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Epic Boarding warning out of San Juan


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Well, our party of 10 all got the letter/tags last week. Our flight for all of us by NCL gets there about 3.  They will take our bags directly to ship so we only have to deal with carry ones. Considering it is pelting ice/snow/sleet at my house as I type, I for one cannot wait for 1/26.

Mary

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Our edocs for 01-26 Epic cruise are asking us to board 3-3:30.

I usually don't pay much attention to boarding times but this time we might follow the rules and enjoy San Juan's beach. 

Do you no how hard that is going to be NCL? lol

This will be our 6th time sailing out of San Juan and the Pan Am port looks like it only has one way in & out. Old San Juan port is nicer.

Edited by katiecat
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I sail 2/23 and got 6 tags for my solo cruise? :)  I'm just curious, I'm Platinum and never really cared about early boarding before as I usually just go to the port around noon so I don't have to wait long for my cabin to be ready.  Being in PR by myself this time and my checkout at my hotel being 11:00am I thought I may look into priority boarding, but this puts a bit of a wrinkle into my plan.  Hopefully cruisers going before our cruise can report back on this chain their experiences.

 

 

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1 hour ago, AK Dreaming said:

I sail 2/23 and got 6 tags for my solo cruise? 🙂 I'm just curious, I'm Platinum and never really cared about early boarding before as I usually just go to the port around noon so I don't have to wait long for my cabin to be ready.  Being in PR by myself this time and my checkout at my hotel being 11:00am I thought I may look into priority boarding, but this puts a bit of a wrinkle into my plan.  Hopefully cruisers going before our cruise can report back on this chain their experiences.

 

 

We're on the 2/23 cruise as well. Where are you staying? We're in Condado and if we decide to delay going to the port, I may look for somewhere to have brunch.

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1 hour ago, brookie848 said:

We're on the 2/23 cruise as well. Where are you staying? We're in Condado and if we decide to delay going to the port, I may look for somewhere to have brunch.

We are also on the 2/23 cruise, but have not gotten a letter yet.  It will be great to hear about tethers experiences in the weeks leading up to our cruise. 

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14 hours ago, brookie848 said:

We're on the 2/23 cruise as well. Where are you staying? We're in Condado and if we decide to delay going to the port, I may look for somewhere to have brunch.

I haven't decided on my hotel yet.  I have a reservation at the Embassy Suites by the airport and the Courtyard Marriott. If I can't get on until late, it may come down to which hotel will give me a late check out.  I don't want to brunch with all my luggage at my feet.  LOL  I did my check-in and it said I didn't have to pick a time but not to get there until 2:00 :o

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8 minutes ago, AK Dreaming said:

I haven't decided on my hotel yet.  I have a reservation at the Embassy Suites by the airport and the Courtyard Marriott. If I can't get on until late, it may come down to which hotel will give me a late check out.  I don't want to brunch with all my luggage at my feet.  LOL  I did my check-in and it said I didn't have to pick a time but not to get there until 2:00 😮

 

I am also on this cruise and we are at the Embassy Suites too. If you cannot get late checkout, you can always check your bags with the concierge desk. 

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1 hour ago, Sunset Lover 1971 said:

 

I am also on this cruise and we are at the Embassy Suites too. If you cannot get late checkout, you can always check your bags with the concierge desk. 

If we do wait to head to port, this is what we'll do. We're at the Best Western Condado. We stayed there last year and got a really good deal for our upcoming stay. Basic hotel, but a great location.

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On 1/8/2020 at 10:45 AM, Homosassa said:

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.

While I have never heard of this, regarding the Pan American Pier, I could see it happening just when the Epic is docking. They added some mooring pylons in order to accommodate the bigger Epic and one of those pylons is VERY close to the access road. This would only be a factor when departing, though since the ship arrives before 6am and it's the second ship to sail (Freedom Of The Seas leaves around 30 minutes earlier) from that pier. The FOTS docks much farther away from the raod and there would be absolutely no need to stop traffic since you can't even see the mooring lines from the road.

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On 1/11/2020 at 8:16 PM, brookie848 said:

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.

Try 3,700-4,000 passengers for the Royal ship. That's the average capacity for the Freedom of the Seas, which is currently home ported year round in San Juan. It will be out for her dry dock until the second week of March, if I'm not mistaken. So for a few weeks, the Epic will be docking alone. The other Royal and Celebrity ships on their seasonal loop depart on Saturdays.

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13 minutes ago, Stinger-pr said:

Try 3,700-4,000 passengers for the Royal ship. That's the average capacity for the Freedom of the Seas, which is currently home ported year round in San Juan. It will be out for her dry dock until the second week of March, if I'm not mistaken. So for a few weeks, the Epic will be docking alone. The other Royal and Celebrity ships on their seasonal loop depart on Saturdays.

Yikes. I didn't realize the Royal ship was so large. No wonder the port road is a mess. I'm hoping things won't be too bad when we leave. 

 

And I hope things calm down for everyone there in Puerto Rico. 

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7 hours ago, Stinger-pr said:

 It will be out for her dry dock until the second week of March, if I'm not mistaken. So for a few weeks, the Epic will be docking alone. The other Royal and Celebrity ships on their seasonal loop depart on Saturdays.

Do you know what dates will the Freedom of the Seas be in dry dock?

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18 minutes ago, Plut0 said:

Do you know what dates will the Freedom of the Seas be in dry dock?

Freedom has no sailings scheduled between January 19 and March 1. I think the first official sailing is now scheduled for March 8. 

Edited by Tinyturtle22
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On 1/13/2020 at 10:46 PM, Tinyturtle22 said:

Freedom has no sailings scheduled between January 19 and March 1. I think the first official sailing is now scheduled for March 8. 

This should alleviate some of the congestion for our 1/26/20 Epic sailing. We have a group of 10, we have a 1:30 boarding time and some of our group have an even later boarding time.  We usually board around noon but wonder if this is going to be an issue? 

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Travelling 1/26/20 as well, we usually board around noon as well but thinking it would be better to head there at 1, the last thing we want to is have to wait outside to board.  Also Freedom of the seas isn't there that day but I the Disney Wonder will be, not as big but still will cause some congestion I would think.

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On 1/13/2020 at 2:35 PM, Stinger-pr said:

While I have never heard of this, regarding the Pan American Pier, I could see it happening just when the Epic is docking. They added some mooring pylons in order to accommodate the bigger Epic and one of those pylons is VERY close to the access road. This would only be a factor when departing, though since the ship arrives before 6am and it's the second ship to sail (Freedom Of The Seas leaves around 30 minutes earlier) from that pier. The FOTS docks much farther away from the raod and there would be absolutely no need to stop traffic since you can't even see the mooring lines from the road.

Stinger--pr. Thanks for the insight.  We usually get there at 12, but the letter says don't arrive before 1:00.  What are your thoughts?

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Just boarded. Left my hotel in Condado at about 11:30. Took about a 5 minute Uber ride ( I have a discount code for $2off your next 3 rides, not sure if I’m allowed to post that here). 
 

Arrived at the port to find it already boarding. There was a scavenger hunt trying to find my sail card and they ultimately printed me another one. I’m sitting in Taste now waiting for my lunch.

 

Be advised that if you have any kind of mobility issues check in at the special assistance desk. The ship is boarding from the pier.

 

3D4A2FEE-72FF-4702-A7F7-34F2CA58E87F.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Tinyturtle22 said:

Just boarded. Left my hotel in Condado at about 11:30. Took about a 5 minute Uber ride ( I have a discount code for $2off your next 3 rides, not sure if I’m allowed to post that here). 
 

Arrived at the port to find it already boarding. There was a scavenger hunt trying to find my sail card and they ultimately printed me another one. I’m sitting in Taste now waiting for my lunch.

 

Be advised that if you have any kind of mobility issues check in at the special assistance desk. The ship is boarding from the pier.

 

3D4A2FEE-72FF-4702-A7F7-34F2CA58E87F.jpeg

IMG_0475.MOV

So that looks different than before.  Can you describe process once out of car?  Today at 2:15 no traffic.

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Luggage drop off is the same as always out front. It’s the same terminal but they have set up a HUGE check in area  for Epic. After security You pass by the old check in room and go to the right into a new room I haven’t seen before. When you are done checking in you literally walk outside and onto the ship directly from the pier onto deck 4.  Super easy but a lot of walking and the gangways are pretty steep. 

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