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Dawn February Cruisers - Embarkation and Disembarkation

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it was well noted that the Jan cruises had issues. How were things for those that have cruised in February?

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it was well noted that the Jan cruises had issues. How were things for those that have cruised in February?

Just got off the Dawn (Feb 18-25). No issue with boarding... relatively quick and smooth. However, disembarkation was a nightmare. Passengers with carry -off luggage should have been able to begin disembarkation at 8 am, but apparently there was an issue with locating some non-US citizens for security clearance or something to that nature, so it delayed EVERYONE else. Then, when they finally allowed passengers to begin the walk -off process, the lines extended from ship end to end and then some....and was similar all the way through customs. Took an additional 3+ hours before we finally made it to the parking garage across from the terminal.

 

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Just got off the Dawn (Feb 18-25). No issue with boarding... relatively quick and smooth. However' date=' disembarkation was a nightmare. Passengers with carry -off luggage should have been able to begin disembarkation at 8 am, but apparently there was an issue with locating some non-US citizens for security clearance or something to that nature, so it delayed EVERYONE else. Then, when they finally allowed passengers to begin the walk -off process, the lines extended from ship end to end and then some....and was similar all the way through customs. Took an additional 3+ hours before we finally made it to the parking garage across from the terminal.

 

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Were you doing the walk-off program and delayed 3 hours?

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Just got off the Dawn (Feb 18-25). No issue with boarding... relatively quick and smooth. However' date=' disembarkation was a nightmare. Passengers with carry -off luggage should have been able to begin disembarkation at 8 am, but apparently there was an issue with locating some non-US citizens for security clearance or something to that nature, so it delayed EVERYONE else. Then, when they finally allowed passengers to begin the walk -off process, the lines extended from ship end to end and then some....and was similar all the way through customs. Took an additional 3+ hours before we finally made it to the parking garage across from the terminal.

 

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We were on this cruise and were only delayed about 75 minutes using the walk-off program. Walk-off was supposed to start at 8:00 am and we were off the ship about 9:20 am. We got in line at 8:00 am.

 

It was pretty chaotic but I'm not sure what NCL could have done better. Customs was not going to clear the ship until everyone was accounted for.

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We were on the cruise that disembarked 2/7

We headed downstairs at 700 am with our luggage and the line was very orderly...we were instructed to put our bags in line and wait till we were given instructions to proceed and we would leave in the order of where the bags sat in line...aka no cutting in line

We headed down early mainly to avoid elevator traffic and we began to disembark by 810 am and we were in a taxi headed to the airport by 830

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Not necessarily a Dawn or NCL problem. I've cruised 2 other times out of Tampa, both on Carnival.

 

First one, getting on was a nightmare. Previous cruise had a passenger pass away while on board so it took customs a while to clear boat. Because of this, the line to get into the terminal was wrapped around the corner and down the road. Took around 1.5 hrs to get through everything and on board.

 

Getting off the ship though was very easy. 15 min tops.

 

2nd one was the exact opposite. 30 min maybe to clear security, check in, and be on board.

 

However getting off, there was an issue with customs. Never got a clear answer, as the employees didn't seem to know either. Boat was about 1 hr late letting the first group of people off. Once we were called, it wasn't too bad from that point.

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I was on the 2/18-25 cruise and was totally disgusted the way NCL handled the disembarkation. The delay was because of security clearance for the non US citizens which was somewhat out of their control (been on Carnival similar situation but crew members checked cabins and lines for the missing passengers) but what they could have handled better was the lines and informing the people waiting. I was on line at 8 and at immigration at 10:30. It was ridiculous and unacceptable that elderly passengers and families with small children and their luggage were left standing in line while crew members who were not visible at all during the 2 1/2 hour wait decided to alleviate the problem create another exit which held up the walk off passengers even more so. I know this to be fact because another couple traveling in my group had a late flight so placed their bags outside their cabins the night before had a leisurely breakfast and walked right off the ship at 9:50 while I was still on line with my luggage. Yes I had an 11:30 am flight! Finally approached checkout and lo and behold all the crew and Hotel Manager waving us off. Are they kidding??? I told the Hotel Manager how badly the situation was handled and he agreed.

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I am going to be so angry if this happens again here next week :mad: The reason why is I have an 11 a.m. flight and have never had an issue with deembarkation. I always do the walk off and I'm usually off the ship by 8:30am at the latest.

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20 minutes makes a big difference apparently. Would you suggest I show up before 8 for the walk off program?

I would, and will, for any future cruise I take JIC an unexpected situation pops up. Hope for the best, but be early....and prepared.

 

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I was on the 2/18-25 cruise and was totally disgusted the way NCL handled the disembarkation. The delay was because of security clearance for the non US citizens which was somewhat out of their control (been on Carnival similar situation but crew members checked cabins and lines for the missing passengers) but what they could have handled better was the lines and informing the people waiting. I was on line at 8 and at immigration at 10:30. It was ridiculous and unacceptable that elderly passengers and families with small children and their luggage were left standing in line while crew members who were not visible at all during the 2 1/2 hour wait decided to alleviate the problem create another exit which held up the walk off passengers even more so. I know this to be fact because another couple traveling in my group had a late flight so placed their bags outside their cabins the night before had a leisurely breakfast and walked right off the ship at 9:50 while I was still on line with my luggage. Yes I had an 11:30 am flight! Finally approached checkout and lo and behold all the crew and Hotel Manager waving us off. Are they kidding??? I told the Hotel Manager how badly the situation was handled and he agreed.

Agreed.... it was a awful and wasn't handled well at all.

 

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Just got off the Dawn yesterday and both were miserable. The line for embarkation was out the door and down the street several blocks. The porters said the previous sailing had arrived late, but then we heard that we'd been held up because of two illegals who'd snuck on board. I'm guessing the truth was somewhere in the middle.

 

Disembarkation yesterday was ridiculous. We had our suitcases lined up and were seated in the Bliss lounge by 7:20 am but were held up for over 90 minutes while they continuously called for non-American citizens to report to another area. An hour into it they started announcing individual names. We were all held up by 15 people. People were getting pushy and attempted to cut to the front of the line. The staff presence was minimal.

 

Once they actually let us out, it was less than 15 minutes to the parking garage.

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So what’s a good game plan for Dawn? Stay in cabin until hear if they are tracking down international pax via announcements? Only go to holding area if NO calls going on by 8am?

 

 

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So what’s a good game plan for Dawn? Stay in cabin until hear if they are tracking down international pax via announcements? Only go to holding area if NO calls going on by 8am?

 

 

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Problem with this is cleaning crew will start kicking you out of the room. I say just leave you luggage out the night before, get up, eat breakfast, and don't be in any big hurry. If you have an early flight, let guest services know ahead of time so something can be done.

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Hello, all!

 

It's been a few years since we cruised (NCL/Nordic) and I can't recall exactly how disembarkation works. We are sailing on the Dawn later this month -- and seems from reading -- that they are experiencing issues in Tampa.

 

 

Is there an option to carry your own luggage if you travel light or do we have to leave outside the room? I recall that big airplane hangar looking set-up with luggage everywhere that we had to locate. Is that still the way it works? (Our flight not until 2pm, so not too worried about disembarkation. Someone suggested we have breakfast and chill.)

 

 

Any tips welcome. :D

 

Also, any thoughts to what time to arrive for embarkation? I would love to hit the ship by lunch but want to avoid horrible lines if I can. Just want to do whatever is less stressful.

 

Thanks! I appreciate it!

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So what’s a good game plan for Dawn? Stay in cabin until hear if they are tracking down international pax via announcements? Only go to holding area if NO calls going on by 8am?

 

 

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I'm going to avoid the Dawn in the future. That's my game plan.

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The embarkation process was pretty quick for the Feb 25 sailing, up to getting on the ship. The lobby was packed and people were standing by the time they started calling boarding groups. That was nothing compared to the nightmare of disembarking the ship. It took us literally 1.5 hours to get off the ship, standing and snaking our way through the ship in line. All 6 of us gold and platinum members, with priority disembarking and the first color luggage tags. The communication was pretty nonexistent from the crew regarding disembarking. The Hotel Director had addressed the issue at the Meet & Greet, specifically telling the group that disembarkation doesn't start till 9:00 am, and the port is not big enough to handle the volume. We knew going in from that conversation that it most likely would be a nightmare, and not to plan to get off until well after 9:00 am. Not sure, but part of the hold up were some of the non US citizens that chose not to follow the calls for them to report to US Immigrations and Customs PRIOR to disembarkation. All of them had to report to the Bliss Lounge I think before they would let anyone leave the ship. This port is really a nightmare, and we personally will not sail from here again.

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We were on the 2/25/18 to 3/4/18 Dawn sailing out of Tampa. We have sailed out of Tampa many times on different cruise lines (including NCL) and never had any issues with embarkation or disembarkation. Our experience this time was very different.

 

We arrived at the Port for embarkation shortly after 12pm. As others have stated, the line went on for blocks and blocks. It had just started to move when we arrived. Rumor had it there was a delay in the disembarkation of the passengers from the prior cruise (after our disembarkation, I understand why!). There were no porters to be seen so everyone was just trudging along with their luggage as the line slowly moved. We saw our first porter once we were at the door to go inside the terminal. (It was 1:30 at this point...at least our cabins were ready for us!) We (along with many other passengers) decided to just carry our luggage on the ship (a first) for fear of not seeing it again until 9pm. I believe it was between 2 and 3 by the time we finally got on the ship. Luckily, we had eaten before heading to the port. If I had expected to walk on the ship and have lunch, I would not have been happy. I heard they closed the lunch buffet and dining room at 2pm. Needless to say, O'Sheehan's was a zoo. The muster drill was at 3pm and there were still passengers waiting to get on the ship. I've never seen a muster drill without mandatory attendance of all passengers.

 

Moving on to disembarkation. Non-US citizens were supposed to clear customs first before any US citizens would be permitted to leave the ship. I'm not sure what time the non-US citizens were supposed to report, but US citizens were to begin disembarkation at 9am. Breakfast started shortly after 6 (I believe) and if you were a US citizen, you were permitted to remain in your cabin until 9am. Numerous announcements were made for the non-US citizens to report for check-in, followed by numerous announcements listing names of passengers holding up the process. Finally, close to 9am, they announced that US citizens could disembark. Good, right on time...

 

However, deck 7 was an absolute zoo. A chaotic line of passengers snaked around the entire length of the ship. If you chose to carry your own luggage off the ship, you were allowed to leave through a separate door. However, once off the ship, they were not permitting any passengers to proceed down the escalator. Security announced that they were still moving luggage off the ship and into the terminal with "big machines" so it was not safe for passengers to walk through the area (which you needed to do in order to reach the customs agents). It was probably closer to 9:30 once they allowed passengers down the escalator. I can't imagine what time they finally had all of the passengers off of the ship. If embarkation was any indicator, it was hours later.

 

Having said all of that, in between embarkation and disembarkation, all-in-all, we had a fabulous cruise!

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This is all so worrisome to hear that the issues aren't just on one cruise, but all of the recent cruises. Why haven't they tried something different by now?

 

We have a 12pm flight out of Tampa and now I'm worried about missing it on debarkation day. Ugh.

 

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One other odd thing...guest services was telling everyone they needed luggage tags because self-debarkation wasn't available at the port of Tampa. They'd already posted self-debarkation instructions in the Friday Freestyle Daily.

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Even though this s not completely NCL’s fault, they need to get this fixed. Based on reading the treads, the “perception “ seems to be that NCL is not doing much to fix this huge problem. It is so big that people will not sail NCL out of Tampa again.

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Waiting to board right now. We arrived at 10 and it was a madhouse with passengers still getting off. Waiting to board now, group #2 (at 11:58am). Previous week passengers seemed really angry.

 

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Waiting to board right now. We arrived at 10 and it was a madhouse with passengers still getting off. Waiting to board now, group #2 (at 11:58am). Previous week passengers seemed really angry.

 

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What time did you select for your check-in time?

 

Passengers have until 10 or 11 to be off the ship I believe. They normal don't start letting new people onboard till around noon.

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Posted (edited)

We just got off of dawn yesterday (3/4 to 3/11 sailing) and everything you read on the previous sailings is true. Embarkation was a madhouse because the previous sailing got off the ship late. And disembarking was horrendous. Again it was due to the non us citizens not showing up to check in. They started announcing for them to meet at the aqua restaurant at 7:45. At 8:45 they were still looking for 2 more non us citizens. Finally by 9am, They started disembarking but by that time walk off was around the whole cruise ship. At 9:45 when we were finally at the front of the line to get off the ship, we heard another announcement that they’re still trying to get self walk offs to disembark and for the color tags to stay put wherever they are.

 

Be aware, I specifically went up to guest services the night before to ask about self walk off because it wasn’t noted anywhere. She specifically said due to the size of Tampa port, there is no self walk off. You have to check in your bag the night before. Low and behold they announced self walk off at 9am the day of disembarkation when they finally accounted for all the non us citizens.

 

All in all, I wouldn’t fault Norwegian Dawn however the process of getting the non us citizens to check in the morning of should be re-examined either by NCL or Tampa Port.

 

 

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Edited by storr39357

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Yes' date=' from the time we got in the walk-off line (at about 0820) to the time we actually cleared customs at 1130... over 3 hours.

 

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One good reason for not booking early flights home.

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No problem debarking today, FYI. Perhaps fewer international passengers? Efficient cruise, a wait to get on ship initially but smooth sailing on really everything else. Nice ship.

 

 

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We just got off of dawn yesterday (3/4 to 3/11 sailing) and everything you read on the previous sailings is true. Embarkation was a madhouse because the previous sailing got off the ship late. And disembarking was horrendous. Again it was due to the non us citizens not showing up to check in. They started announcing for them to meet at the aqua restaurant at 7:45. At 8:45 they were still looking for 2 more non us citizens. Finally by 9am, They started disembarking but by that time walk off was around the whole cruise ship. At 9:45 when we were finally at the front of the line to get off the ship, we heard another announcement that they’re still trying to get self walk offs to disembark and for the color tags to stay put wherever they are.

 

Be aware, I specifically went up to guest services the night before to ask about self walk off because it wasn’t noted anywhere. She specifically said due to the size of Tampa port, there is no self walk off. You have to check in your bag the night before. Low and behold they announced self walk off at 9am the day of disembarkation when they finally accounted for all the non us citizens.

 

All in all, I wouldn’t fault Norwegian Dawn however the process of getting the non us citizens to check in the morning of should be re-examined either by NCL or Tampa Port.

 

No problem debarking today, FYI. Perhaps fewer international passengers? Efficient cruise, a wait to get on ship initially but smooth sailing on really everything else. Nice ship.

For what it's worth, the Dawn was docked at terminal 2 on 3/11, and was disembarked at terminal 3 today. It seems that the issues are coming into play when terminal 2 is being used, although I have no idea why. I also haven't found a way to determine in advance which terminal you will be at, making it harder to plan accordingly.

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The embarkation process was pretty quick for the Feb 25 sailing, up to getting on the ship. The lobby was packed and people were standing by the time they started calling boarding groups. That was nothing compared to the nightmare of disembarking the ship. It took us literally 1.5 hours to get off the ship, standing and snaking our way through the ship in line. All 6 of us gold and platinum members, with priority disembarking and the first color luggage tags. The communication was pretty nonexistent from the crew regarding disembarking. The Hotel Director had addressed the issue at the Meet & Greet, specifically telling the group that disembarkation doesn't start till 9:00 am, and the port is not big enough to handle the volume. We knew going in from that conversation that it most likely would be a nightmare, and not to plan to get off until well after 9:00 am. Not sure, but part of the hold up were some of the non US citizens that chose not to follow the calls for them to report to US Immigrations and Customs PRIOR to disembarkation. All of them had to report to the Bliss Lounge I think before they would let anyone leave the ship. This port is really a nightmare, and we personally will not sail from here again.

 

 

1) Re: 2/25 embarkation, that was not our experience.

 

2) Re: Meet & Greet/Hotel Director, so unless a 'guest' had attended said event, it would be a big secret?

 

3) The Non US citizens were repeatedly requested to report to Guest Services, while the rest of us who were capable of following directions waited in the Bliss Lounge, not so blissfully ;-)

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This is an excerpt from my review of the Dawn 2/25 to 3/4 sailing:

 

Stood in line for hours, no queues, mass entry that was nowhere near organized. No priority embarkation for suite guests, just a massive cattle call to the door. At check-in, there was supposed to be a priority embarkation line (which we were in), but the reps kept taking people from the general crowd because we were standing way at the side of the check-in desk and were seemingly forgotten. No organization whatsoever. Finally get up to the NCL rep to check in. He was soooooo slowwwww. Each of the reps on the other sides of him had checked in 3 parties by the time we were done. This guy had to redo each of our photos 3 times. Finally the rep next to him helped him.

 

 

I have severe back problems and constant pain and numbness. There was nowhere to sit down while waiting through this whole process. I had been standing for 3 hours by the time we actually boarded. It was excruciating, and it took all day and night to recover from it, so right off the bat, vacation time was wasted. If it was that bad for me, I can't imagine how the elderly had gotten through this.

 

A week later, we realized reason why we were so late getting on. This same thing must have happened to the passengers disembarking as we were embarking. Our disembarkation: non US citizens wouldn't come forward to clear immigration - the ship had to call their names (40+ people!) for over 1.5 hours while the rest of us US citizens waited. I guess they are special and entitled and feel they can get off the ship whenever they please, and don't have to abide by the rules or laws.

 

So we were told to go to Stardust Theater for priority disembarkation. It was "closed for rehearsals". Really?! So we were directed here, there, everywhere,by NCL people who obviously didn't know what was going on. Finally we were getting pretty ticked off after walking up and down the ship through all the crowds with no rhyme or reason. So we showed our gold tags to an NCL employee and asked, "So where do suite guests disembark as priority guests?" He directed us to the END OF THE LINE. Great. So much for priority disembarkation. Meanwhile, we had a car service arranged andhe had long been waiting for us. We had to (embarrassingly) keep calling him and giving him updates. We were charged an extra $49.00 for the wait time, and this was booked through NCL's website (Groundlink). Thanks, NCL. Not at all our fault, but thanks, NCL.

 

The whole process (if you can call it that) was so disorganized. Color tags were never called, as they usually are. It was just a mass of passengers waiting to get off the ship, period.

 

It gets better:

 

Trying to claim our bags after disembarkation? Another huge hassle. Our tags were gold colored. We looked up and down the terminal and there was no gold designation. We walked back and forth through a zoo of people, skipping over their luggage. We asked the reps where gold was. They directed us to the far end of the building. No gold. Well, come to find out, the gold bags were tucked WAY back in a corner that is BEHIND the sea of people who had already claimed their bags and were waiting to go through customs/immigration. DUH - we can't see through a massive bunch of people. Why wouldn't NCL put the priority bags right smack at the entry, the most convenient place, where you can clearly see them, claim them and be on your way? There was just no logic at all in the way they do both embarkation and disembarkation. We won't be sailing in or out of Tampa ever again! The combination of inept NCL reps and Tampa port employees was a recipe for complete chaos.

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That doesn't make sense about no self walk off???

We did on Mar 4 as well as friends. Zero issues for us. Too bad for those who got off at the same time but had luggage since the first group was a natural flow to immigration/customs.

Our big problem was the 25+ non US who COMPLETELY disregarded the pages for the names for over an hour. IMO there should be a couple hundred dollars added to their account. If not for those RUDE people, it would have been a non issue

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that doesn't make sense about no self walk off???

We did on mar 4 as well as friends. Zero issues for us. Too bad for those who got off at the same time but had luggage since the first group was a natural flow to immigration/customs.

Our big problem was the 25+ non us who completely disregarded the pages for the names for over an hour. Imo there should be a couple hundred dollars added to their account. If not for those rude people, it would have been a non issue

 

 

** a p p l a u s e **

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Oh, and another thing I forgot to mention about so-called "priority disembarkation": Our butler told us, "Feel free to have all of your friends (non-suite, non-priority) join you in the priority disembarkation...it's OK!" I said, "Really? We are on a group cruise and none of the rest of them are priority." He laughed and said, "Well, as long as it's not the whole ship."

 

 

You have GOT to be kidding me.

 

NCL sure has gone downhill, in my opinion...

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Oh, and another thing I forgot to mention about so-called "priority disembarkation": Our butler told us, "Feel free to have all of your friends (non-suite, non-priority) join you in the priority disembarkation...it's OK!" I said, "Really? We are on a group cruise and none of the rest of them are priority." He laughed and said, "Well, as long as it's not the whole ship."

 

WOW! That was NOT what the concierge said at the meeting

He said if you have family members you can give them an extra gold luggage tag. I don't recall him telling us it was okay for them to be in the priority disembarkation line (which, by the way, you were terribly misinformed IMO)

The priority line was in the stardust but opposite side from where the excursions were, the concierge was hanging out there. It was kind of a crazy "line". We waited (an hour and half) for the unbelievably INCONSIDERATE non US to answer repeated pages

But, that crazy line with self assist luggage were the first to get off the ship. Which was about 9am

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We were on the 03/04-11 week out of Terminal #2.

I tend to push the limits and booked an 11am flight b/c I am always ready to get home (that is on me).

Gold Tags. 5th person in line. Waiting on Non-US. Etc. Etc. Etc. Disembarked at 9:40a, 40 minutes after scheduled (that is on NCL and the port). 1st through Customs as we were running. Uber/Lyft by 10a. Caught flight with 10 minutes to spare.

This was stressful (my fault). We didn't know disembarkation was at 9a until we were on the ship. In past cruises, disembarkation is at 8a and often walked off at 7:45a (Walk-off Program). Not so here apparently, even though customer service stated such via phone.

The issue is a mismanaged Terminal #2. A Lead Port official (female in the middle corridor who I wish I got her name), when questioned by me about why they were so late in their procedures said, "A lot of people have flights to make" and was non-concerned with their tardiness and those who were going to miss their flight. I feel bad for an elderly couple who were not going to make theirs and the rude mentality of the staff to them.

Terminal #3 does not have this issue so if you have a future cruise, cross your fingers (yn) for Terminal #3. NCL is also to blame. Don't tell me a multi-billion dollar company doesn't have a say in disembarkation procedures in congruence with ports.

Above-average cruise for us, but will never go out of Tampa again.

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This is an excerpt from my review of the Dawn 2/25 to 3/4 sailing:

 

So we were told to go to Stardust Theater for priority disembarkation. It was "closed for rehearsals". Really?! So we were directed here, there, everywhere,by NCL people who obviously didn't know what was going on. Finally we were getting pretty ticked off after walking up and down the ship through all the crowds with no rhyme or reason. So we showed our gold tags to an NCL employee and asked, "So where do suite guests disembark as priority guests?" He directed us to the END OF THE LINE. Great. So much for priority disembarkation. Meanwhile, we had a car service arranged andhe had long been waiting for us. We had to (embarrassingly) keep calling him and giving him updates. We were charged an extra $49.00 for the wait time, and this was booked through NCL's website (Groundlink). Thanks, NCL. Not at all our fault, but thanks, NCL.

 

 

A quick call to Roel, the concierge at 7070 would have saved you a lot of time and hassle. Concierge service is a suite perk. Lots of house phones located throughout the ship.

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A quick call to Roel, the concierge at 7070 would have saved you a lot of time and hassle. Concierge service is a suite perk. Lots of house phones located throughout the ship.

The poster didn’t take the time to understand where they were suppose to be. It wasn’t the stardust theater.

 

Btw: Roel was the worst concierge we have had.

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A quick call to Roel, the concierge at 7070 would have saved you a lot of time and hassle. Concierge service is a suite perk. Lots of house phones located throughout the ship.

 

We did, the night beforehand. And indeed, we were told the Stardust.

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The poster didn’t take the time to understand where they were suppose to be. It wasn’t the stardust theater.

 

Oh! I guess you were with me the whole time, so you would know ;p:)

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