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Aurea Priority Boarding

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First time cruising under the Aurea package, and it said something about on Embarkation day only

we're supposed to have "priority boarding?"   How will this work exactly.  We're sailing out of Venice,

and have heard how packed that Port is in the Summer.  Is there a designated window for check-in

so we don't have to be in the long line?

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Yes. There will be a channel marked 'Priority Boarding' which brings you to the top of the queue.

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We had the Aurea package on Splendida boarding from Civitavecchia a year and a half ago and there was no priority boarding there.

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There was a designated window for Aurea passengers when I checked in to Meraviglia last week.  Easiest embarkation ever.  And we got on at about 11:30, even though our eticket said something like 3:00. 

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50 minutes ago, Mordecai79 said:

There was a designated window for Aurea passengers when I checked in to Meraviglia last week.  Easiest embarkation ever.  And we got on at about 11:30, even though our eticket said something like 3:00. 

Thanks for the heads up.  We usually just cruise in normal Fantastica level, and Embarkation has been fine, but wanted to know if there was designated Aurea window.  Thanks for the info.

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At the terminal in Venice, there is usually a priority line (beside the kerb) just to hand over your luggage before entering the terminal.  We've never had to join the regular queue for this.

 

Inside, there is a Priority lane for Aurea/Black Card/those needing assistance, etc. for checking-in. 

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On 3/11/2019 at 9:07 AM, Mordecai79 said:

There was a designated window for Aurea passengers when I checked in to Meraviglia last week.  Easiest embarkation ever.  And we got on at about 11:30, even though our eticket said something like 3:00. 

How can we confirm this? I wouldn't want to get there at 1130 and not being able to get on.

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1 minute ago, laurenwx13 said:

How can we confirm this? I wouldn't want to get there at 1130 and not being able to get on.

 

If you have priority boarding, you can board as soon as embarkation begins.  You'll join a priority line and be processed ahead of everyone else.  Do not take a number;  show your ticket to whoever you need to and they'll direct you to where you need to go.

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For those that have cruised under the Aurea experience - did you feel the additional cost was worth it? So far, we've only sailed Fantastica.

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We got priority boarding onto Armonia out of Miami...we arrived way too early, at about 11:15am...whizzed through line and literally had to wait for noon-time when they opened boarding and we were one of the first on-board

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56 minutes ago, XLVIII said:

For those that have cruised under the Aurea experience - did you feel the additional cost was worth it? So far, we've only sailed Fantastica.

To me it depends on what cabin type you are looking at, how you value the Aurea perks and even the ship's facilities.  It's easy to figure the value of the Easy package, massages, private sundeck access and thermal area access then determine if those are of worth to you or not.   Only you can decide what Any Time dining is worth.  In the case of Aurea balconies that are basically the same as Fantastica balconies the Aurea benefits often don't add enough to tempt me and don't justify the current cost, especially on Fantasia class ships with a small thermal spa and sparse private sundeck.   When talking about the more special Aurea suites the added cabin space and features may help justify the added expense. 

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The Aurea sundeck on Divina and Preziosa is hardly sparse, not sure about the other two Fantasia and Splendida as we have not sailed on them.

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When weighing up whether it's worth it to go Aurea rather than Fantastica, I add on the cost of the included drinks package for Aurea to the cost of the Fantastica cabin, then subtract it from the cost of the Aurea one.  If the difference is less than €150 extra, Aurea wins.  The only perks Aurea has that can't be purchased as add-ons are MyChoice dining and Priority Boarding (as a Black Card holder, we have PB, anyway);  only you can decide what monetary value to place on these.

 

Here's an example of when Aurea would definitely NOT be a good value (this is a Divina Med sailing for April 27th)  Now, that difference is just crazy for the extra perks that Aurea offers:

 

205845910_ScreenShot2019-04-01at09_27_59.png.f59a10f8a5e1150c8482242a26b16692.png 

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4 hours ago, sidari said:

The Aurea sundeck on Divina and Preziosa is hardly sparse, not sure about the other two Fantasia and Splendida as we have not sailed on them.

My use of the word sparse was due to a few reasons.  1) Lack of nicer loungers, they were the same as the regular sun decks, with just a head shade that could be flipped up.  Perhaps I've been spoiled by the ones in YC, but the ones on Seaside Aurea are nicer.  2) No full bar with corresponding tables and seating area, again Seaside Aurea blows it away.  3) No shade at all unless you are willing to pay extra for those round "pods".  4) Lack of bar servers, I found them to be very sporadic and had a severely limited drink choice which they kept in coolers in a side room.  5) Very inconvenient location and quite isolated physically, but you still got the noise from the main pool area.  The Aurea hot tub was better on Divina than Seaside though.  I spent less than two hours on the Divina Aurea sun deck over the 11 day cruise.

 

I believe you've done Aurea on Seaside so I really think you would have to agree to value the Aurea perks differently on that ship versus Divina.  I take it you agree that the Divina Thermal Spa area access is also of significantly less value than the newer ships?

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