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1 minute ago, Paulette3028 said:

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!

A lot of us share the same opinion. 

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So many "ifs and buts".  If you have something better to do - like you are in Barcelona and you want to visit the Sagrada Familia, then you are going to board a little later.  If you arrived in Harwich a day early then you are likely to want to board the ship sooner.  

 

There is no rule about when the lines are longer.  I have been on 6 Western Med cruises from Barcelona.  There is no rule about "the best" time for boarding in terms of the length of the queue.  

 

Just go for what suits your schedule best, make sure  you are wearing your bikini under your day clothes and in the blink of an eye your vacation has started.  [mine will not start until the second week of September 😞 ] 

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To the people boarding late  we thank you 

 

When I travel with my family, friends or just with my gf we board super early because

- we are like captains ( the first to board and the last to leave the ship) 

-Windjammer is not busy right when they open

-changing the location of your table must be done before the 4000+ guess arrive on board and get the same idea

-changing dinner package restaurants and time must be done before someone else get the same idea

-if you have the drink package boarding day is the perfect day to use it but remember you cant share it with friends

-Tour of the ship is also made on day 1 for your friends who are no familiar with Royal

 

Only one time I arrived to the ship at 2pm and to be honest for the most I was ok about it I felt like my cruise was cut by the a day

 

 

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3 hours ago, Russ Lomas said:

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...

You do realize that the porters who take your bags only put them on carts and get them to the ship. There, the ships' crew takes over the actual distribution/delivery process. And, yes -- I do tip the porters, because I want my bags to make it onto the ship. After that, there appears to be NO rhyme or reason as to whose luggage is delivered first. :classic_wacko:

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We've only done a half dozen cruises, and we prefer to board early, rather than late.  Although on our first cruise when we flew in to San Juan the day of the cruise (never again), and our flight was delayed 5 hours, we (and about 50 other people on the flight) boarded really late, and and was pretty much, "we'll take your bags, here's your cards, now hurry up and get on."  As quite a few have said, we're up in the morning, have a light breakfast at the hotel, and what's the sense of hanging around the hotel.  I guess in San Juan, or some place with a late departure, one could do some activities in the port before boarding, but most hotels want you out at noon or so.  We like to get on board, grab a little bite to eat in the WJ (who am I kidding. What I really mean is start to try to exercise some restrain, and not overdo it), locate our table in the MDR (and if we need to change out scheduled dining time, we'll do that), enjoy the view from the top decks, wander around the public areas and get a feel for the layout of the ship.  Our bags usually show up at our room soon after the rooms are open, although sometimes it's an hour or so later.  We both have small carry-on bags that we'll roll around with us, and I had a really small backpack on our last cruise.  My wife will find a chair up on deck (don't seem to have a problem with chair hogs on boarding day), have a festive non-alcoholic beverage, and relax and do some people watching.  I'll leave my bag with her, and run around the ship like a little boy.  That's what WE do, but I say to each, their own.  It's a big ship, and different people like different things.  That's why there's so many options.    

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24 minutes ago, wwcruisers said:

You do realize that the porters who take your bags only put them on carts and get them to the ship. There, the ships' crew takes over the actual distribution/delivery process. And, yes -- I do tip the porters, because I want my bags to make it onto the ship. After that, there appears to be NO rhyme or reason as to whose luggage is delivered first. :classic_wacko:

You would figure that if you arrive early and your bags are placed in the carts, as the carts fill up, they should be loaded on the ship and distributed to cabins.  This would be going on while others are still arriving and their bags going through the same process.  I know the workers on the ships work their butts off delivering luggage and there are only so many elevators for them to use to get the luggage to the cabins, so that is where the bottleneck occurs.

 

Yeah, every time a porter on the dock takes the bag out of my hand and lifts it 3 feet to put it into a waiting carts and puts out his hand for a tip, I shake my head.  I could have put it on the cart myself.  It is the poor guys working on the ship that have to do all the physical work and get the bags to your cabin, and they do not see a cent of the tip.  Still, I always worry if you do not tip, then the porters on the dock may "accidentally" forget your suitcase when you board the ship.  More of like holding your luggage for ransom when the pier porters expect a tip.

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36 minutes ago, wwcruisers said:

You do realize that the porters who take your bags only put them on carts and get them to the ship. There, the ships' crew takes over the actual distribution/delivery process. And, yes -- I do tip the porters, because I want my bags to make it onto the ship. After that, there appears to be NO rhyme or reason as to whose luggage is delivered first. :classic_wacko:

 

Yes, they put them on carts. After that the ships personel is handling the bags. The damage is likely  during delivery distribution. As someone who has been involved with baggage handling I will give all a hint of why bags get damaged. Very large and heavy bags are difficult and are handled roughly. I never bring a bag over 26 inches and try to keep the weight under 40lbs. 

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I totally understand the ones that want to board early, what I still don't get are the ones that disembark early morning when there are NOT flying that same morning.

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16 minutes ago, Russ Lomas said:

Still, I always worry if you do not tip, then the porters on the dock may "accidentally" forget your suitcase when you board the ship.  More of like holding your luggage for ransom when the pier porters expect a tip.

 

I always tip those porters a couple of bucks so as not to get a dirty look but I don't think they will forget your suitcase if you don't tip. Several times I did bus transfers and the luggage was on carts before I was off the bus so I did not tip. The luggage arrived fine. I think that luggage not getting on the ship is a myth that helps them get tips.

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35 minutes ago, Pipo said:

I totally understand the ones that want to board early, what I still don't get are the ones that disembark early morning when there are NOT flying that same morning.

By disembarking early you clear customs earlier.  As the morning drags on the line can increase substantially if there are not enough CBP agents working.

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39 minutes ago, Pipo said:

I totally understand the ones that want to board early, what I still don't get are the ones that disembark early morning when there are NOT flying that same morning.

Does it really matter? I know some people who can't understand why I love cruising. I don't care.

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36 minutes ago, Pipo said:

I totally understand the ones that want to board early, what I still don't get are the ones that disembark early morning when there are NOT flying that same morning.

DH and I don't do 'self assist' on the morning of departure, because it just isn't necessary.  However we usually do walk off with our own luggage at whatever time we are given....and early is just fine.  For us, we have arranged transportation pickup and don't want to have to hassle with finding our luggage or waiting for it off the carousel....walking off with our own luggage just has us go direct to customs and OUT.  Our cruise ENDED with the overnight the night before and the staff and crew have plenty of work to do to get the ship ready for the new cruisers boarding.  I got on board AS EARLY AS I COULD and know that the new cruisers want to do the same.  

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4 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

By disembarking early you clear customs earlier.  As the morning drags on the line can increase substantially if there are not enough CBP agents working.

Good points as well!

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On 2/2/2019 at 9:01 AM, island lady said:

 

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

 

 

Not a chance!

 

We had flight issues. Scheduled to arrive in Orlando about 9:30am, but didn't get there until after 3:00pm. I was on the phone with Disney Cruise Line all day giving them updates.

 

That was the LAST time we flew in on Embarkation Day.

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Very large and heavy bags are difficult and are handled roughly. I never bring a bag over 26 inches and try to keep the weight under 40lbs. 


That doesn’t always work either. My damaged bag was under 40 pounds (had to leave room for the 10 ponds of alcohol I would buy).

Maybe it was one of the heavy bags that fell on it and damaged the retractable handle. I plan to lock those down next time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, Charles4515 said:

 

I always tip those porters a couple of bucks so as not to get a dirty look but I don't think they will forget your suitcase if you don't tip. Several times I did bus transfers and the luggage was on carts before I was off the bus so I did not tip. The luggage arrived fine. I think that luggage not getting on the ship is a myth that helps them get tips.

when in doubt play the " spring break happy crow" 

simply take a picture with your porter all excited about your first cruise, make sure his name is on the pic and that you are happy that (xxxxx) was your porter, never had a problem :classic_biggrin:

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13 minutes ago, mcatmcat said:

when in doubt play the " spring break happy crow" 

simply take a picture with your porter all excited about your first cruise, make sure his name is on the pic and that you are happy that (xxxxx) was your porter, never had a problem :classic_biggrin:

 

 

Now THAT is an idea!

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2 hours ago, Pipo said:

I totally understand the ones that want to board early, what I still don't get are the ones that disembark early morning when there are NOT flying that same morning.

Your cruise is over. Find something to do before your flight off the ship. The crew wants you off so they can get the ship ready for the next cruise.  Give the same respect those that were on the ship prior to your cruise that gave to you. Plus those of us that do B2B cruises can't proceed with our TAD process until all you non-consecutive cruiser have disembarked.  Grab your hat and don't let the door hit you in the a$$.  

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8 hours ago, davekathy said:

A lot of us share the same opinion. 

I sure that same opinion. Years ago went on a crusie w my mother in law. She was in no rush to get to ship, we stayed in a hotel in FL, needless to say we almost missed the ship. 

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10 hours ago, davekathy said:

 Plus those of us that do B2B cruises can't proceed with our TAD process until all you non-consecutive cruiser have disembarked.

 

If that's the case, I'll make them drag me off. 

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I think all of you should Board early. That way we walk right on the ship. No lines. Drop our carryons in our cabin and then enjoy the ship. 

 

Vacation starts for us when we drop the dog off to the sitters. The fun begins. 

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14 hours ago, Pipo said:

I totally understand the ones that want to board early, what I still don't get are the ones that disembark early morning when there are NOT flying that same morning.

 

We drive to the port.  But disembark early.

 

Vacation is over.  Too sad to stick around, while everything is winding down.

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I'm on the side of arriving early. Will be sailing out of Miami Terminal A on AOS in March. Will be on the ship as early as possible.

My question. When do the Porters start to work? Just curious as to how early you can show up and hand over your bags?

I enjoy hanging around the terminal and watching all the commotion.

I always tip the porters. Just the right thing to do. Not because I expect extra special handling. They are long shoremen and do us a great service despite dealing with some tough self important big shot platnium, suite, diamond customers who think they deserve special service because of who they are.

Not everyone..... Just a few. We've all seen them.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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We will be driving to port for the first time in our cruising history. What steps do you have to take in order to do walk off with your luggage?  We will be on Anthem at Cape Liberty.

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Just now, Iamcruzin said:

We will be driving to port for the first time in our cruising history. What steps do you have to take in order to do walk off with your luggage?  We will be on Anthem at Cape Liberty.

 

Just get in line and walk off.  Location will be detailed in the departure letter.

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