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Princess Check-in @ The Pier (what’s your MO?)

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Just curious, do you check in early to beat the crowds and enjoy an early lunch or leisurely stroll on as the deadline time nears and saunter to Crooners for a welcome aboard cocktail?

 

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Always try to go early to beat the rush and get on board to have lunch either in the dining room or Alfredos. I'm always anxious to get my cruise started as soon as possible.

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DO NOT GO EARLY OR YOU WILL SIT IN A STUFFY ROOM WITH SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHER PEOPLE TILL NOON

 

We get thereabout 12:15 and are in our room by 12:30 then down to lunch at 12:45

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Depends on the port as to what time you'll load and how stuffy the room is. Some have more space than others and some let you load earlier than others. Also depends on whether you have priority boarding of one sort or another as to how soon you'll get on.

 

Tom

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There's always the "crowded day at Vancouver" version: sit in a crowded room for two hours waiting to check in, then another hour in the security line.

 

Let's just say I'm not in a hurry to do a one-day sailing out of Vancouver again any time soon...

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We usually book longer cruises and arrive a couple of days early. So, "getting started" to us isn't as important as avoiding waiting a while to board. Even though we're eligible for preferred boarding, we still dislike waiting around. We'll take a late checkout from our hotel and saunter over to the pier around 1:30PM to 2:30PM depending on how late boarding goes. We typically breeze right through check-in and initial boarding. No need to rush to the MDR (it's closed anyway) or the buffet although hitting Crooners or an on-deck bar is a great way to kick off the cruise.

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1) Get a late checkout from the hotel

 

2) Go to lunch at a local restaurant. (Yes, I can afford to buy a lunch instead of lunch on the ship)

 

3) If I know someone at the pier (Crew, Passenger, Port Staff), call them to see if boarding is on time.

 

4) Walk straight onto the ship around 2;30 pm without issue. Go later, if there is a problem with boarding.

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Cruised out of San Francisco last July. Stepped out of cab at 12:00 walked into our cabin at 12:30, hope things go as well in December

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We usually check in early. I want to savor every minute in anticipation of boarding. I don't mind waiting and have met lots of other nice passengers that way. What a better crowd to hang with for awhile?! :)

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Leave the airport once baggage claimed. Prefer to wait at cruise port than airport.

 

 

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Get to the port about 10:45. Get in the suite/priority area. Board with the first group. We don't always go to embarkation lunch in the MDR (though occasionally we do). It's more about savoring all our time on board.

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I like to get on the ship as early as possible. We try to arrive around 10:30am. It's no big deal sitting in the terminal for a bit. That's part of the excitement. When they start calling out boarding numbers I feel that the cruise has really begun.

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I'm with NeverBeen. I don't worry about grabbing lunch on board.

 

I get to the pier around 2 p.m., go straight to the check in, go through security, board right away. I'm on board in plenty of time to go to the Safety At Sea Drill. Some day I'll take the time to grab a hot dog to go with the Mustard Drill. (Sorry, I can never resist!)

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Our strategy is simple: go early, get on early.

 

I agree we always go early. Most of the time it’s around 11:30 am.

Tony

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Anytime before 4 o'clock is a good idea as far as I am concerned. If I get there early I relax and talk with people in the terminal knowing that nothing terrible happened to delay our arrival and that eventually we'll get on board.

 

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We have done both, but our preference is early. We don't enjoy sitting around the hotel until the noon checkout time. Rather be on the move and wait at the pier. We don't find it difficult. We are on board pretty quickly once boarding begins. We unpack our carry ons, usually grab something at the International Cafe or by the pool. Once our checked luggage arrives we unpack and we're set.

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Early!!

 

We like to start enjoying the ship as soon as possible!! Every minute counts for us :) We start at the international cafe, drop our carry ons, then head for the pool! By the time muster comes we've relaxed some and started to unwind and thaw out as we usually travel during the kids' March Break and its cold at home!

As there are 4 of us, I like to start unpacking before dinner and getting on early means our luggage usually arrives very early to allow me to start the process. Its day 1 of our vacation! We don't want to delay the start any longer than necessary!:D

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We will either wait at the motel or at the terminal. I opt to wait at the terminal. At least I know I made it that far.

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When departing out of San Pedro we like to get to the terminal around 10:45. A quick check in and then sit and chat in anticipation of the fun that's about an hour away. We have made it a tradition to go to the MDR lunch and it is something that we look forward to. 30 days until we leave for Vancouver for our next cruise - can hardly wait. Especially since the Star is the only ship in port on embarkation day!

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;p

Anytime before 4 o'clock is a good idea as far as I am concerned. If I get there early I relax and talk with people in the terminal knowing that nothing terrible happened to delay our arrival and that eventually we'll get on board.

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Forums mobile app

 

Certainly wouldn't want to try that rule at Seattle where the Alaska cruises almost always depart at 4pm!!! :o But one thing is for sure...when talking about arrival at the pier, it's much, much better to be 2 hours early than 5 minutes late. ;p

 

Tom

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When at Port Everglades we stay in a nearby hotel the night before. (Embassy for example) Eat the included breakfast and normal 11:00 check out, takes about 30 minutes to get your luggage down to the lobby, find an Uber or Taxi (forget about the hotel shuttle) and physically get to the port.

 

The line is usually fairly long (preferred or not) but it goes quickly for preferred once you hit the door, maybe 30 minutes to go through the line and check in.

 

Unless boarding is delayed you usually walk right on or wait a few minutes at most. The preferred boarding lounge is nothing special and we would rather spend our time having a leisurely breakfast at the hotel.

 

Walk to the cabin, load the safe and head to the MDR for lunch and a beer. So on board and eating in about an hour. Return to the cabin and unpack the luggage which is usually there by the time we finish with lunch.

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Early! It's counted as day one of the cruise. We feel we miss out on a day if we are not on board as early as possible.

 

That is how we feel, too. Early for us!

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Another tip. Depending on where your cruising from, I sometimes cruise from San Francisco where I live & have friends sign up for the BVE & we’re one of the first to board as I would rather spend more time on the ship & with friends. And I always enjoy lunch in the MDR where they assume we’re all doing the BVE so we get a free drink.

Tom😎

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brooklyn was pretty easy last month. got there a bit after 10 and got boarding number 2. yippee. we were on ship at 1227 and eating the pizza at alfredos 1255.

 

as a first timer to princess i cannot fathom not trying to be as early as possible to soak up all the vacation rays! one thing that sucks bout brooklyn is there is no intercom system so the poor staff has to yell to 3000 people. yea..not fun

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I like to get on the ship as early as possible. We try to arrive around 10:30am. It's no big deal sitting in the terminal for a bit. That's part of the excitement. When they start calling out boarding numbers I feel that the cruise has really begun.

 

I do so agree with you there! I really enjoy that air of anticipation and excitement during the time that everyone is waiting to board..most people are in a great mood..I've learned so many little tidbits just by chatting with other cruisers too..so..as long as it's not an exaggerated wait time - I don't mind at all...one thing about coming early is that people are still disembarking from the previous cruise and..I confess.. it always makes me smile..knowing that it's all over for them but just beginning for me!! However..I don't feel too guilty for my glee since I know that I'll be feeling the way they are feeling in a week's time and someone will be smiling at ME..lol!..I think next time I disembark from a cruise I'll surprise them and smile right back and wish them Bon Voyage!!

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I try to get my butt on the ship as early as possible. But it depends on area. In place like Ft Lauderdale, I don't even bother with a hotel. Airport to port, and get on. When I was boarding in Barcelona or Athens, we got hotel, got to the ship later than usual. Instead of mad dash to the port, in Athens we got breakfast, went to Acropolis, bought some souvenirs, etc.

 

I guess it's also about the way ports handle boarding. In St Pedro, we were all crammed in a small building, with way-overloaded cellular towers so I couldn't even browse the web on my phone, and it was hot and humid. Waiting for my group seemed like eternity, and even after being called, it took forever to get on. And we were there around noon.

 

But either way, we try to be onboard early. First thing to do would probably be head straight to MDR and put our name for Chef's Table. Then drop bags off, do our best Braveheart impression and storm the buffet.

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Last year we were at Red Hook terminal by 10:30am for our Cunard transatlantic and the terminal was a ghost town! It was lovely walking on board, getting a drink and relaxing!

 

A few weeks later we waited till nearly last minute to board our Southampton cruise and it was stressful. We felt like we almost missed a full day. We had to go pretty much straight to the muster station. The kids got hungry and cranky waiting for the safety briefing - they wanted to explore not be cooped up in the theatre without the ability to order anything.

 

In a month we board Sapphire Princess in Singapore. I don’t know what the terminal is like but we will are eagerly anticipating boarding and won’t be leaving it till late afternoon again!

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Getting on ship Sunday received a message from Princess they are now boarding by deck and an assigned time. Should be interesting

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Getting on ship Sunday received a message from Princess they are now boarding by deck and an assigned time. Should be interesting

 

Nothing new about that notice. You can follow it or do what you normally do.

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Getting on ship Sunday received a message from Princess they are now boarding by deck and an assigned time. Should be interesting

 

You got the same "Progressive Cruise Check-In Information" in your Booking Summary when you first booked your cruise. It is always and forever only a suggestion.

 

...unless the message specifically stated that boarding will start later than the time previously indicated (again, check your Booking Summary) due to an emergency deep clean or an expected Coast Guard and/or Immigration and/or Sanitation Inspection. If the "assigned" (sic) times are different than the ones you were first given, then you may want to consider arriving later than usual at the port. Otherwise, don't worry.

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We LOVE to get to the terminal and on the ship as early as possible! The terminals (primarily SF and Ft. Laud) are usually comfortable and a short wait in comfy chairs along with all the other excited passengers is no problem at all. And we want to get our cruise started as EARLY as possible!

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We like to arrive just a few minutes before the beginning of check in. You may wait a little bit but the lines move fast, the energy is high and exciting, you meet your co passengers for the first time, and you get on board to start the vacation! What could be better then that?

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Unless we have a run-of-the-mill domestic embarkation port like Miami, we definitely like to get on as LATE as possible.

 

Doing international cruises, we're leaving from very interesting/exotic locations like Rome, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, etc. It makes no sense to me, to get onboard and sit all day on the same ship that I'll be on for the next 1-3 weeks, when I have a unique opportunity to spend the better part of a day in a fascinating location, learning about and seeing that country. And yes, we do usually arrive a few days early to see the area as well. If you're going to be in a place like Rome, to me it's a much better experience to squeeze in at least one more sight (Pantheon, Colosseum, St. Peter's, Vatican, Piazza Navona, or whatever) on top of what you've already seen, instead of sitting on board the ship. I get PLENTY of ship time during the 1-3 week cruise.

 

To each their own. Very interesting the diverse preferences here.

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brooklyn was pretty easy last month. got there a bit after 10 and got boarding number 2. yippee. we were on ship at 1227 and eating the pizza at alfredos 1255.

 

as a first timer to princess i cannot fathom not trying to be as early as possible to soak up all the vacation rays! one thing that sucks bout brooklyn is there is no intercom system so the poor staff has to yell to 3000 people. yea..not fun

 

We stayed at The One Hotel Brooklyn Bridge which has a noon check out time, slept in, had brunch at the hotel, then checked out just before noon. The hotel car was busy at that moment, but free in 30 minutes and they brought us to the pier - it took us maybe 10 minutes to get there by 12:45. At that point most of the crowd had cleared out of the terminal and boarded the ship. There was only a small line we had to wait in for security and another small line to get our cruise cards and although we are not yet preferred on Princess (just need one more cruise), we were on the ship by 1 not having to experience long lines and big crowds at all. Ship elevators were fairly uncrowded for boarding day. Our cabin was ready, so we dropped off our carryons and had a snack in the buffet. When we got back to our cabin our luggage arrived immediately, so we were easily able to unpack prior to sail away. It was a very relaxing start to what turned out to be a great and relaxing cruise!

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