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Horror in Boston-Carnival Glory June 10


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Planning on a complete review of Carnival Glory to St. John, NB, Canada, with pictures. In this part I want to cover the boarding process.....or lack thereof, at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in Boston, MA, on Saturday, June 10.

 

On this trip were just my sister and I, we flew in to Boston on Saturday from BWI, had a smooth flight and a wonderful water taxi trip across the harbor to the Seaport Hotel. Our water taxi driver was so nice, he is truly a wonderful ambassador for his city and was full of advice and tips for us. We enjoyed a great afternoon, the weather was perfect, we lunched at the Barking Crab, went to the New England Aquarium and took a Duck Tour. That evening we walked across the street from the hotel and had dinner at Morton's Steakhouse, which was largely a big disappointment but it did not hold a candle to the disaster which was in store for us in the morning.

 

There was a fire alarm at about 7 am at the hotel. Both Sis and I were up and ready to leave anyway, and after looking out the window and seeing fire engines in the street below, we elected just to get out of the hotel early and take our luggage and head to breakfast. Cabs are expensive and we had been told that a ride four blocks to the pier would be about 30 dollars or so, and given the spectacular weather, we elected to walk to the pier.

 

Arrived at the cruise terminal at about 8:30, folks were debarking from the prior cruise. From what we heard, it seems like those cruisers had had nightmarish weather and they too, suffered a terrible embarkation "process".

 

We approached the gentleman wearing ID from Massport which said Interline on it and asked him where we should wait. He directed us over to the wall of the terminal where there were some benches and told us that we would have a wait but the porters would be along to collect bags from is then indicated where we would line up to enter the terminal with our carry ons for check in. We knew we were way early and had brought reading materials, so we settled in for awhile, read, people watched, chatted with other early birds, and talked with cruisers just getting off the ship.

 

The cruise terminal at Black Falcon is designed just like many airline terminals. There is a traffic lane just at curbside, as for pick ups and drop offs. On the other side of this traffic lane there are concrete barriers and islands for waiting or being dropped off. The traffic lane which runs in front of the terminal is blocked off at one end, so traffic cannot use it.

 

After a couple of hours, we began to see a lot of ladies in blue blazers and scarves wearing Massport/Interline ID badges. They would swop through our line, exhorting us to have our boarding passes and passports in hand. The nothing would happen. The pressure began to build as incoming passengers asked questions of these ladies about luggage drop off or where to line up for boarding. Several hundred people and their luggage were standing, sitting, or jockeying for position waiting to board from this relatively narrow strip of the terminal. Questions to the boarding staff were met by impatience, snappiness, or dumb looks. At one point I heard one of these ladies tell someone "at this point we just don't know what we are going to do"........great!

 

At about 11:20 or so, I looked up across the barriers to the main traffic lane and noticed that the porters had set up the big cages for luggage on the other side of the barriers along the street, and were taking baggage from people in cars and cabs. I was not the only one who noticed this and several people got pretty excited about it, which generated more questions to the Massport/Interline people, and they got ruder and nastier with their responses. So, here we have a line of maybe four hundred people, and the first 300 are standing with their entire luggage array, blocking the front of the line, and it would be impossible for them to heft that luggage up the escalators to where the actual check in would take place. After looking around at what was happening, and the lack of any real attempt to organize the process on the part of the boarding staff, I made my move. Left Sis standing in line and rolled my bag across the first traffic lane and through the gap in the barrier, waited for a porter, tipped him, turned over my bag, and rejoined the line with my carry on. Well, this resulted in a lot of huffiness from the boarding staff, but I encouraged Sis to do the same. She would not, saying she might be breaking the "rules". It's a sister thing, I guess. About this time, the boarding staff starts telling all the people in line with baggage that they have to turn around, form a line going in the opposite direction from check in, go to the end of the terminal and wait in line to check their bags with the porters out on the street! Utter and complete chaos. I turned to my sister and said I would meet her upstairs. Headed for the escalator and was given a zone one card. Passport and boarding pass checked by a security guard at the foot of the escalator.

 

I was right behind a small group of women at the top of the Excalibur, and put my carry in throughout the X-ray machine. As I followed this group to the check in desk, a Massport woman. Swooped in on us and directed us to chairs. OK, we are all following this woman, and someone in the group ahead of me says to her "we are not VIP, but can we go in the VIP area?". The employee looks around, rolls her eyes and says, "well, ALLRIGHT, and directs them into a small room and the back, then she spins around and says to me..."YOU! Over THERE!". Pointing to the chairs. Wow. Really?

 

After waiting in the chairs for another 15 minutes or so, Sis catches up with me. Then we are incited to approach the check in line, where there is a surly young woman standing with a laptop and the swiping machine for the credit cards. She swipes my passport, and swipes it again. And again, and again. She studies her laptop. She does not ask for help. She asks no questions. She swipes the passport again. Finally, after 10 minutes of this, she says "oh....I see we have DORIS and OTIS with us today!". I turned around.....to look for Doris and Otis, before it dawned on me that she was referring to my sister and I, as Doris and Otis. I said "NOOOOOO.......?". This resulted in more swiping and clicking on the laptop.

Employees at the check in counter were clearly beginning to panic, as no one was being checked in. Finally it is determined that the manifest for the new cruise has not been uploaded to the computers yet. They will have to do it manually, against the printed manifest. Of which there is exactly ONE for all 25 check in stations. just delightful. Our particular check in lady was especially rude, made no attempt to explain what was going on, and really did not seem to be trained in what she was supposed to be doing. As I was talking to my sister while we waited, she kept injecting her own commentary into whatever it was we were talking about and not in a nice way. For example, when I laughed at something that Sis had said, this check in person sneered "oh, so now we got a sense of humor."

 

Finally more printed copies of the manifest appeared and we were able to be checked in and received our Sail n Sign cards. Followed by more cattle herding from the boarding staff. sit over here, move over there, no, no, I don't care what she told you, you need to be over there, stay behind this rope, no, no, go to this area.

 

The whole upstairs terminal was so full that when they finally started boarding there was a general stampede. I felt so bad for the families with strollers and the folks trying to use walkers, they were just tossed and pushed around.

 

It was beyond a doubt the worst boarding experience ever! Massport, if they are the ones employing these boarding staff people, needs to do better training, since I don't think anything would have been as bad as it was if the staff had been prepared, with a plan, and had been able to advise and give information as appropriate.....and if they had not been so immersed in socializing on the day of embarkation they may have realized sooner that there was an issue with the computers.

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The whole cruise contracting system there in Boston (whether embark/debark or as a cruise stop) seems to leave much to be desired. We were there on the Enchantment (as a cruise stop) back in early June and it was very confusing even then. Having seen first hand how they have the terminal setup, I can certainly imagine that it would be a mess for embark/debark there at Black Falcon. That's especially true if there are any type of weather issues.

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Ok, sorry, trying to do this review on the IPad and the auto correct is not always helpful. I hope everyone understands that "Excalibur" should be Elevator!

 

So disappointed. I was having visions of Camelot!

 

That sounds like a horrific boarding process. I hope your cruise more than made up for it!

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I can feel your pain. When we went on our Hawaiian cruise in April the "security" people were just a piece of work. Too many details to mention...Lets just say they need some extra training in dealing with humans. BUT, when we got to the section where Carnival employees were checking people in it was like we were transported to heaven. Couldn't have been more friendly or organized.

 

Anyway, I hope you still had a wonderful cruise...I know we did!

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Boston and Massachusetts as a whole has a HUGE security issue, as they were hosts to some 9/11 flights, and they have yet to get a clue. It's third world treatment. Even New Jersey does it better.

 

I am SO getting out of the northeast and moving to Florida! :D

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The whole cruise contracting system there in Boston

(whether embark/debark or as a cruise stop) seems to leave much to be desired.

We were there on the Enchantment (as a cruise stop) back in early June and it was very confusing even then.

Having seen first hand how they have the terminal setup,

I can certainly imagine that it would be a mess for embark/debark there at Black Falcon.

That's especially true if there are any type of weather issues.

Thanks for the warning.

 

We did Glory in Oct. last year, out of West Side Manhattan

and everyone boarded smoothly and efficiently!

 

Sounds like quite the opposite case in Boston!!

.

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Who the heck get to port at 8:30?? I wouldnt want to sit there for 3 hours.

 

Probably people whose hotel had a fire alarm go off early and had no where else to go? Just a feeling I get from reading the original post.

 

To the OP, sorry you had such a bad start to your vacation. I truly hope it got better.

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I can feel your pain. When we went on our Hawaiian cruise in April the "security" people were just a piece of work. Too many details to mention...Lets just say they need some extra training in dealing with humans. BUT, when we got to the section where Carnival employees were checking people in it was like we were transported to heaven. Couldn't have been more friendly or organized.

 

Anyway, I hope you still had a wonderful cruise...I know we did!

 

Yes this seems to be more of a case of a port that is not use to cruise lines (or at least not use to Carnival being there).

 

We were on the Hawaiian cruise and had already been warned to expect the worst embarkation ever.

 

As it turned out...it was pretty easy for us since we had my FIL who has limited walking ability (and refuses to use anything).

 

In our instance, I must applaud the Carnival Rep who took one look at him and put all 5 of us through the Wedding Line.

 

However, I will say that my polite Southern approach may have helped...since there was a woman ahead of me pitching a complete fit ...which got her no where.

 

I think if people are prepared for chaos....they handle it better.

 

Thanks for the warning.

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Boston and Massachusetts as a whole has a HUGE security issue, as they were hosts to some 9/11 flights, and they have yet to get a clue. It's third world treatment. Even New Jersey does it better.

 

I am SO getting out of the northeast and moving to Florida! :D

 

Come on down Loubetti! Living in Paradise AND closer to the cruise ports!

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I just returned today on the Glory out of Boston. We arrived to the port by taxi at around 10:30 and never waited in a line or had any issues. We were on the Lido deck by 11:00. Same with debark. Once our zone was called we walked right off the ship, through the terminal and straight to a cab. Lucky, maybe?

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I just returned today on the Glory out of Boston. We arrived to the port by taxi at around 10:30 and never waited in a line or had any issues. We were on the Lido deck by 11:00. Same with debark. Once our zone was called we walked right off the ship, through the terminal and straight to a cab. Lucky, maybe?

 

 

No, that is the norm. :)

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It sounds a little like the embarkation I had from Canada Place. Minus the early arrival. No information / misinformation / attitude from some of the port employees & a very snotty response from one I had the nerve to ask a question of. She was chatting with someone, I guess it was a lot of nerve of me to interrupt her & expect her to act like she was at work.

 

Embarkation was only delayed a couple hours, but it was total lack of info cluster you know what in the mean time.

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Just off the Glory, and I also thought the boarding process was pretty much terrible. We arrived about 1pm, and the was a good sized line. I saw a sign that said carry on luggage only, so followed those signs as we were not checking any bags. We we got to where the signs lead us, I asked the massport employee why the signs lead you up the front of the line, if that's not how it works. He just gave me a huge attitude about how it normally does, but there is a big line and everyone has to wait it in. I just said well excuse me for following the signs, and suggested he should fix the issue.(put up some cues)

 

It took at least 35 minutes to get to the escalater to get up to the next line to go through security. Then another 15-20 to get through that line. The whole process took about an hour.

 

The good news was once through security Carnival was on the ball. There was no line at all for check in. I went in the VIP check in being a platinum member, and it actually took longer then just going in the regualar line.

 

I think it's totally dependent upon what time you get to the port. Carnival sent out an email, and called people telling them to be there between 1:30-3:30.

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Probably people whose hotel had a fire alarm go off early and had no where else to go? Just a feeling I get from reading the original post.

 

To the OP, sorry you had such a bad start to your vacation. I truly hope it got better.

 

Excellent response

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ok my version of boston embark on the 10th. We got there around 10:30 porters took our bags. We went to the porters ourselves and gave bags then asked questions later. Got into line and because we had handicap people they let us go to the front of the line. We waited outside about 10 minutes and the line started moving. We were in zone 1 ;) Got in and went to sit then taken strait to the computers. Well the computers were down so they had us wait about 15 min in the check in line. They had everyone else sitting. We got to the person who verified our info. got our sign and sails ( all pre printed) and told us we would have to set up the credit card account on board. Buy this time they were telling people what was going on and I was one of the first inside the terminal. After getting our card we waited about 1.5 hours to board. They did not do great with the announcments but I also know that, they ran late because of weather ( not the cruise lines fault) and it was the first real turn around in Boston. there was a lot that could have been done better. I think the problem lies more on massport than carnival. As these people do work with other cruiselines and should have a routine for passengers. The port is not easy to get too and there is nothing around it. So no store or food etc. We got on board around 12:15 . I am assuming if you were there that early you were very close to us in the timing of getting on.

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She was not talking about the "cruise" but the very incompetant check in process from the "porters" to the "check in counter" and the clueless folks that were working. They were prepared for waiting as stated in the post, and that was not the issue, but by about 10:00, they should have been able to check the bags, and get inside. Hundreds of people waiting outside for porters, whe never showed up and they had to take matters into their own hand. Computers who scan passports can recognize all names. It is just exactly as printed, and has nothing to do with European names. Really? Yes, I would be just as upset with that process.

 

 

The ship was not scheduled to arrive until 8 anyway and ran late. So at 10 they were still getting people off. I also had a friend who is a TA and was touring. Part of the problem was 2 people were on the previous cruise that they could not locate so they had to find them

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I just returned today on the Glory out of Boston. We arrived to the port by taxi at around 10:30 and never waited in a line or had any issues. We were on the Lido deck by 11:00. Same with debark. Once our zone was called we walked right off the ship, through the terminal and straight to a cab. Lucky, maybe?

Must have been the following cruise. The Disbark was incredible in Boston. Fast and easy.

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ok my version of boston embark on the 10th. We got there around 10:30 porters took our bags. We went to the porters ourselves and gave bags then asked questions later. Got into line and because we had handicap people they let us go to the front of the line. We waited outside about 10 minutes and the line started moving. We were in zone 1 ;) Got in and went to sit then taken strait to the computers. Well the computers were down so they had us wait about 15 min in the check in line. They had everyone else sitting. We got to the person who verified our info. got our sign and sails ( all pre printed) and told us we would have to set up the credit card account on board. Buy this time they were telling people what was going on and I was one of the first inside the terminal. After getting our card we waited about 1.5 hours to board. They did not do great with the announcments but I also know that, they ran late because of weather ( not the cruise lines fault) and it was the first real turn around in Boston. there was a lot that could have been done better. I think the problem lies more on massport than carnival. As these people do work with other cruiselines and should have a routine for passengers. The port is not easy to get too and there is nothing around it. So no store or food etc. We got on board around 12:15 . I am assuming if you were there that early you were very close to us in the timing of getting on.

 

I think the security company is lacking, and massport is over powering. It's not like Miami, where Carnival runs the show, and is sending ships out just about everyday.

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Planning on a complete review of Carnival Glory to St. John, NB, Canada, with pictures. In this part I want to cover the boarding process.....or lack thereof, at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in Boston, MA, on Saturday, June 10.

 

On this trip were just my sister and I, we flew in to Boston on Saturday from BWI, had a smooth flight and a wonderful water taxi trip across the harbor to the Seaport Hotel. Our water taxi driver was so nice, he is truly a wonderful ambassador for his city and was full of advice and tips for us. We enjoyed a great afternoon, the weather was perfect, we lunched at the Barking Crab, went to the New England Aquarium and took a Duck Tour. That evening we walked across the street from the hotel and had dinner at Morton's Steakhouse, which was largely a big disappointment but it did not hold a candle to the disaster which was in store for us in the morning.

 

There was a fire alarm at about 7 am at the hotel. Both Sis and I were up and ready to leave anyway, and after looking out the window and seeing fire engines in the street below, we elected just to get out of the hotel early and take our luggage and head to breakfast. Cabs are expensive and we had been told that a ride four blocks to the pier would be about 30 dollars or so, and given the spectacular weather, we elected to walk to the pier.

 

Arrived at the cruise terminal at about 8:30, folks were debarking from the prior cruise. From what we heard, it seems like those cruisers had had nightmarish weather and they too, suffered a terrible embarkation "process".

 

We approached the gentleman wearing ID from Massport which said Interline on it and asked him where we should wait. He directed us over to the wall of the terminal where there were some benches and told us that we would have a wait but the porters would be along to collect bags from is then indicated where we would line up to enter the terminal with our carry ons for check in. We knew we were way early and had brought reading materials, so we settled in for awhile, read, people watched, chatted with other early birds, and talked with cruisers just getting off the ship.

 

The cruise terminal at Black Falcon is designed just like many airline terminals. There is a traffic lane just at curbside, as for pick ups and drop offs. On the other side of this traffic lane there are concrete barriers and islands for waiting or being dropped off. The traffic lane which runs in front of the terminal is blocked off at one end, so traffic cannot use it.

 

After a couple of hours, we began to see a lot of ladies in blue blazers and scarves wearing Massport/Interline ID badges. They would swop through our line, exhorting us to have our boarding passes and passports in hand. The nothing would happen. The pressure began to build as incoming passengers asked questions of these ladies about luggage drop off or where to line up for boarding. Several hundred people and their luggage were standing, sitting, or jockeying for position waiting to board from this relatively narrow strip of the terminal. Questions to the boarding staff were met by impatience, snappiness, or dumb looks. At one point I heard one of these ladies tell someone "at this point we just don't know what we are going to do"........great!

 

At about 11:20 or so, I looked up across the barriers to the main traffic lane and noticed that the porters had set up the big cages for luggage on the other side of the barriers along the street, and were taking baggage from people in cars and cabs. I was not the only one who noticed this and several people got pretty excited about it, which generated more questions to the Massport/Interline people, and they got ruder and nastier with their responses. So, here we have a line of maybe four hundred people, and the first 300 are standing with their entire luggage array, blocking the front of the line, and it would be impossible for them to heft that luggage up the escalators to where the actual check in would take place. After looking around at what was happening, and the lack of any real attempt to organize the process on the part of the boarding staff, I made my move. Left Sis standing in line and rolled my bag across the first traffic lane and through the gap in the barrier, waited for a porter, tipped him, turned over my bag, and rejoined the line with my carry on. Well, this resulted in a lot of huffiness from the boarding staff, but I encouraged Sis to do the same. She would not, saying she might be breaking the "rules". It's a sister thing, I guess. About this time, the boarding staff starts telling all the people in line with baggage that they have to turn around, form a line going in the opposite direction from check in, go to the end of the terminal and wait in line to check their bags with the porters out on the street! Utter and complete chaos. I turned to my sister and said I would meet her upstairs. Headed for the escalator and was given a zone one card. Passport and boarding pass checked by a security guard at the foot of the escalator.

 

I was right behind a small group of women at the top of the Excalibur, and put my carry in throughout the X-ray machine. As I followed this group to the check in desk, a Massport woman. Swooped in on us and directed us to chairs. OK, we are all following this woman, and someone in the group ahead of me says to her "we are not VIP, but can we go in the VIP area?". The employee looks around, rolls her eyes and says, "well, ALLRIGHT, and directs them into a small room and the back, then she spins around and says to me..."YOU! Over THERE!". Pointing to the chairs. Wow. Really?

 

After waiting in the chairs for another 15 minutes or so, Sis catches up with me. Then we are incited to approach the check in line, where there is a surly young woman standing with a laptop and the swiping machine for the credit cards. She swipes my passport, and swipes it again. And again, and again. She studies her laptop. She does not ask for help. She asks no questions. She swipes the passport again. Finally, after 10 minutes of this, she says "oh....I see we have DORIS and OTIS with us today!". I turned around.....to look for Doris and Otis, before it dawned on me that she was referring to my sister and I, as Doris and Otis. I said "NOOOOOO.......?". This resulted in more swiping and clicking on the laptop.

Employees at the check in counter were clearly beginning to panic, as no one was being checked in. Finally it is determined that the manifest for the new cruise has not been uploaded to the computers yet. They will have to do it manually, against the printed manifest. Of which there is exactly ONE for all 25 check in stations. just delightful. Our particular check in lady was especially rude, made no attempt to explain what was going on, and really did not seem to be trained in what she was supposed to be doing. As I was talking to my sister while we waited, she kept injecting her own commentary into whatever it was we were talking about and not in a nice way. For example, when I laughed at something that Sis had said, this check in person sneered "oh, so now we got a sense of humor."

 

Finally more printed copies of the manifest appeared and we were able to be checked in and received our Sail n Sign cards. Followed by more cattle herding from the boarding staff. sit over here, move over there, no, no, I don't care what she told you, you need to be over there, stay behind this rope, no, no, go to this area.

 

The whole upstairs terminal was so full that when they finally started boarding there was a general stampede. I felt so bad for the families with strollers and the folks trying to use walkers, they were just tossed and pushed around.

 

It was beyond a doubt the worst boarding experience ever! Massport, if they are the ones employing these boarding staff people, needs to do better training, since I don't think anything would have been as bad as it was if the staff had been prepared, with a plan, and had been able to advise and give information as appropriate.....and if they had not been so immersed in socializing on the day of embarkation they may have realized sooner that there was an issue with the computers.

 

I was on the same cruise as you, and it was painful. Probably the worst embark I have done. We arrived at 11:15, the porters were hard to find and the line to get to the security checkpoint was 1.5 hours. At least once we boarded it was a bad memory. Sorry for the attitude some of the other posters are giving you. I was there and can back-up what you have posted.

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