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DnA2010

Typical Disembarking on Princess-

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Hi All,

Only 78 more days till our first Princess cruise :) just curious how a typical Princess disembarking works- ie when you have to be out of your room, what the dining room breakfast hours are, how long it takes to clear customs etc.


Thanks so much!

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You have to be out of your cabin by 8am. Breakfast hours will start about 7. The rest depends on the ship, the port, and assumes a "normal" disembarkation.

You will notify Princess of your "after the cruise" plans. Based on that information, you'll be assigned to a disembarkation group. If you don't like the time you are assigned, you can go to passenger services and have it changed. You will either place the luggage tags on your bags and place them outside your cabin on the last night OR you will do self-disembarkation (this means you can get yourself and your luggage off with no assistance).

Each group is assigned a waiting location. After breakfast, go to that location. When your group is called, you'll get off, claim your luggage, and go thru Customs. Usually this is a 10-15 minute process, but we've seen some horrible exceptions. One was on Princess where, for whatever reason, they didn't separate the US citizens from non-US (supervisor told us they normally do), and the ship had several hundred Korean citizens on board. So we made it off the ship, got luggage, and were in the Customs line for over an hour! Clearing US citizens at a US port is normally very quick.

Then you head to your transportation.

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Breakfast is usually 6:30 to 8:30 in the MDR but doors will close when the room reaches capacity, which could be before 8:00.
Buffet will be serving breakfast until around 9:30.
You are generally expected to be out of your cabin by 8:00.

But there is no such thing as "typical disembarking". Case in point: the response above was geared for US citizens disembarking a round trip USA cruise. According to what I could piece together from the extraneous information on your Cruise Critic member account, you are a Canadian citizen disembarking Emerald Princess in Los Angeles from a repositioning cruise you will embark in Vancouver. As the only intermediate port call is in the USA (Astoria) you will very likely--though not guaranteed--be processed by US immigration as entering the USA as you board at Canada Place. If this occurs there will be no immigration or customs inspection at the pier in San Pedro.

Since this is only a four night cruise Princess will assume the vast majority of passengers will do self-carry disembarkation rather than claim their bags in the terminal. If you wish your bags to be picked up the night before and be placed in the terminal be sure to indicate so on the disembarkation questionnaire you will find in your cabin, so the correct luggage tags can be delivered to you.

If I have erred in picking out this cruise from your signature and you are asking about a different ship/itinerary/disembarkation port please be kind enough to clarify in response.

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The International Cafe will also be open. You can grab some food and coffee there and hang out in that area while you wait to disembark. And the slotted departure times are not really hard and fast. On a recent cruise, we had an 8:30 departure. We hung out in Vines with our IC food waiting for our group to be called. We heard nothing, and at 8:45 I spoke with a departure crew member and they said: "Oh. That group was called over half an hour ago." So this points out two things. 1. the 8:30 departure was called to depart at least 15 minutes earlier than the appointed time; and 2. There was no penalty or problem with us staying on the ship while the rest of our color/number group had been called. We had our own pick-up arrangements, so we weren't headed for a Princess bus and weren't holding anyone else up.

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[quote name='JimmyVWine']The International Cafe will also be open. You can grab some food and coffee there and hang out in that area while you wait to disembark. And the slotted departure times are not really hard and fast. On a recent cruise, we had an 8:30 departure. We hung out in Vines with our IC food waiting for our group to be called. We heard nothing, and at 8:45 I spoke with a departure crew member and they said: "Oh. That group was called over half an hour ago." So this points out two things. 1. the 8:30 departure was called to depart at least 15 minutes earlier than the appointed time; and 2. There was no penalty or problem with us staying on the ship while the rest of our color/number group had been called. We had our own pick-up arrangements, so we weren't headed for a Princess bus and weren't holding anyone else up.[/quote]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2]You'll only hear the announcements for your group in the area where you're supposed to wait. They don't do a general announcement. Was your departure area in Vines??[/SIZE][/FONT]

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Maybe someone could verify that on a Vancouver to L.A. cruise you go through U.S. Immigration and Customs when boarding in Vancouver. Believe that is the procedure for Alaska. If I'm correct then disembarking will be very easy and quick. No immigration lines, and if you just have a carry on, no collecting your luggage in the terminal. You will just select your preferred time and follow the instructions on the disembarkation form. The process has been described by other posters.

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[quote name='JF - retired RRT'][FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2]You'll only hear the announcements for your group in the area where you're supposed to wait. They don't do a general announcement. Was your departure area in Vines??[/SIZE][/FONT][/quote]
Right nearby. We could hear the microphones and see the people march by. Our group had been called by 8:15, well before we arrived in the area at 8:25, so no matter where we had been at 8:25, we couldn't have heard our group called, as it had already departed. Point being, unless we had been in the area by 8:10 for an 8:30 call time, we would have missed it. Seemed like they were a bit discombobulated that day as there were lots of people in the same boat, so to speak. When things run early, it can throw you for a loop. But "early" has only happened to us that one time. Usually you get to your spot on time and then wait an extra 20 minutes.

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You will definitely go through US immigration in Vancouver before boarding for any south bound cruise leaving Vancouver which has it's first stop is in the US

Srpilo

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[SIZE=4]We always hit the DR on disembarkation morning.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]Nice relaxing breakfast. [/SIZE]:D

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[quote name='sknight']Maybe someone could verify that on a Vancouver to L.A. cruise you go through U.S. Immigration and Customs when boarding in Vancouver. Believe that is the procedure for Alaska. If I'm correct then disembarking will be very easy and quick. No immigration lines, and if you just have a carry on, no collecting your luggage in the terminal. You will just select your preferred time and follow the instructions on the disembarkation form. The process has been described by other posters.[/quote]

Depends which if any ports are visited - quite a lot of southbound repos hit Victoria, some even do more obscure Canadian ports like Nanaimo after leaving Vancouver. These trips don't see CBP until they hit their first US port.


[quote name='srpilo']You will definitely go through US immigration in Vancouver before boarding for any south bound cruise leaving Vancouver [COLOR=Red][B]which has it's first stop is in the US[/B][/COLOR]

Srpilo[/quote]
Yup.

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[COLOR=#333333][FONT="]"Depends which if any ports are visited - quite a lot of southbound repos hit Victoria, some even do more obscure Canadian ports like Nanaimo after leaving Vancouver. These trips don't see CBP until they hit their first US port."[/FONT][/COLOR]

The first port for the op's cruise is Astoria.

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[quote name='fishywood']Breakfast is usually 6:30 to 8:30 in the MDR but doors will close when the room reaches capacity, which could be before 8:00.
Buffet will be serving breakfast until around 9:30.
You are generally expected to be out of your cabin by 8:00.

But there is no such thing as "typical disembarking". Case in point: the response above was geared for US citizens disembarking a round trip USA cruise. According to what I could piece together from the extraneous information on your Cruise Critic member account, you are a Canadian citizen disembarking Emerald Princess in Los Angeles from a repositioning cruise you will embark in Vancouver. As the only intermediate port call is in the USA (Astoria) you will very likely--though not guaranteed--be processed by US immigration as entering the USA as you board at Canada Place. If this occurs there will be no immigration or customs inspection at the pier in San Pedro.

Since this is only a four night cruise Princess will assume the vast majority of passengers will do self-carry disembarkation rather than claim their bags in the terminal. If you wish your bags to be picked up the night before and be placed in the terminal be sure to indicate so on the disembarkation questionnaire you will find in your cabin, so the correct luggage tags can be delivered to you.

If I have erred in picking out this cruise from your signature and you are asking about a different ship/itinerary/disembarkation port please be kind enough to clarify in response.[/quote]


You are correct- just doing a short 4 day Vancouver to LA :)
We plan to only have carry ons so will probably just self carry.
Thanks for the info re the MDR - we will aim to be in before 8 :)

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We are getting closer :) Wondering if anyone can advise when self carry off generally starts?

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[quote name='DnA2010']We are getting closer :) Wondering if anyone can advise when self carry off generally starts?[/quote]
Probably around 7am, maybe 7:30am.

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[quote name='skynight']Probably around 7am, maybe 7:30am.[/quote]

we waited in the casino in NYC last year and when we got off customs was totally empty. it was glorious! didnt have to tip the porter to bypass the line like in manhattan. matter of fact i saw no porters even there that early

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[quote name='luckyinpa']we waited in the casino in NYC last year and when we got off customs was totally empty. it was glorious! didnt have to tip the porter to bypass the line like in manhattan. matter of fact i saw no porters even there that early[/quote]

The porters will not come out until the first group of claiming luggage in baggage hall passengers has disembarked the ship. The longshoremans unions are naturally vehemently opposed to the "self-carry" disembarkation option as it reduces the number of their members needed to sort the luggage in the baggage claim area. They deliberately only approach people with no bags in hand as they come off the gangway. And I understand NYC is the strictest US port of them all in this regard.

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All that I read above is correct. We did US Customs and Immigration in Vancouver--no need for anything on LA arrival. But Vancouver was our last stop before LA.

Self disembarkation was listed on our schedule as beginning at 7:30; it was actually announced as available more like 7:10. That does not mean that you MUST get off at that time, but only that you can get off at that time.

And the longshoremen at US ports have serious attitude problems, but all you can do is choose to use them or not to use them.

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[COLOR=blue]To those who disembark in Ft Lauderdale cruises: they seem to consistently have a 'shortage' of customs agents there. While getting off the ship was a breeze, waiting in line inside while 2 agents processed the entire ship took well over an hour. Then, they always smile and say 'welcome home' (we lived in Miami before the last cruise). Yeah, welcome home.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=blue]Hope no one had an early flight. It didn't matter to us, we just got in our car and drove home but we did let some desperate people cut in line ahead of us that were going to miss their flight). Good thing the airport is just spittin distance away there.[/COLOR]

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Leaving and returning to Ft Lauderdale in November. Driving home to Canada and would really like to get an early start. What are our options, how soon can we disembark and how long will it take us to get to our van parked at the pier terminal parking lot?

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we "allow" ourselves an hour to get off the ship, get our 2 bags, thru customs, across to the parking garage, up the elevator, load car, pull out and pay for parking

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[quote name='Kate45']Leaving and returning to Ft Lauderdale in November. Driving home to Canada and would really like to get an early start. What are our options, how soon can we disembark and how long will it take us to get to our van parked at the pier terminal parking lot?[/quote]
If you are doing self disembarkation (handling all your luggage yourself), you can get off as soon as US Customs clears the ship. That is typically listed as 7:30, but then announced earlier--on our last cruise it was about 7:10. There should be essentially no line at Customs that early, but that can vary as seen in the above posts. You can have breakfast at the International Cafe any time you wish, and be ready to get off as soon as you hear the announcement. There is a designated waiting place, but you don't have to go there.

The time to your vehicle will be minimal after you clear Customs. There is a good chance that you can be on the road by 7:30, almost certainly by 8:00. HOWEVER, there are always instances where things are delayed for various reasons. We've been on cruises where Customs didn't clear the ship till after 9am, so no one could disembark till after that. While it isn't normal, it can happen.

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[quote=moki'smommy;57087737]
The time to your vehicle will be minimal after you clear Customs. [/quote]

That is true if the ship returns to the same pier used for embarkation. If the ship goes to a different pier, you may need to take a shuttle or cab to the parking garage you used.

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That is not an option for us as one of us is in a motorized wheelchair and cannot get out of it (paralyzed). Is there some way to find out where the ship will dock both upon embarkation and disembarkation? Will Princess be able to tell me this if I call?

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[quote name='Kate45']That is not an option for us as one of us is in a motorized wheelchair and cannot get out of it (paralyzed). Is there some way to find out where the ship will dock both upon embarkation and disembarkation? Will Princess be able to tell me this if I call?[/quote]

The port schedule may be found at
[FONT="][SIZE=3]http://www.porteverglades.net/[/SIZE]
[/FONT]
[FONT="][SIZE=3]click on "ship schedule" [/SIZE]
[/FONT]
[FONT="][SIZE=3]However it only shows one week into the future.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT="][SIZE=3]If necessary, you could take a cab/shuttle to the parking building and then drive to the different pier to pick up your group.[/SIZE]
[/FONT]

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