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47 minutes ago, davekathy said:

And us B2B cruisers can proceed with our TAD process until all you non-consecutive cruisers are off the ship. 😉

 

One day I hope to be a B2Ber and watch those other poor solo run cruisers get off too 🙂

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Pay for the first day get there early. Yes lots of standing around sometime. But also we have been on board by 11 am, Fun times..

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20 hours ago, mugtech said:

To sail out of north Jersey we ride the bus from ABE Airport which usually arrives around 12:30 PM,  a quick check in and then it is just about time to grab lunch and drop off our carryons.  Once we arrived after 1PM and it was the fastest bus to cabin trip, took all of 15 minutes.

 

 

We once arrived on Disney Wonder at 4:20 for a 4:30 sailing. From the time we arrived at the check-in counter to walking into our cabin with all of our bags was less than 10 minutes.

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9 hours ago, scotlady said:

So - I am usually in the early boarding camp - but we've always cruised out of Galveston, where there really isn't much to do other than hang around the hotel or walk along the ocean.  

 

But - this time we are cruising out of San Juan (30 days!).  We have a beachfront hotel in Condado, so really torn between relaxing on the beach or getting on early to take photos all around the ship, which has been my routine for every cruise I've been on.  

 

I noticed a couple of people on this thread have cruised out of San Juan - is it really crazy (like Galveston) if you show up 10:30-11:00?  

 

And one other thought - the ONE thing I stress about on boarding day is having my luggage lost - had it sort of happen on one cruise - comes 8 pm and no suitcase - I only found it by peaking down all the crew hallways/staircases and grabbing it myself!

But unfortunately, from my experience, I don't think getting on earlier makes much of a difference as to when you get it . . .

 

 

You definitely need to plan for extra time boarding in San Juan. Traffic getting to the pier is HORRENDOUS! 

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...I could tell you an absolute HORROR story about cruising out of Galveston... to make a looooong tale of woe easily digestible, do yourself a favor and plan to arrive at the port as early as possible. To say nothing for the flight delays, the traffic between IAH and Galveston almost caused us to miss the ship - this was back in 2014, but I'm virtually certain we were the last passengers to board Navigator that day. 

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Our vacation begins when we get to the port so we get there as early as we can.  I would rather wait outside for the doors to open that sit around a hotel room.  If I want to do the tourist thing I get to the port city earlier in the week.  I agree with whoever said that you paid for that first day so why would you not want to board as soon as possible.  There is more to do than just go find the nearest bar.

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11 hours ago, JasonMason said:

...I could tell you an absolute HORROR story about cruising out of Galveston... to make a looooong tale of woe easily digestible, do yourself a favor and plan to arrive at the port as early as possible. To say nothing for the flight delays, the traffic between IAH and Galveston almost caused us to miss the ship - this was back in 2014, but I'm virtually certain we were the last passengers to board Navigator that day. 

JasonMason - we have a few of our own horror stories from Galveston.  Not so much on the traffic, though.  Ours were delays getting off the ship because one of the stops had been Roatan, and apparently there was major drug activity there, so the checks getting off delayed everything.  Took us an hour an a half to get clear of the ship.

 

This next cruise we are taking is out of San Juan, though - sounds like very mixed reviews there - some experiences, some not so much.  Guess we'll see!

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12 hours ago, clean1owner said:

 

 

You definitely need to plan for extra time boarding in San Juan. Traffic getting to the pier is HORRENDOUS! 

Yes, we've been to San Juan a couple of times, so I remember the traffic.  That's one of the reasons we are staying at AC Hotel in Condado - less than three miles from the ship.  Which means we should be there in a half hour to an hour 😄

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21 hours ago, akcruz said:

 

Big difference between the first day and last day to us.  We can use the pool, enjoy the entertainment, wander and get used to a new ship, enjoy lunch and just the overall excitement of starting off our vacation on that first day.  As others have stated I don't relax until I am onboard so the earlier the better.

 

On the last day just about everything is closed.  Yes you can breakfast which we do, but you need to be out of the cabin early and there really isn't anything left to do.  Unless you have a late flight get the depressing time of leaving the ship over with.  We have driven to our last few cruises and usually do self assist just before 8 to get on the road.

 

But, as I and many others have said no right or wrong and very glad we all have different perspectives.  What a mess if we were all the same and all showed up at once.

 

Perfectly stated.  🙂 

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21 hours ago, Ocean Boy said:

Did I say anything about getting my money's worth? Please show me where I did. That is your "shallow" asumption. Nor do I care about being either first on or off the ship. The first day with the excitement of my cruise and vacation ahead of me is very different than the last morning where it is over and the hassle of getting through airports, making flights, and then driving home is facing me. And the vibe on the ship is much different. On the last day the crew is facing turning the ship over and it is no longer all about the present group. It is now all about getting ready for the next group of passengers.

 

Hope I made my take on things more clear though it doesn't really matter if anyone agrees with me or not. That is the difference as to how I am affected between the first day and last morning.

 

I agree with you.  🙂 

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19 hours ago, Paulette3028 said:

We also are of the 'enjoy the whole day' theory yet arrive around 11am, and often have no wait time to board.  Sometimes our luggage is at our room at 1pm but usually before Muster Drill.  We like you minimize what we are 'carrying on' to only include DH's backpage (techy stuff in it with his meds) and beach bag and small makeup case that has my meds in it.  I have tried to pack an outfit for evening, just in case luggage doesn't come....never needed it though.  It is MY first day....so I want to enjoy the afternoon onboard, even if broken up by Muster Drill.    On the last morning, we get off early.   We boarded early and want to give the next cruisers their 'first day'...to enjoy -- Not that we are doing 'early morning walk off/self departure' because we feel those people who must do that because of early flights have enough to contend with.

 

Our rolling carry on bags have our 2 allowed bottles of wine in them.  😉 

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19 hours ago, molly361 said:

Sorry I've been too busy drinking.  Time to catch up with this thread.  Did we decide the proper boarding time yet??😇🍺

 

Edit  No beverage package needed

 

Ellen...see my post #24.  😉  Happy cruisin' girl.  😉 

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13 hours ago, clean1owner said:

 

 

We once arrived on Disney Wonder at 4:20 for a 4:30 sailing. From the time we arrived at the check-in counter to walking into our cabin with all of our bags was less than 10 minutes.

 

Curious to hear your report back to us if you do that now.  😉 

Edited by island lady

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20 hours ago, luckyprincess said:

So I am absolutely the girl that gets on early and self disembarks lol! I have a few reasons. First, I want to enjoy every second that I paid for. We always do Chops for lunch because we feel it's a more elegant way to set the tone for our vacay. Last year was my friends first time cruising and I wanted to be on early to show her around. That was Explorer. This year in Indy so I want her to have even more time to walk around. 

Biggest difference this year is we have The Key. So we will arrive at 11 and hopefully get right on board! Because of the key we can have our carry on brought to our room and then enjoy lunch at Chops. Then O cant wait to show my friend around the promenade and see her face!

On our last day we always get a daypass at a resort in Florida. This way we get off the ship early, uber to our resort and enjoy a full last day! We usually do an evening flight so we arent rushed. It's all so personal!

You have it figured out LP, im same! 

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22 hours ago, Paulette3028 said:

We live in S. Florida, where we sail out of most often.  We generally plan to be on the ship early.  Why....we enjoy the afternoon onboard at the pool in the sun (hopefully) without the crowds.  We also enjoy 'people watching' as the arriving cruisers come through wherever we are sitting and their looks of amazement.  It brings back warm memories of what we must have looked like when we took our first cruise.  You can usually tell the 'first time cruisers'.  For us it is about getting to start to enjoy the ship before Muster Drill -- Let's face it, it is called Day 1.  We aren't heavy drinkers, so it has NOTHING to do with getting the most out of our drink package, which we don't buy.

 

Love your view on the amazed looks of first time cruisers. We have cruised before but always on moderate sized ships, you know, the ones with a mere 3000 passengers. This will be our first cruise on a mega sized ship and you can bet I will have that amazed look on my face☺

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39 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

 

Love your view on the amazed looks of first time cruisers. We have cruised before but always on moderate sized ships, you know, the ones with a mere 3000 passengers. This will be our first cruise on a mega sized ship and you can bet I will have that amazed look on my face☺

We sail again next week on Symphony....and even for me, now at our 27th cruise, the excitement builds as we approach these last few days until sailaway.  So why wouldn't I want to enjoy the ship from the earliest moment I can.  At this time of year, the other thing you get to 'overhear' are the horror stories that people have to tell of their 'bad weather travel nightmares' that got them to Florida.  

 

But making the most of our first day....is all we can do...and we do.

 

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I love getting onboard as early as I can and exploring the ship when it's not so full

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Like others said, it’s all about personal preference.  But my preference is to board around 1 or 1:30.  Never any waits or lines at that point and I can go immediately to the room!

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On 2/1/2019 at 8:55 AM, Ourusualbeach said:

We walked off the Allure at a Christmas out of the new terminal in Miami at 8:45 and never ran into a line, just walked off the ship, walked straight through the luggage and then straight out through customs.  Couldn’t have been any easier.

 

One trick I’ve found to make finding your luggage is to get an early luggage tag and then have a more leisurely breakfast and disembark about 30 to 45 minutes after your tag has been called.  Makes it very easy to find your luggage when most has already been claimed.

BUT beware...our mother-in-law sent her luggage out, waited back a bit like you suggested, only to find somebody took her suitcase.  RCCL did eventually locate it.  The person who took it mistakenly took it to their post-cruise hotel, opened it and found out it was not their case.  They left the case at the hotel.  It took RCCL 2 weeks to return the suitcase to her home.  When it arrived, they had to pay a $50 delivery fee (I would have raised hell if that happened) which they paid.

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The sooner you get on board the sooner you can start your vacation. We always arrive at the cruise pier by 10:30 am to beat the rush. By noon the check-in lines are packed. Also, it's nice to get up to the Windjammer for lunch when it's empty. 

 

Jonathan

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On 2/1/2019 at 9:31 AM, h20skibum said:

 

Not necessarily the case.  Last cruise, I dropped our suitcase off early and gave them a $20 tip to take good care of it.  Not only did it arrive late, but they broke the retractable handle. 

 

There goes that theory. 

I have tipped the porters handling the luggage about half the times.  Almost every time I tip, my case arrives damaged or late.  When I don't tip (not having US cash on me or I did not like the manners of the porter), the suitcase arrives by dinner time and not damaged.  Makes you wonder...

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On 1/31/2019 at 12:48 PM, FrankNBrew said:

We check out of our hotel in Houston the morning of the 10th. Then a 45 minute ride to Texas City to drop off the rental car. And another 15 minute Uber/taxi to the port. Are there any reasons we would want to rush to board at 11:00? If we can't get into the room until 1:00 why would we want to be on board any sooner? We're supposed to be on board by 3:00. Are there any potential issues with waiting until 2:30?  I'm simply looking for opinions to plan our morning. Thanks.

 

We like to board early so we can wander the ship & explore before it's too crowded, grab a drink & a bite to eat before the venue's become too packed.

 

If the luggage gets to the room early enough, we can be unpacked before the muster drill. That free's up the rest of the evening.

 

Plus, since we cruise only once a year, it's still a big deal to us. The pre-cruise excitement never gets old

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33 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

 

We like to board early so we can wander the ship & explore before it's too crowded, grab a drink & a bite to eat before the venue's become too packed.

 

If the luggage gets to the room early enough, we can be unpacked before the muster drill. That free's up the rest of the evening.

 

Plus, since we cruise only once a year, it's still a big deal to us. The pre-cruise excitement never gets old

It is my opinion, but no matter how many cruises you have gone on (and we are going on our 27th on 2/9/19) or whether you cruise once a year or more often (again my opinion - we generally cruise twice a year) -- the 'pre-cruise excitement NEVER gets old'.  But as I said, this is MY opinion.

 

We like to board early and get our vacation started!

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