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LIVE from Explorer of the Seas 12.3.12!


bradpole

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While there's nothing wrong with renewing your passports, you're being intimidated by the word "recommends", which is not the same as "requires". "Recommends" is used in the introduction to that section, which covers all types of cruises. If you read a few lines down where the specific requirements for cruises leaving from domestic ports are detailed, you'll see the passport only has to be "valid"...which means it has not yet expired. In fact, for closed loop cruises such as those you're taking, you'll see that you aren't required to have a passport at all...any one of a number WHTI-compliant documents are acceptable, and even a birth certificate and photo ID combination for US citizens. If you think about it, six months remaining validity on a passport doesn't make sense if you don't need a passport to begin with. The six month requirement really applies for other itineraries...Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, etc. because you may encounter some countries on those itineraries with a six month passport validity requirement.

 

Enjoy your cruises.

 

I agree there is a HUGE difference between "require" and "recommend"

 

Had I only noticed that recommendation a day or two ago I would have most likely just used my old passport and hoped for the best!

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Enjoy your cruise Brad. We were on the Explorer this time last year for our first cruise with Royal witch has not been our last. We were on the Allure in April and leave this Saturday to cruise on the Brilliance. We loved the Explorer and her crew.....Have a great time.

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In most developed countries, even countries whose passport security standards exceed those of the United States (in the European Union, apart from the chip and the machine readability, the photos are also biometric and are embedded several times into the passport, not like in the United States where the photo is just scanned in once), one goes to the neighborhood police station or special office authorized to issue passports and ID cards, pays the fee, and gets the passport the same day.

 

While the passport by mail option in the United States is very convenient (in most European countries you have to go in person -- but it is usually very close to your home or office and you get the passport the same day), I just don't understand why if someone goes in person and pays additional rush fees, it still takes a few days for the passport to be issued.

 

Hope you enjoy your cruise. We go on the Explorer quite often.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gunther and Uta

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Good morning everyone!

 

Now the part I hate, killing time before heading to the pier!

 

We don't want to be "too early!"

 

Have a great time! The weather is beautiful here in the NY-NJ area. Keep us posted, and let us know when you board so that we can all live vicariously!

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For those of you who have sailed out of NJ, AND Port Canaveral or Baltimore... can you tell me how the port compares...? Boarding process? Port Canaveral is my favorite place to board, and after the nightmare of Miami, new places scare me!

 

It's not a passenger port by design...you pull up, drop off stuff, go around, park, check in...wait...take a 2 minute bus ride to the ship ( can't walk due to safety reasons..)

 

that said...in all its un-beautfulness...it actually works. I've sailed out of Crusie Maryland, and that was easy. Port Canaveral, the one time I sailed, in November, was a nightmare.....they couldn't get the sea pass machines to work, the terminal was packed.....just not easy-though I have heard that is the exception....

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Same spiel on embarkation... 1pm... but with luck you can be onboard by 11:30?

 

It's not a passenger port by design...you pull up, drop off stuff, go around, park, check in...wait...take a 2 minute bus ride to the ship ( can't walk due to safety reasons..)

 

that said...in all its un-beautfulness...it actually works. I've sailed out of Crusie Maryland, and that was easy. Port Canaveral, the one time I sailed, in November, was a nightmare.....they couldn't get the sea pass machines to work, the terminal was packed.....just not easy-though I have heard that is the exception....

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Enjoy your cruise! My mother and father-in-law are leaving on the Explorer today. Someone asked about the new menus and I believe they started on the Explorer 10/14/12. We were on the the Explorer 9/16 - 9/23/12. The MDR staff told us they were going for 2 weeks of training beginning the week of the 9/23 and that the new menus were being rolled out on the 10/14 sailing.

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Got to Cape Liberty about 11 traffic was a much much worse than anticipated but that's why left the house nice and early. When we got to cape liberty it looked like chaos outside, it is organized chaos. Those dropping off luggage stay in the left lane, pickup in the right lane. To drop off the luggage you pull all the way to the end of the tent and the porters take the luggage. For a pleasant change the porters deserved their tip. The took our luggage out of the car and into the bins. I left mom either the carry ons while I went an parked.

 

After entering the terminal security was quick, and we quickly checked in. Once in the waiting room it was a little confusing, there wasn't any real direction, after a few minutes we were directed to the diamond plus seating area which was quickly filling up.

 

I have uploaded a few pictures of the outside tent area

 

Boarding started at about 12:15

 

We finally made it aboard about 1. What a complete mess boarding was! They announced suites, J. Suites, and pinnacle club. All of a sudden the a huge crowd descends on the door to the shuttle buses. Instead if making everyone go back to their seats the crowd gets bigger and bigger. Meanwhile there are still wheel chair users waiting to get on a bus. This was our 5th time embarking in Bayonne, it was hands down the worst! Oh well we made it onboard that's all that matters!

 

Once that chaos was over we made it onboard to the windjammer around 1

 

I posted a picture in the day 1 gallery showing the crowd that descended upon the door when they allied pinnacle club and suites!

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Got to Cape Liberty about 11 traffic was a much much worse than anticipated but that's why left the house nice and early. When we got to cape liberty it looked like chaos outside, it is organized chaos. Those dropping off luggage stay in the left lane, pickup in the right lane. To drop off the luggage you pull all the way to the end of the tent and the porters take the luggage. For a pleasant change the porters deserved their tip. The took our luggage out of the car and into the bins. I left mom either the carry ons while I went an parked.

 

After entering the terminal security was quick, and we quickly checked in. Once in the waiting room it was a little confusing, there wasn't any real direction, after a few minutes we were directed to the diamond plus seating area which was quickly filling up.

 

I have uploaded a few pictures of the outside tent area

 

Boarding started at about 12:15

 

We finally made it aboard about 1. What a complete mess boarding was! They announced suites, J. Suites, and pinnacle club. All of a sudden the a huge crowd descends on the door to the shuttle buses. Instead if making everyone go back to their seats the crowd gets bigger and bigger. Meanwhile there are still wheel chair users waiting to get on a bus. This was our 5th time embarking in Bayonne, it was hands down the worst! Oh well we made it onboard that's all that matters!

 

Once that chaos was over we made it onboard to the windjammer around 1

 

I posted a picture in the day 1 gallery showing the crowd that descended upon the door when they allied pinnacle club and suites!

 

Talk about a logjam! Glad you made it on. Enjoy the beautiful weather and view of Lady Liberty!

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Finally some good news to report!

 

When the announcement came that the cabins were available we made out way down to deck 6 to drop off our carry on luggage, just as we turned the corner a steward comes out with two of our suitcases, and a moment latter, our third and final suitcase! Is is truly the fastest we have had our luggage

 

I did feel sorry, I think the suitcase weighed more than he did... One benefit of driving to the port, VERY heavy luggage is not an issue

 

After dragging the cases into the cabin we made quick work of unpacking! The cruise has begun!

 

Muster drill is scheduled for 3:15' and we have camped out in the aquarium bar waiting for signal

 

Until later

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Enjoy your cruise--We got off the Explorer today--had a fantastic time! You will have a blast, especially since you are not going to Samana--that was a port I could have done without. very depressing.

 

Also, we were scheduled to get into port about 7 AM today but actually pulled in about 8. it was very foggy this am, so i suspect that was it. We also had some choppy seas the day before yesterday.

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