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Epic Boarding warning out of San Juan


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For our Epic sailing on March 22, NCL has posted the following message on our check-in page under the Arrival Time tab:

 

“As a Haven or suite guest, a Platinum, Platinum Plus, Ambassador Latitudes Rewards member or a guest with air travel or transfers provided by Norwegian, you do not need to select your arrival time to the pier. We ask that you arrive no earlier than 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm and no later than 1 hour prior to departure and we will get you settled in.”

 

Clearly, as mnventure pointed out, they really want to get everyone from the prior cruise off the pier before reloading.

Edited by HuliHuli
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48 minutes ago, mnventure said:

We were in a balcony....got an email 12 days before our 12/29 cruise. Did you book through a TA? If yes, maybe the email when to the TA?

 

No, I booked directly through the NCL website.  I have heard of others getting that letter and luggage tags for my sailing.  I guess I'm the odd man out (sniff).😥

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We sail on Feb 6th and I received the letter yesterday in the mail, along with our luggage tags.  We weren't planning on arriving at the port until around 2pm anyway though. I'm interested in hearing how the January 26th embarkation goes.  

Edited by kristmay
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There is also the problem in San Juan, depending on the pier one is docked at, that another arriving cruise ship which is sharing the same pier will close the pier to all passenger traffic as the arriving ship is secured to the pier.

 

The same problem will also occur in reverse when the other ship departs earlier than the second ship.

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Following as we are embarking on Feb 16th.  Was not allowed to pick a time to check in, but am not haven or higher ranking Latitudes. Called NCL and was told not everyone was allowed to select a time but can show up starting at noon. A bit unsettled by his answer so I called again today.. same response. 

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7 hours ago, krazykohns said:

Following as we are embarking on Feb 16th.  Was not allowed to pick a time to check in, but am not haven or higher ranking Latitudes. Called NCL and was told not everyone was allowed to select a time but can show up starting at noon. A bit unsettled by his answer so I called again today.. same response. 

I believe someone on your cruises roll call also got the same letter. 

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26 minutes ago, Oakman58 said:

I'm booked on the 26th and just received the letter today.  Included were six luggage tags.

This made me go out and check our mailbox again.  My letter arrived today too.  Along with six luggage tags.  There's only one of me traveling (I'm in a studio cabin) so I guess six tags are standard.  I also just realized that my cabin number is almost the same as my address, just one number away.

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15 hours ago, Tinyturtle22 said:

Just got my letter and tags today as well. I’m staying the previous night in a hotel by the beach so I’ll probably leave there around 12-12:30. I’m platinum so I should not have any problem getting on the ship at 1pm.

Let us know how that goes. 

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I've got no letter or luggage tags  but my e-docs tell me to board at 3-3:30. 1-26 sailing

This will be my first time not starting out for the ship early on departure day.😟

Pan Am pier is not as nice as old San Juan!

You can't drop your bags and go because there is no place to go within walking distance.

 

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On 1/7/2020 at 7:03 PM, HuliHuli said:

For our Epic sailing on March 22, NCL has posted the following message on our check-in page under the Arrival Time tab:

 

“As a Haven or suite guest, a Platinum, Platinum Plus, Ambassador Latitudes Rewards member or a guest with air travel or transfers provided by Norwegian, you do not need to select your arrival time to the pier. We ask that you arrive no earlier than 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm and no later than 1 hour prior to departure and we will get you settled in.”

 

Clearly, as mnventure pointed out, they really want to get everyone from the prior cruise off the pier before reloading.

Interesting.  We are on the March 8 sailing and this is what my check-in tab says:

"As a Haven or suite guest, a Platinum, Platinum Plus, Ambassador Latitudes Rewards member or a guest with air travel or transfers provided by Norwegian, you do not need to select your arrival time to the pier. We ask that you arrive no earlier than 9:30 am - 10:00 am and no later than 1 hour prior to departure and we will get you settled in."

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3 minutes ago, SteamboatCruiser said:

Interesting.  We are on the March 8 sailing and this is what my check-in tab says:

"As a Haven or suite guest, a Platinum, Platinum Plus, Ambassador Latitudes Rewards member or a guest with air travel or transfers provided by Norwegian, you do not need to select your arrival time to the pier. We ask that you arrive no earlier than 9:30 am - 10:00 am and no later than 1 hour prior to departure and we will get you settled in."

Mine said that up until Friday. Now it says 3:00-3:30pm. My letter and tags arrived today saying please arrive at your scheduled time... I never scheduled a time, always had this message. NCL said to go based upon your edocs. I think they are just as confused as the rest of us. 

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We were on the Christmas cruise last month and got the letter too. Our cab dropped us at 11 at the entrance to the port and we walked about half a mile (ten minutes) to the ship. The only wait we had was completing each of the steps (bag drop, security, check in) and we were on board by 12. Its either go early or wait in lines. It is true that there are no seats in the terminal. 

Edited by CruiserDan53
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On 1/7/2020 at 9:01 AM, Andersoncd said:

It may be possible that anyone who requested a boarding time prior to 1:00 is getting the letter. That's my case anyway.

We originally said we would be at the port by 1pm thinking we would arrive early due to the festival going on (sailing on Jan 16th). My online edocs still say boarding begins at noon and to not arrive more than 1 hour earlier (11am). Who knows.... 

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I wonder if any of this has to do with if the Epic is the only ship on the Pan Am Pier on the day you sailing?

 

If you think about it, if it is only the Epic, you're talking about approximately 4,000 coming in and another 4,000 coming out. If you add the Royal ship to the mix, that's probably another 2,200-2,500?

 

If it's only the Epic, then it's similar to what has happened the past two years with the Dawn and the Royal ship. Put the Epic in there with a Royal ship, and the port reaches its breaking point.

 

In 2017, we arrived at the port around noon. We waited outside for a little bit, but it wasn't too bad considering we were the first NCL cruise out of San Juan (and after Hurricane Maria) for the season. Last year, we got there around 11:00 and had a small line (there was a Royal ship in port with us). We waited inside for a short while and were on the ship in time for lunch.

 

I'm not sure what we'll do for our sailing (2/23). Only the Epic is at the Pan Am Pier that day.

Edited by brookie848
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I had posted this on my small review thread previously, but I was on the Dec 22nd sailing and arrived at the pier around 1:30pm.  There was somewhat heavy traffic getting to the drop off point due to the single lane for cars.  However, once out of the cab, the check in process was pretty quick.  I think these letters are new (we did not get a letter like this but our edocs did say to check in for 1pm) but I would listen to the letter and not rush to get to the ship too early.  

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