Dawn February Cruisers - Embarkation and Disembarkation

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#21
Michigan
333 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
This is all so worrisome to hear that the issues aren't just on one cruise, but all of the recent cruises. Why haven't they tried something different by now?

We have a 12pm flight out of Tampa and now I'm worried about missing it on debarkation day. Ugh.

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#22
192 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
One other odd thing...guest services was telling everyone they needed luggage tags because self-debarkation wasn't available at the port of Tampa. They'd already posted self-debarkation instructions in the Friday Freestyle Daily.
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Norwegian Dawn 02/2018
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#23
Dunedin, FL
360 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Even though this s not completely NCL’s fault, they need to get this fixed. Based on reading the treads, the “perception “ seems to be that NCL is not doing much to fix this huge problem. It is so big that people will not sail NCL out of Tampa again.
#24
Michigan
333 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Waiting to board right now. We arrived at 10 and it was a madhouse with passengers still getting off. Waiting to board now, group #2 (at 11:58am). Previous week passengers seemed really angry.

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#25
Florida
25 Posts
Joined May 2016
Originally posted by dos equis
Waiting to board right now. We arrived at 10 and it was a madhouse with passengers still getting off. Waiting to board now, group #2 (at 11:58am). Previous week passengers seemed really angry.

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What time did you select for your check-in time?

Passengers have until 10 or 11 to be off the ship I believe. They normal don't start letting new people onboard till around noon.
#26
14 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
We just got off of dawn yesterday (3/4 to 3/11 sailing) and everything you read on the previous sailings is true. Embarkation was a madhouse because the previous sailing got off the ship late. And disembarking was horrendous. Again it was due to the non us citizens not showing up to check in. They started announcing for them to meet at the aqua restaurant at 7:45. At 8:45 they were still looking for 2 more non us citizens. Finally by 9am, They started disembarking but by that time walk off was around the whole cruise ship. At 9:45 when we were finally at the front of the line to get off the ship, we heard another announcement that they’re still trying to get self walk offs to disembark and for the color tags to stay put wherever they are.

Be aware, I specifically went up to guest services the night before to ask about self walk off because it wasn’t noted anywhere. She specifically said due to the size of Tampa port, there is no self walk off. You have to check in your bag the night before. Low and behold they announced self walk off at 9am the day of disembarkation when they finally accounted for all the non us citizens.

All in all, I wouldn’t fault Norwegian Dawn however the process of getting the non us citizens to check in the morning of should be re-examined either by NCL or Tampa Port.


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#27
5,428 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by beached<3mermaid
Yes, from the time we got in the walk-off line (at about 0820) to the time we actually cleared customs at 1130... over 3 hours.

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One good reason for not booking early flights home.
#28
1,975 Posts
Joined May 2007
No problem debarking today, FYI. Perhaps fewer international passengers? Efficient cruise, a wait to get on ship initially but smooth sailing on really everything else. Nice ship.


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#29
CT
1,382 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by storr39357
We just got off of dawn yesterday (3/4 to 3/11 sailing) and everything you read on the previous sailings is true. Embarkation was a madhouse because the previous sailing got off the ship late. And disembarking was horrendous. Again it was due to the non us citizens not showing up to check in. They started announcing for them to meet at the aqua restaurant at 7:45. At 8:45 they were still looking for 2 more non us citizens. Finally by 9am, They started disembarking but by that time walk off was around the whole cruise ship. At 9:45 when we were finally at the front of the line to get off the ship, we heard another announcement that they’re still trying to get self walk offs to disembark and for the color tags to stay put wherever they are.

Be aware, I specifically went up to guest services the night before to ask about self walk off because it wasn’t noted anywhere. She specifically said due to the size of Tampa port, there is no self walk off. You have to check in your bag the night before. Low and behold they announced self walk off at 9am the day of disembarkation when they finally accounted for all the non us citizens.

All in all, I wouldn’t fault Norwegian Dawn however the process of getting the non us citizens to check in the morning of should be re-examined either by NCL or Tampa Port.
Originally posted by CP3o
No problem debarking today, FYI. Perhaps fewer international passengers? Efficient cruise, a wait to get on ship initially but smooth sailing on really everything else. Nice ship.
For what it's worth, the Dawn was docked at terminal 2 on 3/11, and was disembarked at terminal 3 today. It seems that the issues are coming into play when terminal 2 is being used, although I have no idea why. I also haven't found a way to determine in advance which terminal you will be at, making it harder to plan accordingly.
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#30
Texas
25 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by cocruzlvrs
The embarkation process was pretty quick for the Feb 25 sailing, up to getting on the ship. The lobby was packed and people were standing by the time they started calling boarding groups. That was nothing compared to the nightmare of disembarking the ship. It took us literally 1.5 hours to get off the ship, standing and snaking our way through the ship in line. All 6 of us gold and platinum members, with priority disembarking and the first color luggage tags. The communication was pretty nonexistent from the crew regarding disembarking. The Hotel Director had addressed the issue at the Meet & Greet, specifically telling the group that disembarkation doesn't start till 9:00 am, and the port is not big enough to handle the volume. We knew going in from that conversation that it most likely would be a nightmare, and not to plan to get off until well after 9:00 am. Not sure, but part of the hold up were some of the non US citizens that chose not to follow the calls for them to report to US Immigrations and Customs PRIOR to disembarkation. All of them had to report to the Bliss Lounge I think before they would let anyone leave the ship. This port is really a nightmare, and we personally will not sail from here again.

1) Re: 2/25 embarkation, that was not our experience.

2) Re: Meet & Greet/Hotel Director, so unless a 'guest' had attended said event, it would be a big secret?

3) The Non US citizens were repeatedly requested to report to Guest Services, while the rest of us who were capable of following directions waited in the Bliss Lounge, not so blissfully ;-)
#31
Washington State
617 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
This is an excerpt from my review of the Dawn 2/25 to 3/4 sailing:

Stood in line for hours, no queues, mass entry that was nowhere near organized. No priority embarkation for suite guests, just a massive cattle call to the door. At check-in, there was supposed to be a priority embarkation line (which we were in), but the reps kept taking people from the general crowd because we were standing way at the side of the check-in desk and were seemingly forgotten. No organization whatsoever. Finally get up to the NCL rep to check in. He was soooooo slowwwww. Each of the reps on the other sides of him had checked in 3 parties by the time we were done. This guy had to redo each of our photos 3 times. Finally the rep next to him helped him.


I have severe back problems and constant pain and numbness. There was nowhere to sit down while waiting through this whole process. I had been standing for 3 hours by the time we actually boarded. It was excruciating, and it took all day and night to recover from it, so right off the bat, vacation time was wasted. If it was that bad for me, I can't imagine how the elderly had gotten through this.

A week later, we realized reason why we were so late getting on. This same thing must have happened to the passengers disembarking as we were embarking. Our disembarkation: non US citizens wouldn't come forward to clear immigration - the ship had to call their names (40+ people!) for over 1.5 hours while the rest of us US citizens waited. I guess they are special and entitled and feel they can get off the ship whenever they please, and don't have to abide by the rules or laws.

So we were told to go to Stardust Theater for priority disembarkation. It was "closed for rehearsals". Really?! So we were directed here, there, everywhere,by NCL people who obviously didn't know what was going on. Finally we were getting pretty ticked off after walking up and down the ship through all the crowds with no rhyme or reason. So we showed our gold tags to an NCL employee and asked, "So where do suite guests disembark as priority guests?" He directed us to the END OF THE LINE. Great. So much for priority disembarkation. Meanwhile, we had a car service arranged andhe had long been waiting for us. We had to (embarrassingly) keep calling him and giving him updates. We were charged an extra $49.00 for the wait time, and this was booked through NCL's website (Groundlink). Thanks, NCL. Not at all our fault, but thanks, NCL.

The whole process (if you can call it that) was so disorganized. Color tags were never called, as they usually are. It was just a mass of passengers waiting to get off the ship, period.

It gets better:

Trying to claim our bags after disembarkation? Another huge hassle. Our tags were gold colored. We looked up and down the terminal and there was no gold designation. We walked back and forth through a zoo of people, skipping over their luggage. We asked the reps where gold was. They directed us to the far end of the building. No gold. Well, come to find out, the gold bags were tucked WAY back in a corner that is BEHIND the sea of people who had already claimed their bags and were waiting to go through customs/immigration. DUH - we can't see through a massive bunch of people. Why wouldn't NCL put the priority bags right smack at the entry, the most convenient place, where you can clearly see them, claim them and be on your way? There was just no logic at all in the way they do both embarkation and disembarkation. We won't be sailing in or out of Tampa ever again! The combination of inept NCL reps and Tampa port employees was a recipe for complete chaos.
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Kristin

Next up: Regent-Voyager-November 2018
NCL Dawn-Western Caribbean-February 2018
Paul Gauguin's Tere Moana-December 2014
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Regent-Navigator-Bermuda-October 2011
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#32
michigan
988 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
That doesn't make sense about no self walk off???
We did on Mar 4 as well as friends. Zero issues for us. Too bad for those who got off at the same time but had luggage since the first group was a natural flow to immigration/customs.
Our big problem was the 25+ non US who COMPLETELY disregarded the pages for the names for over an hour. IMO there should be a couple hundred dollars added to their account. If not for those RUDE people, it would have been a non issue
#33
Texas
25 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by purpleally
that doesn't make sense about no self walk off???
We did on mar 4 as well as friends. Zero issues for us. Too bad for those who got off at the same time but had luggage since the first group was a natural flow to immigration/customs.
Our big problem was the 25+ non us who completely disregarded the pages for the names for over an hour. Imo there should be a couple hundred dollars added to their account. If not for those rude people, it would have been a non issue

** a p p l a u s e **
#34
Washington State
617 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Oh, and another thing I forgot to mention about so-called "priority disembarkation": Our butler told us, "Feel free to have all of your friends (non-suite, non-priority) join you in the priority disembarkation...it's OK!" I said, "Really? We are on a group cruise and none of the rest of them are priority." He laughed and said, "Well, as long as it's not the whole ship."


You have GOT to be kidding me.

NCL sure has gone downhill, in my opinion...
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Kristin

Next up: Regent-Voyager-November 2018
NCL Dawn-Western Caribbean-February 2018
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Regent-Navigator-Bermuda-October 2011
Regent-Voyager-Western Caribbean-November 2010
Regent-Navigator-Mediterranean-May 2009
Regent-Voyager-Greek Isles-October 2008
Paul Gauguin-French Polynesians-New Year's 2007/2008
NCL Pride of America-Hawaii-November 2007
Regent-Navigator-Mediterranean-May 2007
Silver Shadow-Caribbean-December 2006
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#35
michigan
988 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
[quote=azgkrudi;55600273]Oh, and another thing I forgot to mention about so-called "priority disembarkation": Our butler told us, "Feel free to have all of your friends (non-suite, non-priority) join you in the priority disembarkation...it's OK!" I said, "Really? We are on a group cruise and none of the rest of them are priority." He laughed and said, "Well, as long as it's not the whole ship."

WOW! That was NOT what the concierge said at the meeting
He said if you have family members you can give them an extra gold luggage tag. I don't recall him telling us it was okay for them to be in the priority disembarkation line (which, by the way, you were terribly misinformed IMO)
The priority line was in the stardust but opposite side from where the excursions were, the concierge was hanging out there. It was kind of a crazy "line". We waited (an hour and half) for the unbelievably INCONSIDERATE non US to answer repeated pages
But, that crazy line with self assist luggage were the first to get off the ship. Which was about 9am
#36
58 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
We were on the 03/04-11 week out of Terminal #2.


I tend to push the limits and booked an 11am flight b/c I am always ready to get home (that is on me).


Gold Tags. 5th person in line. Waiting on Non-US. Etc. Etc. Etc. Disembarked at 9:40a, 40 minutes after scheduled (that is on NCL and the port). 1st through Customs as we were running. Uber/Lyft by 10a. Caught flight with 10 minutes to spare.


This was stressful (my fault). We didn't know disembarkation was at 9a until we were on the ship. In past cruises, disembarkation is at 8a and often walked off at 7:45a (Walk-off Program). Not so here apparently, even though customer service stated such via phone.


The issue is a mismanaged Terminal #2. A Lead Port official (female in the middle corridor who I wish I got her name), when questioned by me about why they were so late in their procedures said, "A lot of people have flights to make" and was non-concerned with their tardiness and those who were going to miss their flight. I feel bad for an elderly couple who were not going to make theirs and the rude mentality of the staff to them.


Terminal #3 does not have this issue so if you have a future cruise, cross your fingers for Terminal #3. NCL is also to blame. Don't tell me a multi-billion dollar company doesn't have a say in disembarkation procedures in congruence with ports.


Above-average cruise for us, but will never go out of Tampa again.
#37
2,864 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by azgkrudi
This is an excerpt from my review of the Dawn 2/25 to 3/4 sailing:

So we were told to go to Stardust Theater for priority disembarkation. It was "closed for rehearsals". Really?! So we were directed here, there, everywhere,by NCL people who obviously didn't know what was going on. Finally we were getting pretty ticked off after walking up and down the ship through all the crowds with no rhyme or reason. So we showed our gold tags to an NCL employee and asked, "So where do suite guests disembark as priority guests?" He directed us to the END OF THE LINE. Great. So much for priority disembarkation. Meanwhile, we had a car service arranged andhe had long been waiting for us. We had to (embarrassingly) keep calling him and giving him updates. We were charged an extra $49.00 for the wait time, and this was booked through NCL's website (Groundlink). Thanks, NCL. Not at all our fault, but thanks, NCL.
A quick call to Roel, the concierge at 7070 would have saved you a lot of time and hassle. Concierge service is a suite perk. Lots of house phones located throughout the ship.
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#38
USA
11,525 Posts
Joined Apr 2015
Originally posted by Love my butler
A quick call to Roel, the concierge at 7070 would have saved you a lot of time and hassle. Concierge service is a suite perk. Lots of house phones located throughout the ship.
The poster didn’t take the time to understand where they were suppose to be. It wasn’t the stardust theater.

Btw: Roel was the worst concierge we have had.
#39
Washington State
617 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by Love my butler
A quick call to Roel, the concierge at 7070 would have saved you a lot of time and hassle. Concierge service is a suite perk. Lots of house phones located throughout the ship.
We did, the night beforehand. And indeed, we were told the Stardust.
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Kristin

Next up: Regent-Voyager-November 2018
NCL Dawn-Western Caribbean-February 2018
Paul Gauguin's Tere Moana-December 2014
NCL Pearl-Caribbean-December 2012
Regent-Navigator-Bermuda-October 2011
Regent-Voyager-Western Caribbean-November 2010
Regent-Navigator-Mediterranean-May 2009
Regent-Voyager-Greek Isles-October 2008
Paul Gauguin-French Polynesians-New Year's 2007/2008
NCL Pride of America-Hawaii-November 2007
Regent-Navigator-Mediterranean-May 2007
Silver Shadow-Caribbean-December 2006
Paul Gauguin-French Polynesians-June 2006
Silver Whisper-Caribbean-November 2005
Silver Whisper-Caribbean-December 2004
Silver Wind-Caribbean-April 2004
#40
Washington State
617 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by BirdTravels
The poster didn’t take the time to understand where they were suppose to be. It wasn’t the stardust theater.
Oh! I guess you were with me the whole time, so you would know
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Kristin

Next up: Regent-Voyager-November 2018
NCL Dawn-Western Caribbean-February 2018
Paul Gauguin's Tere Moana-December 2014
NCL Pearl-Caribbean-December 2012
Regent-Navigator-Bermuda-October 2011
Regent-Voyager-Western Caribbean-November 2010
Regent-Navigator-Mediterranean-May 2009
Regent-Voyager-Greek Isles-October 2008
Paul Gauguin-French Polynesians-New Year's 2007/2008
NCL Pride of America-Hawaii-November 2007
Regent-Navigator-Mediterranean-May 2007
Silver Shadow-Caribbean-December 2006
Paul Gauguin-French Polynesians-June 2006
Silver Whisper-Caribbean-November 2005
Silver Whisper-Caribbean-December 2004
Silver Wind-Caribbean-April 2004