Current Customs Wait Times

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#1
261 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Taking a last minute trip on the QM 2 from NYC. Both US citizens. What should we expect when we arrive in Southampton regarding customs and immigration. Also we will be leaving the UK from Dover on Princess on the British Isles cruise which goes to Ireland. Any customs issues we need to aware of returning to Dover going through customs.
#2
Chicago
260 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Immigration is done on board, I assume Customs will be the same as it has been at Heathrow and Gatwick (walk through an area that probably won't be staffed at that time and probably not get stopped by anyone). Others have indicated you basically walk off the ship, retrieve your luggage (if you didn't do self-disembarkation), and off you go.
#3
Central Maryland
16,920 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
One of the great thing about a QM2 TA is the ease of border formalities. A British immigration officer sails with the ship and you will be notified what day to meet with him/her according to your deck. Lines may be long in the morning but by late morning of afternoon you just walk right in.
There are no formalities on disembarkation. If needed there are free luggage carts in the terminal and you load/pick up your bags and go right out the door. I wasn't watching but suspect porters may be available as well.

Roy
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#4
Ireland
438 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
What are the procedures in NYC? We plan on arriving around 13h to 14h. Also what is the latest time to board?
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#5
Ireland
438 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by Pavovsky
What are the procedures in NYC? We plan on arriving around 13h to 14h. Also what is the latest time to board?


I found the info on another thread. Good advice to arrive around 13:30h.
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#6
Mississauga, Canada
1,350 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by rafinmd
One of the great thing about a QM2 TA is the ease of border formalities. A British immigration officer sails with the ship and you will be notified what day to meet with him/her according to your deck. Lines may be long in the morning but by late morning of afternoon you just walk right in.
There are no formalities on disembarkation. If needed there are free luggage carts in the terminal and you load/pick up your bags and go right out the door. I wasn't watching but suspect porters may be available as well.

Roy
We found out several trips ago that you do not have to see the immigration officer on your assigned day. Obviously they don't want everyone to go at the same time, but we were told if there is no queue you are welcome to see the officer any time.

On arrival in Southampton most people take the green "nothing to declare" channel. If you do have something to declare you take the red channel. In recent years that means going to a red telephone. Presumably a customs officer will talk to you. There are spot checks in the green channel, but in about 20 arrivals in Southampton I have been pulled over only once. After answering two questions I was waved on. Occasionally I have seen some people's luggage searched.