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Use of Porter Upon Disembarkation

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I saw a suggestion in a prior posting that one could expedite clearing customs, etc. upon disembarkation (in our case Port Everglades) by using a porter for one's luggage. Could someone please explain how this works?

 

Thank you.

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I saw a suggestion in a prior posting that one could expedite clearing customs, etc. upon disembarkation (in our case Port Everglades) by using a porter for one's luggage. Could someone please explain how this works?

 

Thank you.

 

The porters have a different line to go through in some ports (they did in California when I did what you described), sort of like wheelchair assistance in an airport. It was totally worth the $5 or $10 tip, I forget what I gave our porter.

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We disembarked Eclipse at Port Everglades on Jan 11. The porters that we saw were using the same line as everybody else. So other than relieving you of having to manhandle your own luggage, I did not see any time advantage.

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There aren't enough porters, and they don't have a separate or "priority" line in Port Everglades. They make your burden lighter, but no faster there.

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Our last cruise was almost a year ago from Port Everglades.

 

When we disembarked the porters were few and far between. For the first time they were also using the same lines as everyone else with no priority. The separate line they'd used in the past has been eliminated - or at least it was last year. This could be one of the reasons they were hard to find since they were tied up in the lines much longer than in the past.

 

While the elimination of a priority line for them is fair in some respects it did cause a shortage of porters which is a hardship for those cruisers who really need one - especially elderly or disabled passengers who would have difficulty managing luggage on their own.

 

We travel heavy (lots of luggage) but did not bother with a porter that trip both because of the long wait for one and because we didn't want to use a porter when there were so many passengers who really needed their assistance waiting for them.

Edited by Lsimon

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In San Juan in Nov.2013 the porters did have a special line. I didnt use it since our line was not bad and we weren't in a hurry to sit at the airport.

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it works an absolute treat in New York - porters walk down the middle to a special desk while everyone else is in a line

 

Miami was fast but had to use the same desks but Port Everglades when we got off the Eclipse only had 2 officers on duty and everyone had to use the same line, porters included

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Last week in San Juan, there were literally hundreds of people in line to pass through customs (2 agents) but we got a porter and went through their dedicated line of another 2 customs agents with about a dozen people passing through...literally no wait! It definitely was worth the tip and he also led us to the head of the line to get a cab to the airport...took only a couple of minutes!

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I have seen them wait in line the same as others and also where the staff that was directing passengers where to go played favoritism because they knew that the porters were working for a tip and wanted to help them get as many customers as possible so they would direct them to a special line reserved for them.

 

 

🌴🍺🍻🍸

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For a $10 tip, they are absolutely worth it. In most places they have a special line, even where they do not, like Port Everglades, they get no hassle from customs. They took out bags right to the car in the parking garage and put them in the car. Have used them since our second cruise.

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We also disembarked the Eclipse at the dreaded Pier 25 at Port Everglades on January 11th with 3 huge bags and 2 small, rolling carry-ons; lots of people and confusion that morning!

 

We snagged a porter fairly fast and he quided us quickly through the crowds to the line for customs. Once at the front of the line for the customs agents, we thought we were given preference by the person who directed us to be checked, as she sent us to an agent with only one or two pax at his desk ahead of us vs. others who had at least 5-6.

 

After the customs check, our porter took us all the way to the Private Car Pick-Up area, quickly and efficiently! I think we tipped him $20 for his time, the fact that he was pleasant and fast!

 

If you have lots of unwieldy luggage and there are only two of you, I would suggest spending a few bucks and using a porter; it just makes the end of your vacation much less stressful! :)

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