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sneekpeek

DIAMOND EMBARK. & DISEMBARKATION

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For those of you leaving soon on a Diamond Cruise I wanted to tell you about the embarkation. We stayed at the Sheraton and saw the Diamond come in at 5:59 a.m. We were so anxious to go to the ship, we called Princess and asked them if we could check our baggage early. They said no, not until 12 noon. That was WRONG. We finally couldn't stand it anymore so we took the shuttle to the pier at 11:15. Someone from Princess took our bags off the shuttle and checked them immediately. Then you go inside the terminal and they give you a boarding pass with a number on it. So at 11:15 we had #518. So 518 people checked in before us. They board the ship by number so the sooner you go to the pier the lower your number will be. (Elite and Platinum also get a number but they can board first no matter what number they get as well as handicapped and anyone who booked a FULL Suite). After we got a number we took our tickets to the counter (no lines) and they gave us our cruise card. Then you go to one of two waiting rooms depending on which end of the ship your cabin is on. At exactly 12:00 noon they call for the early boarding people. That took about 10 minutes or less. By 12:20 they called #500 to #700 and we boarded. It was so smooth we couldn't believe it. We had our luggage by 1:20 pm. sitting outside our cabin. (MAKE YOUR DINNER RESERVATIONS ASAP) The Horizon Court was open as well as the pizza and hamburger joints. I saw people dining in the international dining room, but we were told they would not be serving lunch in there in embarkation day. It may have been Elite and Platinum people or something. They did have a desk where there were two people explaining the PC dining if you have any questions. When you get on the ship you put your cruise card in a machine and they take your picture. Every time you get on or off the ship you have to do this and they check your face to the picture (kind of neat). Disembarkation was a little less smooth. This is how they do it. If you book your flight with Princess you will be able to get off at 8:20 if your flight is before 1:30. If your flight is after l:30 it will be 9:30. If you are in an organized travel group the time varies from 8:00 a.m to 8:40 a.m. If you booked a post cruise package you won't be able to get off until 10:30 a.m. If you booked your flight independently and you have tickets showing your flight is before noon you will be able to get off at 8:00. Flights between noon and 1:00 you will be able to get off at 8:10 a.m. All other flights will be assigned a time according to your deck. Lido deck 8:40 Aloha 8:50 Baja 9:10 caribe 9:50 Dolphin 10:10 Emerald 10:20 Plaza 10:30 The Horizon Court is open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 am and the international dining open from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. There are a lot of lounges open and some have a cash bar. I could not find out what time you MUST be out of your cabin. You have to put your luggage out before you go to bed. Our room steward was waiting at our door at 5:30 a.m. because he knew we got up early. So the room stewards are there the minute you leave to get your room ready for the next guest. Here's the flaw. They called all the 8:00 people which is red 1 red 2 and red 3. They send you over to customs. When we got to customs there were long lines (we were red 3). The customs officer got in the middle of the room and said that the ship let us off too soon and that the baggage had not all been inspected so we had to wait until that was done to proceed. I think we waited until about 8:30 or so. But I can't help but think that the whole disembarkation was slowed down so it may have created a huge back up later in the morning. If you have a passport or have time to get one, then get one. That line went ten times faster than the one where you have to show a birth certificate. If you have a birth certificate they talk to you for about 5 minutes just to make sure you are the person you say you are. Like they asked my husband why he moved from new jersey to arizona??? Once through there you go to a the room with your luggage tag color. We found our luggage in 5 minutes and called the Sheraton and were in our car driving home by 9:00 a.m. We were on the Emerald deck and were scheduled to be the last ones off. But since we had such a long drive, I talked our room steward (who we tipped very well) into helping me get a red tag. So we were able to get off at 8:00 a.m. If you're not in a hurry like we were, have a nice breakfast, pack you carry on, get a bloody mary and go watch CNN or listen to the music from the Atrium.

 

Ok now I have to do some more laundry and then I will tell you about everything else.

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Sneakpeek -

 

Thank you for posting this detailed and informative post. We will be sailing the Diamond next week (4/10) and since this is our first Pricess cruise, we were wondering how they were handling embarkation and disembarkation.

 

We are driving down and will time arrival for around 10:30-11:00 am so we can get an early number.

 

Thanks again, Steve

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Just a little additional info - we were on Dolphin Deck with a scheduled disembarkation time of 10:10AM. Actually disembarked at 10:36. So, while they were a little behind schedule, it was nothing serious.

 

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We were also on this sailing..Lido deck, Yellow #1 tag scheduled for 8:40 we were off at 9:00 Princess is superior for embarkation/disembarkation. We too had a 7 hour drive home.

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Thanks to sneekpeek for all your help. We will be on the Oct 30 Diamond and I have a question about disembarkation. We would like to take a flight out of LA Airport at 12:05PM, but Princess insists that we should not take a flight before 1:00. Princess is saying that security takes a long time at that airport and the drive from Long Beach is over one hour. Your message states that some did have flights that early - but were they leaving from LA? Does anyone else have any ideas on this?

 

Island Princess Nov 2003

Diamond Princess Oct 2004

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Hornet...I think you should take the advise from Princess and not schedule a flight before 1:00 pm. The freeway traffic is unpredictable and the security and check-in at LAX can move very slow. Especially when so many post cruise passengers arrive at LAX. Better to be safe then sorry.

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Hornet:

 

The disembark can run into delays. The thing to do is go to the passenger service desk and ask for a RED tag. You can get off the ship at 8:00 am. and they are very nice about accommodating you no matter what your situation is.

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Winecountry and sneekpeek...

Thanks for responding. I have a difficult decision because the next flight on the airline I want isn't till 11PM.

 

Island Princess Nov 2003

Diamond Princess Oct 2004

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My guess is that there in a big cost of you have to rebuy those earlier flight tickets because you missed it non-refundable is the phrase I hear. We never schedule anything before 3 pm, it is erring on the side of caution but why ruin a week of cruising by poking Murphy in the eye with a tight schedule that can only work if this and if that.....?

 

Sneekpeek, you can't just ask for a red tag, they will want to see proof of an early flight otherwise everyone would ask for one.. We drive it as for us it is only 30 minutes faster to fly than drive and they will NOT let you off at 8 to get to your car.

 

<FONT color=red>Alaska</FONT>

Diamond Princess 05/04

Mercury 06/02

Rhapsody o.t. Seas 05/98

Legend o.t. Seas 09/95

<FONT color=red>Mexican Riviera</FONT>

Diamond Princess 04/04

Sea Princess 01/02

Vision o.t. Seas 04/02

Star Princess 12/02<FONT color=red>

West Coast-Baja Mexico</FONT>

Ecstacy 09/01

Vision o.t. Seas 10/02

<FONT color=red>Eastern Carribean</FONT>

Century 12/97

<FONT color=red>Western Carribean</FONT>

Century 9/96

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Hornet,

 

We were on the 3/20/04 sailing of the Diamond Princess. I booked our air independently including an 11:17 am flight out of LAX on the disembarkation day and was pretty nervous about whether we would make it on time. We had Red 1 tags (I stopped by the purser's desk early in the week to request them) and were off the ship at exactly 8:00 am. We walked straight thru customs/immigration (we had passports), collected our luggage (with fluorescent green luggage straps to help us identify it quickly), got a porter to help us out to the curb where we boarded a SuperShuttle van (I had made reservation online ahead of time) and we were at the airport by 9:00 am. Traffic was not an issue at all on this Saturday morning. We walked right up to the United counter to check in, but did wait for a half hour in the line to get through the security checkpoint - still in plenty of time to catch our flight. The family with us in the van had a 10:25 flight out on Southwest (which was cutting it way too close, I think!). I thought our early flight was a great way to avoid all the lines and waiting of a later disembarkation time. But, having said that, it wouldn't take much to mess this up - if the ship gets in late (which is not uncommon due to weather conditions) or if there is some difficulty with immigration, it could be impossible to get to LAX on time. I guess you have to decide what risks you are willing to take!

 

Gayle

 

Celebrity Galaxy 03/1999

Diamond Princess 03/2004

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Thank you all for coments. Did the ship dock in San Pedro or Long Beach - I've read both are used? I also have to find a hotel for the night before the cruise and would like to be close to the ship.

 

Island Princess Nov 2003

Diamond Princess Oct 2004

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Hornet,

 

When I booked this cruise (about 11 months in advance)all the information I could find said the ship would be leaving from San Pedro, so I booked a room the night before at the Sheraton San Pedro (which has views of the port and a free shuttle to the pier). In about December/January Princess and our TA indicated the cruise would be leaving from Long Beach. I considered changing hotels, but couldn't find something in Long Beach that I was excited about (there aren't any hotels with a harbor view that I know of) so stayed with the Sheraton. It wasn't until we got our cruise documents that we were informed that the they had changed the port back to San Pedro - which worked out all right in the end (although all this port chaning was really confusing)!

 

Gayle

 

Celebrity Galaxy 03/1999

Diamond Princess 03/2004

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by srphnx:

My guess is that there in a big cost of you have to rebuy those earlier flight tickets because you missed it non-refundable is the phrase I hear. We never schedule anything before 3 pm, it is erring on the side of caution but why ruin a week of cruising by poking Murphy in the eye with a tight schedule that can only work if this and if that.....?

 

Sneekpeek, you can't just ask for a red tag, they will want to see proof of an early flight otherwise everyone would ask for one.. We drive it as for us it is only 30 minutes faster to fly than drive and they will NOT let you off at 8 to get to your car.

 

_<FONT color=red>Alaska</FONT>_

Diamond Princess 05/04

Mercury 06/02

Rhapsody o.t. Seas 05/98

Legend o.t. Seas 09/95

_<FONT color=red>Mexican Riviera</FONT>_

Diamond Princess 04/04

Sea Princess 01/02

Vision o.t. Seas 04/02

Star Princess 12/02_<FONT color=red>

West Coast-Baja Mexico</FONT>_

Ecstacy 09/01

Vision o.t. Seas 10/02

_<FONT color=red>Eastern Carribean</FONT>_

Century 12/97

_<FONT color=red>Western Carribean</FONT>_

Century 9/96<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

 

 

We told our cabin steward and he took me to the front desk. I told them I had a 7 hour drive and he handed me the red tickets and told me to have my cabin steward bring the green ones back to him. No questions, didn't have to show anything! Again - this is why I will make Princess my only cruise line!

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We had a 1PM United flight on Saturday and didn't want to spend 3 hours in the airport. We were originally assigned tags for an estimated 8:30 time off the ship. We switched for estimated 9:30 departure tags withour showing anything, although we did get a surly response at the service desk. They were running late and we actually left at 9:50. TAKE A PASSPORT IF YOU HAVE ONE. That line was 2 minutes versus who knows how long for the 100 people in that line. Getting baggage was a breeze and we left on the Princess shuttle at 10:35. In the airport at 11:10. The security line was long and check in plus security took 50 minutes. We were still at the gate an hour before flight time. I don't know the LA area but if they swith to Long Beach I would think the travel time to the airport would be a bit longer.

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Gayle,

The Sheraton sounds good to me.

 

tdf799, Maybe the noon flight will work. We do have passports. Still can't make a decision though.

 

Island Princess Nov 2003

Diamond Princess Oct 2004

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