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Gigi1977

Back to Back on HAL/Ft Lauderdale

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We have sailed HAL many times on long cruises,  but have never done a back to back cruise.  This December we are doing Eastern/Western Caribbean, returning to Fort Lauderdale between.  

 

What do  we have to do?  Do we have to disembark?  Get new key card?  Recheck in and wait with other passengers?  Can we stay onboard?  ( That is what I’d prefer - none of the excursions interest me. ) What is HAL’s procedure from someone who has done this?   Thanks!  

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17 minutes ago, Gigi1977 said:

We have sailed HAL many times on long cruises,  but have never done a back to back cruise.  This December we are doing Eastern/Western Caribbean, returning to Fort Lauderdale between.  

 

What do  we have to do?  Do we have to disembark?  Get new key card?  Recheck in and wait with other passengers?  Can we stay onboard?  ( That is what I’d prefer - none of the excursions interest me. ) What is HAL’s procedure from someone who has done this?   Thanks!  

The ship usually has to be "zeroed down", so if you are not going ashore in FLL, (in which case you would use your In Transit card when returning), you are asked to gather at the Ocean Bar or other location, and after all other passengers are off, you will be escorted ashore, through Customs & Border checkpoint, and back on the ship.  You don't get a new keycard unless you are changing cabin.  Very easy.

On our last B2B in another port recently, we simply had to gather in the main showroom (all 8 of us!) then seated outside near the disembarkation point, and eventually allowed back in to the ship.

 

Hope that helps.

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Each year the procedures for Ft Lauderdale change.

 

Sometimes we have had to get off the ship to go through customs.  Then we had to wait until the ship goes down to zero count before we were allowed back on the ship.  If there are a lot of passengers doing the back-to-back or Collectors Cruise, then the process of going through customs is done on the ship.  We have all met in the show lounge and waited there for customs to come on board.  One time we had to pass through the night club and get our ID cards punched.

 

Another thing that keeps changing -- sometimes we have had to attend the second lifeboat drill -- sometimes we didn't.

 

Your ID card should already be set up for both weeks when you get it at check in.

 

On the last full day of the first segment you will get a letter explaining what will be done on turn around day.

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Customs and Border Protection pretty much control your situation. You will probably  assemble in a lounge with other guests " in transit" and be given an "In Transit" card. Ship will advise whether you have to get off or have your passport checked on board. If you are required to get off, you will procede to the Luggage Hall and show your documents and key card. Once done you will not have to check in again in the terminal. You may have to wait in the terminal until the ship has a Zero count meaning all guests have departed from your last voyage. If you are not changing cabins you can use your same key card and will be in the first group to reboard. Hope this answers some of your concerns!

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We have done a ton of back-to-back and Collector Cruises and never had to show any documents.

 

We only had to show our passports.

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You get an in Transit card You can also go on a tour and return to the ship.  If I do it, I might do the trip to the Everglades if offered, and it usually an option for back to back cruisers. 

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You won't be doing Customs on the turnaround day of a B2B. You will be doing Immigration. That is why you are showing a passport, not a Customs Declaration.

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4 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Each year the procedures for Ft Lauderdale change.

 

Sometimes we have had to get off the ship to go through customs.  Then we had to wait until the ship goes down to zero count before we were allowed back on the ship.  If there are a lot of passengers doing the back-to-back or Collectors Cruise, then the process of going through customs is done on the ship.  We have all met in the show lounge and waited there for customs to come on board.  One time we had to pass through the night club and get our ID cards punched.

 

Another thing that keeps changing -- sometimes we have had to attend the second lifeboat drill -- sometimes we didn't.

 

Your ID card should already be set up for both weeks when you get it at check in.

 

On the last full day of the first segment you will get a letter explaining what will be done on turn around day.

 

OOPS -- should have said immigration instead of customs.

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We will be doing a back to back, same cabin in Fort Lauderdale too but in Feb. I chose to leave San Diego and return to San Diego so a back to back works good for us. There will be three of us, including a child and my service dog. We won't be changing rooms but hope it is smooth. Son and granddaughter want to take in an excursion but don't want to leave poor old mom(grandma) sitting on a cold piling waiting for zero hour. I'm nervous about it but know that HAL takes care of us pretty good so expect they will walk us through the whole thing and not just push us off the draw bridge to get in line to come back on board.

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4 hours ago, Himself said:

You get an in Transit card You can also go on a tour and return to the ship.  If I do it, I might do the trip to the Everglades if offered, and it usually an option for back to back cruisers. 

I was wondering about the excursions. Most seem to end at the airport. Do they have one not listed that returns you to the ship?

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2 minutes ago, lindaler said:

I was wondering about the excursions. Most seem to end at the airport. Do they have one not listed that returns you to the ship?

They have in the past.

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