (F1, F2) suites
Our inclination is to book a Superior suite, as it is the same size as the Concierge and seems to be the best value. We are comfortable managing our own transfers, pre-night hotel, and luggage in Miami (although I have an additional question about that below) but are wondering about the drop in priority for booking excursions. I just don't have a sense for how many become unavailable (30%? 50%?) by not booking the higher level suite.


2) Miami port access
We did hear that disembarking at Miami's port can be a hassle (very congested, long taxi lines, etc.). But that congestion would be there regardless if Regent handles our transfers, so it seems like an Uber and some patience would take care of that problem. Or is there something else about Miami's port we should know about, both for embarking and disembarking, if we're handling our own transfers?


Thanks in advance for your input!
#2
Santa Barbara, California
1,001 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
1) You are right on the money. Book the F1 or F2 and save. Some of the balconies are small the the D & E, but they are still quite large. You can do way better booking your own hotel too.


2) Miami port is no big deal. Truthfully you are better off booking your own Taxi or Limo. With Regent transfer you might be stuck on a bus with 30-40 other passenger. I have never seen any traffic issues in Miami at he port. Always seem to be plenty of taxis, although fro a few dollars more you can get a meet and greet limo.



J
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#3
Washington State
25,372 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
In terms of booking excursions, this generally would not be a problem since Regent just keeps adding more and more buses to accommodate passengers. However, there are some excursions (generally Regent Choice excursions) that are capacity limited. In this case, you may end up on a waiting list.

The best times for dining reservations may not be available by the time you can book but everyone is guaranteed a a reservation at each speciality restaurant. While you may have to share a table and dine at a time that would not be your normal choice, you will get a reservation once you get onboard (if everything is booked online).

From our experience, Miami is simply a nightmare but not always (I know - that answer doesn't help a bit). The issue with Miami (and other U.S. ports) is that the port employees are unionized. We spent 2 hours watching the luggage being offloaded from the ship (note: all luggage must be off the ship before passengers are permitted to disembark in Miami - this is the biggest problem in my opinion). The luggage would get to the end of the ramp (that removes it from the ship) and waits to be loaded onto a vehicle that will take it to the door of a building and is dropped off. Then there is a wait until someone is able to take it into the building where it is again stopped waiting for someone to take it to the pick-up spot. It was frustrating to watch. And, if it is time for a break, everything stops.

Some people have had quick disembarkations but we have not - ever. Embarkation isn't as bad - unless there is an inspection of the ship which generally happens the first time they arrive in the U.S. every year or so (meaning after a transatlantic crossing or other times when the ship has not been in the U.S. for a long time).
#4
448 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
This is very true for all US ports as they have Union contracts and work by rule or shall I say the book. So, when booking flights be sure and give yourself plenty of time to the airport. As TC mentioned embarkation is usually very fast...it’s getting off the ship that could cause a delay and this would not be Regents fault.
#5
Southport, NC
47 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
1). The more active the excursions are that you want the more likelihood they will be available when they open for booking by F1 or F2 suites.

2). Miami disembarkation was literally a breeze. Docked at around 6:45 a.m. Terminal J at Miami. Left ship at 8:45 a.m. and were in our car by 9:00 a.m. with luggage. Plenty of porters to help with your luggage to an Uber, etc.
#6
Washington State
25,372 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by mdunne48
1). The more active the excursions are that you want the more likelihood they will be available when they open for booking by F1 or F2 suites.

2). Miami disembarkation was literally a breeze. Docked at around 6:45 a.m. Terminal J at Miami. Left ship at 8:45 a.m. and were in our car by 9:00 a.m. with luggage. Plenty of porters to help with your luggage to an Uber, etc.
Glad that you had a good experience in Miami since many people do not. Dock workers will not start disembarkation until 7:00 a.m. (even though Regent has offered to pay for them to begin earlier). I was told by 100% of Regent posters that we could not make an 11:20 a.m. fight out of Miami. However, we were told by the G.M. on the ship that we could. This is when we waited and watched the luggage being unloaded for 2 hours (and also watched two couples miss their flights).
#8
101,415 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by AZ Travelin'
We are planning a 10-day Eastern Caribbean cruise in 2020 on Explorer (Miami-Miami) and were hoping some of you who have done these routes before could offer us a little insight on a couple of items.


1) Concierge (D, E) vs. Superior (F1, F2) suites
Our inclination is to book a Superior suite, as it is the same size as the Concierge and seems to be the best value. We are comfortable managing our own transfers, pre-night hotel, and luggage in Miami (although I have an additional question about that below) but are wondering about the drop in priority for booking excursions. I just don't have a sense for how many become unavailable (30%? 50%?) by not booking the higher level suite.


2) Miami port access
We did hear that disembarking at Miami's port can be a hassle (very congested, long taxi lines, etc.). But that congestion would be there regardless if Regent handles our transfers, so it seems like an Uber and some patience would take care of that problem. Or is there something else about Miami's port we should know about, both for embarking and disembarking, if we're handling our own transfers?


Thanks in advance for your input!
My advice for Miami is if you are flying the day of disembarkation from Miami International I would book a flight for around Noon. While you could make an earlier one that will eliminate all stress.

Transportation is plentiful at the airport. We now prefer to use Uber over all other forms of transport but there are also loads of taxis with a flat rate from the port over to Miami Airport I believe current flat rate is $27.00 per vehicle before tip.

Again, we prefer Uber.

Keith