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colesc15

Symphony boarding

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Hi all. First time on symphony soon. This is the first time I've ever had to select a boarding time during the online check in. Is this treated as usual though and you have a time but can show up earlier?? 

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Yes.  You can show up earlier but I would try to arrive after 10 to allow the passengers time to get off.  The boarding on Symphony is amazingly quick.  I was on her in December.  About 15 minutes from parking lot to on board.  I arrived about 11:15 as I drive from Western Florida. 

If you drive you check bags in while you park and then quick check in to people with I-pads, put carry on bags in the scanner and bing! you're on the ship!

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There’s a caveat with showing up early.  You have to be at least Gold with C&A to pull that off.  Last week was our first cruise, and we were not allowed on until our boarding time was called.

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Good to know! We’re on Symphony next Saturday and I was wondering about the new terminal.

Edited by Ready 2 Cruise
A word

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1 hour ago, colesc15 said:

Hi all. First time on symphony soon. This is the first time I've ever had to select a boarding time during the online check in. Is this treated as usual though and you have a time but can show up earlier?? 

You can show up earlier....we always do and it is fine.  I remember when they would assign your deck a boarding time, and few people followed that....it was treated more like a 'suggested boarding time'....never had a problem arriving earlier even then.

 

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14 minutes ago, Paulette3028 said:

You can show up earlier....we always do and it is fine.  I remember when they would assign your deck a boarding time, and few people followed that....it was treated more like a 'suggested boarding time'....never had a problem arriving earlier even then.

 

As I said, you need to be at least Gold to do that.  We got on Symphony on the 5th and they were enforcing the boarding times.  It actually left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth, since the first experience of the cruise was one which left me feeling like a second class citizen, since everyone who had taken at least one cruise before got to get on before we did.  Thankfully the amazing service for the rest of the cruise more than made up for this one bit.

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9 minutes ago, parsec0298 said:

As I said, you need to be at least Gold to do that.  We got on Symphony on the 5th and they were enforcing the boarding times.  It actually left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth, since the first experience of the cruise was one which left me feeling like a second class citizen, since everyone who had taken at least one cruise before got to get on before we did.  Thankfully the amazing service for the rest of the cruise more than made up for this one bit.

 

What you are describing is the first report that I have read of Royal enforcing boarding times at any North American port.

 

if you don’t mind me asking what was your boarding time

Edited by Ourusualbeach

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On the December 28th cruise they started boarding at 11:00. You’ll get on sooner the higher your C&A status as they go from highest to lowest. They said after gold they were boarding by appointment time. I don’t know if they actually enforced it or just let people with earlier times on before the people witn later times, 

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I noticed on the Royal app I can access mine and my wife's set sail pass electronically. Do they allow them electronically now with symphony or do I still need to print it? 

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4 hours ago, parsec0298 said:

 Last week was our first cruise, and we were not allowed on until our boarding time was called.

I assume you meant that you boarded with all the first timers and others with higher C&A status boarded before you - that's normal and has nothing to do with the actual time.

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4 minutes ago, colesc15 said:

 Do they allow them electronically now with symphony or do I still need to print it? 

Print would be a back up - you can get to check in with the app version.

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6 minutes ago, colesc15 said:

I noticed on the Royal app I can access mine and my wife's set sail pass electronically. Do they allow them electronically now with symphony or do I still need to print it? 

 

I used the app to board but I had a printed copy just in case.

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We are Gold and like others have said, boarding Symphony was a breeze. We got there about 11am and we were on within 30 minutes.  We used the Set Sail pass in the app but printed for backup.  

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20 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

 

What you are describing is the first report that I have read of Royal enforcing boarding times at any North American port.

 

if you don’t mind me asking what was your boarding time

Our boarding time was 11:00 - 11:30.  They got started late for whatever reason, so our group was not called until around 11:45.

20 hours ago, ryanl02 said:

On the December 28th cruise they started boarding at 11:00. You’ll get on sooner the higher your C&A status as they go from highest to lowest. They said after gold they were boarding by appointment time. I don’t know if they actually enforced it or just let people with earlier times on before the people witn later times, 

It seemed like they were enforcing it to me.  When our group was finally called they had people at the start of the line to the gangways checking set sail passes specifically asking to see your scheduled boarding time.

17 hours ago, Biker19 said:

I assume you meant that you boarded with all the first timers and others with higher C&A status boarded before you - that's normal and has nothing to do with the actual time.

Not sure the point you're trying to make here.  That's exactly what I said, that if you have C&A status you don't have to wait for your time, that you can board as soon as they've called your status, which is before they start calling the scheduled times.  I was specifically trying to point out that anyone who has not sailed with Royal Caribbean before does actually need to wait for their time to be called.  Everyone else in this thread has implied that anyone can walk up any time, but that's only true if you have at least Gold status and I felt it was important to point that out.

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5 minutes ago, parsec0298 said:

Not sure the point you're trying to make here.  

The point is that you were not denied because of some appointed time, but because of your status and that is normal during the initial boarding process. What would not be normal is to have say a 1:30PM "appointed time" and if you show up at noon you get denied boarding - that's what most here worry about, not what you described.

Edited by Biker19

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16 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

The point is that you were not denied because of some appointed time, but because of your status and that is normal during the initial boarding process. What would not be normal is to have say a 1:30PM "appointed time" and if you show up at noon you get denied boarding - that's what most here worry about, not what you described.

In that scenario, if you show up at noon, don't have any status of any kind, and they have not called your appointment time yet, from my experience they would deny you boarding.  Is that going to actually happen?  I don't know, but in Miami on Jan. 5th they were running about 30-60 minutes or so behind.  I say this because they did not call for those with a 10:30 - 11:00 boarding time until about 11:30 or so.

Edited by parsec0298

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6 minutes ago, parsec0298 said:

In that scenario, if you show up at noon, don't have any status of any kind, and they have not called your appointment time yet, from my experience they would deny you boarding.  Is that going to actually happen? 

No, and that's the whole point, no one has ever reported being denied in such a scenario. They have not gone by appointment time but by status. It could very well be that you discovered some rare combination of events in which the appointment time may come into play, but I don't think your particular scenario qualifies.

Edited by Biker19

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Boarding was very efficient on Symphony. To the point of maybe too efficient? My gawd, I've sailed on several Royal ships including Harmony and never have I felt as crowded on that first day. The people were just pouring onto the ship and into the Promenade. So crowded and as you looked toward the gangway Look Out! even more people.

 

But by sail away everyone finally spread out and it felt normal.

 

Getting off in Nassau was a complete cluster. It took us 30 minutes, our friends nearly 50 minutes. The lines snaked up the stairwells us everyone slowly plodded forward 1 step at a time.

 

Debarkation last day was super fast and smooth. What's up with that new Customs process?! You walk up to a kiosk, the computer scans your face and done. All of 10 seconds, never talk to an actual agent.

 

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2 minutes ago, ThirstyCruiser said:

Debarkation last day was super fast and smooth. What's up with that new Customs process?! You walk up to a kiosk, the computer scans your face and done. All of 10 seconds, never talk to an actual agent.

 

I did have one complaint about debarkation, from the perspective of a first timer.  On the info channel and in the materials they made a big deal about going to your designated waiting area that morning (Royal Theater on deck 5 in our case).  They specifically stated "Don't wait by Starbucks."  As our scheduled time came we rolled into the theater and the place was a total ghost town.  Where was everyone?  By Starbucks.  How did I know our number had been called?  I overheard a crew member's radio state that all numbers had been called (we were 67, so some of the last ones).  They had the numbers on the various screens throughout the ship, but they scrolled so slowly that it probably would have taken at least 10 minutes to get to the end of the list if you happened to catch it at the beginning.  And since they know everyone would wait next to Starbucks (since they specifically said not to) did they have the numbers on the big screens outside On Air (right by Starbucks)?  Nope.  🤦‍♂️

 

As for the Customs process, I was surprised it was so easy too.  Another thing they made a big deal about were the Customs allowances for things like liquor and jewelry.  Yet when debarkation finally came, not a single Customs agent in sight.  I was wondering if the government shutdown played a role in that or if that's just the way it always is in the new Miami terminal.

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9 minutes ago, parsec0298 said:

Yet when debarkation finally came, not a single Customs agent in sight.  I was wondering if the government shutdown played a role in that or if that's just the way it always is in the new Miami terminal.

 

I noticed the same thing the 2nd week of December, before the shutdown. So maybe not related.

But I told myself just because I don't see them doesn't mean they don't see me!

 

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