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joern

Last minute boarding?

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How strict are NCL with the "Must be onboard 2 before sailing"?

 

Are booked on the Epic, oct 27 and talked to my TA about flight into Barcelona. I was looking at a flight with Norwegian from Copenhagen with ETA Barcelona 14,30. The TA said that it should be time enough, but now I am unsure if it was the right decission to book that flight. It will be very expensive to change it as I', affraid that the tickets are non changeable, but on the other side it will also be a bummer if we are denied to come onboard even though the ship hasn't sailed yet.

 

So anyone tried to arrive last minute? 

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I don't think that they are that strict, but they want all guests accounted for and at the muster drill.  If you are after the recommended on board time and miss the drill, they may have a make up one.  But I feel you are cutting it close. There are a lot of what ifs and questions. What if your flight is delayed? Do you have to go through customs and immigration?  What if your luggage is lost and you have to file a claim at the airport? What if there is a taxi strike and there are long lines at airport?

 

You probably will be fine, but not the way I personally would want to start a vacation by stressing if I will get there on time.

Good luck!

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My first NCL cruise on the Getaway, my flight (arranged by NCL) arrived way late.  The ship was delayed anyway, not leaving until about midnight.  NCL handled the transfer perfectly, I arrived during the muster drill.  Turns out the ship left at 2300, but the terminal  (port authority) closed at 1700.  People made it to the port, and could see the ship still docked, but could not board because the PA was closed.  They had to meet the ship at the first port, and were not happy.

Edited by monl765

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5 minutes ago, monl765 said:

My first NCL cruise on the Getaway, my flight (arranged by NCL) arrived way late.  The ship was delayed anyway, not leaving until about midnight.  NCL handled the transfer perfectly, I arrived during the muster drill.  Turns out the ship left at 2300, but the terminal  (port authority) closed at 1700.  People made it to the port, and could see the ship still docked, but could not board because the PA was closed.  They had to meet the ship at the first port, and were not happy.

Completely forgot about the PA!  

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It is hard to say what the rules really are in Spain and other countries.  The 2 hour requirement is probably published to be consistent across all sailings.

 

The requirement in the US is so that the cruise line can transmit a manifest of who is actually on board to DHS and get clearance to sail.  I usually see them shut down boarding about one hour prior to sailing time except in cases where our departure was delayed.  I have commonly seen people board in that hour from 2 hours before until 1 hour before... I think they have wiggle room there and publish 2 hours because (I am guessing) they need to send the manifest at about the one hour mark.

 

As noted, the ship will delay sometimes for passengers on late arriving flights that were arranged by NCL, especially if there were many people on those flights.

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My advice would be to make sure you arrive before the 2 hour limit just in case the port authorities and/or NCL are enforcing the rules.   Everything does depend on when the Manifest is required to be handed over

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12 hours ago, joern said:

How strict are NCL with the "Must be onboard 2 before sailing"?

 

Are booked on the Epic, oct 27 and talked to my TA about flight into Barcelona. I was looking at a flight with Norwegian from Copenhagen with ETA Barcelona 14,30. The TA said that it should be time enough, but now I am unsure if it was the right decission to book that flight. It will be very expensive to change it as I', affraid that the tickets are non changeable, but on the other side it will also be a bummer if we are denied to come onboard even though the ship hasn't sailed yet.

 

So anyone tried to arrive last minute? 

 

Did I see that the ships departure time is 18:00 pm and your flight lands 14:30 ETA?

Still pretty close if you have any delays, baggage issues, customs inspections, etc. How far is the airport to the cruise port?

A lot of variables to consider....

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@INDIANA JOE

 

How good are Norwegian Air as an airline?   Are they a "cheapie" like RyanAir?

 

Copenhagen is a very busy airport and personally I would stick with a major airline.

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Do the math.  You are cutting it close.  There are useless comments above - which have nothing to do with what is going to happen in your situation. 

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15 minutes ago, casofilia said:

@INDIANA JOE

 

How good are Norwegian Air as an airline?   Are they a "cheapie" like RyanAir?

 

Copenhagen is a very busy airport and personally I would stick with a major airline.

 

Norwegian Air has been having money issues for a long time. They may be a bit better in Europe, but they've canceled a lot of US>Europe flights. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidnikel/2019/07/22/norwegian-cancels-25-of-u-s-winter-flights-to-europe/

 

I personally have stopped looking at them in fear of them going the way of the other ultra low cost airlines and leaving me stranded without a flight. 

 

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Hi. I think you would be mad to cut it so close. You are taking about the airline Norwegian rather than a flight included with NCL? 

 

I would always plan to arrive a day before the cruise. Stay in a decent budget hotel if money is s consideration and enjoy the peace of mind and another night of your holiday. My dad worked his whole life for a major airline and I’ve seen everything that can go wrong with the best plans. 

 

I’m on your cruise and really hope I don’t see you running along the pier .... 

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18 hours ago, joern said:

How strict are NCL with the "Must be onboard 2 before sailing"?

 

Are booked on the Epic, oct 27 and talked to my TA about flight into Barcelona. I was looking at a flight with Norwegian from Copenhagen with ETA Barcelona 14,30. The TA said that it should be time enough, but now I am unsure if it was the right decission to book that flight. It will be very expensive to change it as I', affraid that the tickets are non changeable, but on the other side it will also be a bummer if we are denied to come onboard even though the ship hasn't sailed yet.

 

So anyone tried to arrive last minute? 

Never.  We always arrive at least one day ahead.  I work in aerospace and know everything that can go wrong, even on short trips.  Piece of mind and a relaxing pre-cruise experience are always my goal.

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Thanks for all your replies.

 

We are flying in from Copenhagen, så it's within the EU and therefore no customs/imigration issues 😉 Have used Norwegian several times before and was never delayed, but off course it can happen. I talked to the TA again and we have now decided to stick to the flight, but in case it is delayed, we shall contact the TA who then will contact NCL and let them know that we are on our way but slightly delayed

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I've flown into Barcelona on the same day as a cruise twice. The first was with a dedicated cruise TA in the UK so we were on the same flight used by NCL and we had NCL transfers arranged for us. There was a bit of a problem with getting all the right people onto the shuttle but otherwise it was OK, however we arrived at Barcelona airport at 11:30 and boarded the Epic at about 14:30 (she sailed at 17:00). After this, the next time we booked our flights and our transfer ourselves and gave ourselves a bit more time. Our flight arrived at Barcelona Airport at 09:35 and we had a transfer booked for 10:30 we were on board by 13:00.

 

I think you are definitely pushing it with a flight that arrives as late as yours is scheduled. Even if everything at the airport goes smoothly it can still take well over an hour from the plane landing to you getting to the dock and then there is the embarkation procedure to go through. That takes you to 15:30 pushing it for a 17:00 sailing and just in time for a 18:00. IF EVERYTHING GOES EXACTLY ACCORDING TO PLAN.

 

I'd try to change for an earlier flight and stump up the extra cash.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

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4 minutes ago, BaWBarmy said:

I've flown into Barcelona on the same day as a cruise twice. The first was with a dedicated cruise TA in the UK so we were on the same flight used by NCL and we had NCL transfers arranged for us. There was a bit of a problem with getting all the right people onto the shuttle but otherwise it was OK, however we arrived at Barcelona airport at 11:30 and boarded the Epic at about 14:30 (she sailed at 17:00). After this, the next time we booked our flights and our transfer ourselves and gave ourselves a bit more time. Our flight arrived at Barcelona Airport at 09:35 and we had a transfer booked for 10:30 we were on board by 13:00.

 

I think you are definitely pushing it with a flight that arrives as late as yours is scheduled. Even if everything at the airport goes smoothly it can still take well over an hour from the plane landing to you getting to the dock and then there is the embarkation procedure to go through. That takes you to 15:30 pushing it for a 17:00 sailing and just in time for a 18:00. IF EVERYTHING GOES EXACTLY ACCORDING TO PLAN.

 

I'd try to change for an earlier flight and stump up the extra cash.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

It's somewhat of a gamble for sure, however arriving that late to terminal/embarkation it should be a breeze to get through as most pax will have already boarde. It might be the quickest part of everything. Walk in, walk up , walk on!

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If you need further proof that flying in the same day is risky just look at the IT mess British Airways has experienced today. 

 

And the the other problem with your cruise is that Monday is a sea day so if you miss the ship you are stuck until we get to Naples on the Tuesday. 

 

 

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I wouldn't risk it, but that's just me. We've encountered many delays, cancellations, strikes, and other issues in the course of our travels, and the best insurance is extra time. Always. I'd change it just so I'm not stressed out. 

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