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k.mcmahan2010

Ship Time vs Port Time

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I searched the forum and didn't see any recent posts about this question so....

 

I'll be on NCL Breakaway from June 28, 2020 to July 5, 2020. I am researching excursions and for the most part, the excursions I am interested in, are not through NCL. My question is, I understand that since we are leaving from Miami, that the ship time will be on that time. However, I came across information from a couple years ago that NCL changes the ship time to be the same as the time for whatever port they are heading toward.

 

Therefore when we dock at a port, if we are supposed to dock at 8am, would that be 8am for the local time? We will be going to Roatan Bay, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya, and Cozumel if it makes a difference. 

Thanks!

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Norwegian is good about this, you will move your clocks the night before to sync with local time, unlike Carnival that makes one work out what time it is on the island when trying to figure out when to book non-ship excursions.

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Just now, Sauer-kraut said:

Norwegian is good about this, you will move your clocks the night before to sync with local time, unlike Carnival that makes one work out what time it is on the island when trying to figure out when to book non-ship excursions.

Thank you, that's what I had read, but then saw a few comments that that wasn't always the case...

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11 hours ago, Sauer-kraut said:

Norwegian is good about this, you will move your clocks the night before to sync with local time, unlike Carnival that makes one work out what time it is on the island when trying to figure out when to book non-ship excursions.

That's not always true. Just last month when we were in Kusadasi, the captain opted to NOT change the clocks and only mentioned it in the Daily Planner under "helpful hints" in very small lettering. A number of people missed their private excursions because of this. Our group was scrambling to the late evening attempting to inform our travel group about the change. A few people had a paper left on their bed informing them of the change, but they were the minority.

Very sloppy and inconsiderate of NCL. That experience taught me to always check. 

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I've never been on an NCL cruise where they ship did not conform to local time as the cruise went along. You'll get notices in your Freestyle Daily to tell you to advance or set back your clocks and watches as the changes occur.

 

If you're booking your own excursions (not through the ship) just discuss the timing with your shore excursion operator. They all are very familiar with, and depend on, the cruise ships for their business. They'll be able to tell you if you can take a proposed excursion or not. 

 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, k.mcmahan2010 said:

Thank you, that's what I had read, but then saw a few comments that that wasn't always the case...

 

It is almost always the case, though I did have one NCL cruise last year where there was 1-2 ports where ship time and local time were not the same. First time that hasn’t happened in about 10 cruises though. 

 

Edit: I have also been on an excursion where there were different clocks labeled for different ships at the entrance to the island, and it was a different time if you were on a carnival or RCL ship than if you were on an NCL ship because they were trying to not confuse the passengers! 

Edited by gymbomb

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Sailing Western Caribbean from Florida during daylight saving time is where we have encountered ship time deviating from local time. Honduras and Belize are in the central time zone but do not observe daylight saving time so they are two hours behind Florida. We changed time back an hour on the first night and were on local time in Ocho Rios, and hour ahead of Roatan and Belize City and on the same time as Cozumel. After leaving Cozumel we moved clocks ahead one hour. This was a few years ago.

 

My understanding from speaking with crew on various cruises is that the captain decides what time changes will be made. Some captains prefer to minimize changes as they are a burden for the crew. Whether this is the actual case? I have zero first hand knowledge.

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From my experience, it somewhat depends on the itinerary.  If you are criss-crossing time zones, then the ship may opt for "ship time" which will be posted and announced.  If you are crossing time zones permanently, then the ship will most likely change.  I would assume (and could be wrong on this one) that the posted itinerary reflects local time.  I think the captain is the one who decides, so it may be different from one cruise to the next.

I did a Panama Canal repositioning cruise (west coast to east coast) and the cruise ended on the time-change weekend to boot - I believe we did ship-time the last few days to avoid several days of plus/minus changes.

Going from New Zealand to Australia, we changed over 2 nights (@ sea) rather than a single 2hr change.

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Thank you everyone! (And apologies for my late response, not much time to get on the internet during the week between work, helping my parents, and going to the gym).

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Just off the Joy — for our final port, ship’s time and local time were NOT the same —So although more often than not they adjust ship time to match local time, they don’t always.  And we heard nothing about it from NCL until we asked a crew member

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Seconding 3kidsncats — just got off the Joy today and very nearly missed our private shore excursion in Puerto Vallarta due to no announcement of the time change until the morning of — I don’t think I’ve ever hustled faster in my life. It would have been nice to have a notice about this the night before. Filed a comment about this with the ship but no acknowledgement or response. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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12 hours ago, akhoran said:

Seconding 3kidsncats — just got off the Joy today and very nearly missed our private shore excursion in Puerto Vallarta due to no announcement of the time change until the morning of — I don’t think I’ve ever hustled faster in my life. It would have been nice to have a notice about this the night before. Filed a comment about this with the ship but no acknowledgement or response. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Sorry to hear about your experience which was similar to the one we had on the NCL Spirit. These reports should be a caution to NOT listen to those who insist the ship always does a great job when there is a discrepancy between ship and port times.  My experience taught me to always check the night before.

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