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Ep010835

Grand Embarkation in SFO

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7 minutes ago, Almighty188 said:

Didn't realize those were suggested times.  When is the earliest one can even check-in since I thought the ship just returned from the previous Mexican Riviera at 7:00AM earlier that day.  

Speaking about suggested dress for formal nights, how strict are they in enforcing that since my 88 year old mom will be there too and I am trying to make it as hassle free as possible for her at the MDR for formal nights.  

 

Boarding started at 11:00 in December. You can check in earlier but won't be able to get onboard until 11.

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Just now, Almighty188 said:

Good points and thanks.  As for the announcements, wouldn't you miss it if you were in some noisy area on the ship when the announcement is announced? 

 

It's listed in the Patter the night before and you also will get a little reminder card on your bed (along with your evening chocolate). 

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26 minutes ago, idahospud said:

I just emailed you back.

 

I wouldn't be handing over my electronics to a porter, either. Even if rooms aren't ready you can usually drop off your carryons. Occasionally a ship will have the corridors blocked off but the Grand didn't do that last month. 

 

You don't have to take off your shoes as part of the screening process. Just make sure everything is out of your pockets. 

Thanks for the prompt email response! 

Always good to know things ahead of time so one will be prepared and it won't be a surprise.    

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30 minutes ago, idahospud said:

Boarding started at 11:00 in December. You can check in earlier but won't be able to get onboard until 11.

Just trying to plan on what is the earliest we can check-in since my mom will probably need the wheelchair for getting on and off the ship due to the walking distance and the time waiting standing up.  What is the security procedure when returning back to the ship at the ports of call in Mexico?  

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41 minutes ago, Almighty188 said:

Speaking about suggested dress for formal nights, how strict are they in enforcing that since my 88 year old mom will be there too and I am trying to make it as hassle free as possible for her at the MDR for formal nights.  

 

Find the thread entitled Attire Expectations and go from there.  A great deal of difference of opinion. Bottom line for most is, be comfortable and presentable. 

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39 minutes ago, Almighty188 said:

Am I correct that the cabin telephone updates the clock whenever the ship time is updated? 

 

Absolutely.

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22 minutes ago, Ep010835 said:

 

Find the thread entitled Attire Expectations and go from there.  A great deal of difference of opinion. Bottom line for most is, be comfortable and presentable. 

Reading the thread now and it seems like you don't even need to wear a jacket so it seems like I can wear my normal slacks and just add a shirt with or without tie.  Haven't really read what they want from females though.  

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Almighty, I have never wore a jacket on any cruise for any dinner...

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8 minutes ago, anzore said:

Almighty, I have never wore a jacket on any cruise for any dinner...

 

Nor have I. Nor will I ever.  

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EP010835  I always say if people want to get dressed up, have fun. Its a vacation...Life goes on. If someone sitting near me is dressed different, so be it. It will never upset my trip.

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5 minutes ago, anzore said:

EP010835  I always say if people want to get dressed up, have fun. Its a vacation...Life goes on. If someone sitting near me is dressed different, so be it. It will never upset my trip.

 

You sir/ma’am have an outstanding outlook on life.  

I’ll bet you even smile at strangers and say hello. 😃

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Interesting, thought for those formal nights, they were going to be strict and turn you away in the Dining Rooms if you didn't meet a certain minimum standard.  Have a question when returning to the ship at the Ports of Call in Mexico, what process does one have to go through to get back on the ship?  Is it just the cabin card and passport or do you have to do a security check like walking through a scanner and anything like else, they have to run it through a security scanner?  Thanks!

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Almighty188, we just used the cabin card. The ship personnel scan you on and off. Verified by your photo.  You  do get scanned and screened through a metal detector and  a check of your bag., when returning on board.  It is a very simple process. I believe on formal nights now, if they turned you away, would you ever go back? I would assume, and I use that term loosely, they do not want to upset or lose passengers..

Edited by anzore
spelling

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There is generally a two step process on return to the ship in most ports.  The port will maintain a “security “ perimeter.  Entry into that will generally just require your cruise card, but some ports will also ask for photo ID at that point.  For Mexico I would just carry my DL but others here will suggest your PP and that argument rages endlessly on the boards.  Then at the ship itself you will present your cruise card.  That identifies you and also allows the ship to track who has or has not returned.  You will pass through a metal detector not set to scan very  carefully and you will be asked to place bags, backpacks, etc on a separate scanner like at the airport.  As to GM’s mobility, I hope you are aware that Cabo is a tender port.

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Simple process is good since don't want it like airport security where every little thing like your belt buckle can cause a delay which is the reason I put everything which is a belt buckle and y watch into something that goes through the luggage scanner instead so all my pockets are empty.  You have a good point about upsetting or losing passengers but then again, they don't want to upset or lose the other passengers either so I guess it can bite them one way or another.  I still wonder who created this formal night thing on cruises since it's supposed to be a vacation, just like most people would not dress up when riding a airplane even if they were traveling first class.  

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Fortunately, I have never needed a passport in Mexico to board the ship. The problem with the passport is if you lose it, you are screwed. You are not allowed back into the country. You will have to go to a Consulate and miss your cruise...

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Yes, I remember the cruise card and ID check at Cozumel, I can't remember if there was a security check or not but it was not a two step process since it's like everyone can walk into the port itself.   The first point where we had to show anything was at the entry of the ship which I think had these turnstiles where you show the cruise card and the ID and I can't remember if they did the security or not after this point but basically there was nothing required until we were actually entering the ship.  Yes, I know that Cabo is a tender port.  My mom will be walk and stand without pain as long as it's a hot area unlike SFO which is moisture city USA due to the fog where we live as she doesn't have the problem when we were in Dallas or Punta Cana, Dominican Republic during the summer.  Speaking about Cabo, I was trying to find pictures of what the tenders in Cabo look like and what does one need to go through as far as boarding the tender back to the ship?  Do they require the cruise card, travel document/ID and also a security check or do you just walk on it without doing anything else other than showing the cruise card?  Thanks.  

 

 

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Was just reading another thread about tenders where they said those who have a cruise line excursion will generally have priority getting off the ship to the tender, but what about those who are on cruise line excursions from Shoreline Excursions Group which seems to be a big competitor to the cruise line for excursions as I notice it's the same company used for online cruise booking websites.  And speaking about excursions at the ports of call, do they start as soon as the ship makes it to the port or do you still have time to do something else since I noticed that excursions never list what times they start for the cruise line ones at least so don't want to need to run after getting off the ship if you know what I mean.   

As for travel documents/ID, losing any of them can always be a headache and a hassle sooner or later.  I wonder what happens if one has the passport/ID but they lost their cruise card.

Edited by Almighty188

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I suspect formal night was retained as a reflection of the glory days of cruising.  Remember long before airplanes carried us thousands of miles in a few hours the only way for most people to travel across the sea was by ship.  While many will tell the story of second class and steerage there was always the wealthy set, for whom cruising was an elegant experience.  When cruising became a more generalized form of travel the lines tried to keep some of the remembered customs.  On my first cruise 48 years ago we still had mid morning soup, afternoon tea,midnight buffet, etc.   Slowly most of those customs have disappeared as the mega cruise ships have basically become casual resorts at sea.  Some folks still enjoy the opportunity to dress up and show off all their finery.  Gradually however  many of the old ways are changing.   Whether or not certain customs persist will really depend on what the paying customer wants.  Each cruise line looks for its sweet spot in the market and aims its product there.

Of course now way off the OP’s original question.

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In Jan. 2019 in SF---do you carry on your 2 bottles of wine at embarkation or must it be in your checked luggage at this location?

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I have a similar question, can fingernail clippers and things like Vicks Vaporub actually be in carry-ons?   One of the persons in our party is on a atkins diet so they only eat a little at a time so if they went to say bought a burger and a bottled soda, can they bring it on-board?  Where do people usually request the wheelchair for boarding the ship?  The reason I ask about the dress code for formal nights earlier was that I noticed that it seems like Princess doesn't even tell you what one should wear except the link just goes to the formal wear rental which seems to only rent for men but not for women.  And to be honest, I hate dressing up but only if I have to, more concerned about being denied dining on those formal nights but I will always be wearing either slacks or jeans with no holes and a polo shirt or even a dress shirt since that's easy.  If it requires shoes, then the shoes needs to be carried on because I am picky buying anything and I only have 2-3 pairs of dress shoes which are all expensive as they are Salvatore Ferragamo Tramezza Collection or John Lobb's which are all $1000 a pair which I prefer not to wear except if it's really needed so it might need packing way more things if it's a requirement.  

Sorry for all the questions, just trying to be prepared for everything early including doing the Guest Check-In information for all 4 persons and other things for the cruise which is hard since I have been sick with a cold/flu which wasn't that bad until having to be on the phone for 8 hours straight with the travel agent to book the cabin which was last weekend.  

 

Edited by Almighty188

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On 12/31/2018 at 5:05 PM, Ep010835 said:

Thanks, all! 

I'm cursed with the desire (dare I say need?) to have a mental picture of the road ahead before arriving. 

Crystal clear now.  😀

 

I have an app on my phone and iPad that's free, called (Can I say this?) Shipmate. You can download a map of the floor plans just before sail away. Then you can find where everything is on each ship. 

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On 12/31/2018 at 4:33 PM, Gimer said:

They did change the dining times, so I stand corrected. Thanks..   FYI, the Horizon Court gets very busy and seating is sparse, so we generally will eat in the Alfredo's.  We order our pizzas and the I'll go the mens rooms to wash up and on my return, I'll stop at the International Cafe for two different salads and by the time I'm back, our pizzas are being delivered.  That's how we start our Cruise.   

Perfect plan. I might try that the next time we cruise. 

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The rooms on the Grand are ready at 1:00pm, they give you a card at check-in that tells you that and what you can do upon boarding. You can check your carry-on in the Explorers lounge if you don;t want to cart it around.

Boarding starts at 11;00am and goes in this order:

Elite/suites

Club Class

Preferred (platinum)

other cruisers by group numbers handed out as you leave the check-in counters.

 

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