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Joy and San Pedro Boarding


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Would someone be willing to describe the boarding process in San Pedro including what happens from the time you get out of you car to embarkation? Security, waiting areas, estimated standing times, etc.  I’ve read a number of posts with helpful information, but DH has mobility issues and if I can have a better idea of the process so he’s not walking here only to be told to go there, etc. we can hopefully navigate what sounds like chaos a bit better! As an aside we’re at the port the night before.   thanks in advance ☺️

Edited by parmus
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31 minutes ago, parmus said:

Would someone be willing to describe the boarding process in San Pedro including what happens from the time you get out of you car to embarkation? Security, waiting areas, estimated standing times, etc.  I’ve read a number of posts with helpful information, but DH has mobility issues and if I can have a better idea of the process so he’s not walking here only to be told to go there, etc. we can hopefully navigate what sounds like chaos a bit better! As an aside we’re at the port the night before.   thanks in advance ☺️

I sailed from here last January! 
plenty of handicapped spots right up front with big crosswalks and someone that would hold traffic to let everyone cross. Getting our luggage to a porter was a pain but once we dropped that off we headed into the building, grabbed our health declaration forms and then up the escalator or elevator. I did see a small line for the elevator but it was less than 10 people. Once upstairs you will find your line for check in. This was our longest wait, around 15 minutes. After that we walked straight through security and had our boarding pass. We sat for maybe 10 minutes and on we went! 
 

we were on the Gem so a smaller ship. We got to the port a little after 11 and we were at the buffet by 12. 

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It was complete mess when we boarded the Joy in December.

 

No signage whatsoever... Just a mass of people trying to get into the security tent.

 

Had a boarding time of 11am... Arrived at 11:30 and didn't get on board until 1:30.

 

Didn't ruin the trip but it was definitely my worst boarding experience.  

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We had no problems w San Pedro embark.....pulled up and gave our luggage right to the porter....walked in and security and check in were a breeze....there’s a large waiting area for handicapped where you can have a wheel chair take you onboard 

 

We were onboard quick and having a drink and food within 45 mins of getting there 

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38 minutes ago, Bet_The_Field said:

It was complete mess when we boarded the Joy in December.

 

No signage whatsoever... Just a mass of people trying to get into the security tent.

 

Had a boarding time of 11am... Arrived at 11:30 and didn't get on board until 1:30.

 

Didn't ruin the trip but it was definitely my worst boarding experience.  

agree--we were on the Joy over CHristmas.  Been on about 8 NCL cruises, 30 some overall and this was the WORST.  They didn't know what was going on  We talked to the Captain about this and he said the staff in the terminal are not NCL staff and only so much they can do..... I don't know about that

 

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3 minutes ago, leugerst said:

agree--we were on the Joy over CHristmas.  Been on about 8 NCL cruises, 30 some overall and this was the WORST.  They didn't know what was going on  We talked to the Captain about this and he said the staff in the terminal are not NCL staff and only so much they can do..... I don't know about that

 

We were on the xmas cruise as well.  Loved the cruise but I doubt I will cruise out of Pedro again if I can help it.

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FWIW, embarkation for the January 12 cruise was fine. I got to the port around 10, got through security in about 10 minutes, and was making the rush to grab an Ocean Blue reservation by about 11:15. 
 

Disembarkation, on the other hand... I’m still onboard because we didn’t get clearance until 8:30 (self-assist was supposed to start around 7).

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1 hour ago, Bet_The_Field said:

It was complete mess when we boarded the Joy in December.

 

No signage whatsoever... Just a mass of people trying to get into the security tent.

 

Had a boarding time of 11am... Arrived at 11:30 and didn't get on board until 1:30.

 

Didn't ruin the trip but it was definitely my worst boarding experience.  

We were on the Dec 8th cruise and experienced the same type of thing getting on board.  Hope they have it worked out by now and that it is better for those on upcoming cruises.

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I've sailed into or out of San Pedro eight times, the traffic people & porters have always been great - ask for directions before you get to the building.

The number of CBP people in San Pedro changes and so do their procedures and expectations - which makes it hard for Port and ship staff to plan and organize.

Last time I sailed, I left family at the port about 10:00am, returned rental car and was back at Port for 11:30. They were on board in less than 1/2 hour, I spent 1/2 hour standing in line outside and took about an hour to get on board (in Haven)

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1 hour ago, LaCal said:

We had no problems w San Pedro embark.....pulled up and gave our luggage right to the porter....walked in and security and check in were a breeze....there’s a large waiting area for handicapped where you can have a wheel chair take you onboard 

 

We were onboard quick and having a drink and food within 45 mins of getting there 

OK. So you gave your luggage to a porter right when you got out of your transportation. Did you keep your carry-ons ?  I know we will want  control of our carry-ons. Many say there is no signs directing you where to go.  What did you encounter and what was your secret as compared to others. 

  I am happy the original poster is asking for a detailed step by step description of boarding. I had a bad experience at San Pedro in 2018. I could not even figure out where to take my luggage. I stood in line with my luggage before getting to the scanners, then was told I needed to go stand in a different line for luggage. The point is, I  stood in a one hour line, only to be told to go stand in a different one hour line. I should have been informed by someone along the wait that I was in the wrong line with my luggage instead of waiting until I got to the scanners..  Many in the line had luggage.and everyone was asking each other if they were in the right line. I am just relaying what happened to us. I  hope to avoid it for the future.

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Joy embarks at Pier 91/92, which is at street level until you go upstairs to board (elevator/escalator available).

 

If you're driving, make sure you park closer to that pier to cut down on the walk. Porters are available before you walk across the street to take your luggage. They expect tips (FYI) but obviously they are not required. 

 

If you're getting dropped off, make sure you ask to be dropped off by the luggage drop-off area, which is a separate building with a person at a podium out front. 

 

Right next to the luggage building is a tent where the security line is. There will be port employees there to direct you (typically). You get in that line and show your documents/identification to the people at podiums then go through a metal detector and have you bags scanned. (this is just like the TSA security line at the airport). 

 

Once through that, you walk into the building next door and get in line for check-in and to get your cruise cards. There will be multiple lines, show your docs to the employees and they'll direct you where you need to go. This can take minutes or hours depending on how many people are there and whether or not you have a Haven room/have higher loyalty status. If you arrive prior to boarding, you'll be directed to a place to sit. If they're already boarding, you'll be told to go to the elevator/escalator/stairs to go straight onboard. 

 

You will then walk onto the ramp to get onboard. It zig-zags a bit and requires some walking.

 

If you need assistance to get onboard, make sure to ask an employee inside the terminal or outside the security line and there should be people there to help. You may be able to get expedited through security this way, but YMMV depending on how busy the terminal is when you get there. I find that LA can be hit or miss on the helpfulness/knowledge of employees. 

 

Also of note, LA is a late-arriving port. A lot of people show up 1-2 hours prior to departure and it can busy from 2-4 PM. Like any cruise, it will also be busy before boarding starts because a lot of experienced cruisers like to get on the ship early. Boarding usually starts between 11 am - 12 pm, depending on how quickly they've turned the ship. I would recommend arriving around 1230-2 pm to avoid the crowds and you'll be able to get onboard quickly. If you don't mind waiting to board a bit, arriving before 1030 am is also good. 

 

I've embarked here multiple times, so if you have any specific questions let me know! 

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2 hours ago, Felix331 said:

Joy embarks at Pier 91/92, which is at street level until you go upstairs to board (elevator/escalator available).

 

If you're driving, make sure you park closer to that pier to cut down on the walk. Porters are available before you walk across the street to take your luggage. They expect tips (FYI) but obviously they are not required. 

 

If you're getting dropped off, make sure you ask to be dropped off by the luggage drop-off area, which is a separate building with a person at a podium out front. 

 

Right next to the luggage building is a tent where the security line is. There will be port employees there to direct you (typically). You get in that line and show your documents/identification to the people at podiums then go through a metal detector and have you bags scanned. (this is just like the TSA security line at the airport). 

 

Once through that, you walk into the building next door and get in line for check-in and to get your cruise cards. There will be multiple lines, show your docs to the employees and they'll direct you where you need to go. This can take minutes or hours depending on how many people are there and whether or not you have a Haven room/have higher loyalty status. If you arrive prior to boarding, you'll be directed to a place to sit. If they're already boarding, you'll be told to go to the elevator/escalator/stairs to go straight onboard. 

 

You will then walk onto the ramp to get onboard. It zig-zags a bit and requires some walking.

 

If you need assistance to get onboard, make sure to ask an employee inside the terminal or outside the security line and there should be people there to help. You may be able to get expedited through security this way, but YMMV depending on how busy the terminal is when you get there. I find that LA can be hit or miss on the helpfulness/knowledge of employees. 

 

Also of note, LA is a late-arriving port. A lot of people show up 1-2 hours prior to departure and it can busy from 2-4 PM. Like any cruise, it will also be busy before boarding starts because a lot of experienced cruisers like to get on the ship early. Boarding usually starts between 11 am - 12 pm, depending on how quickly they've turned the ship. I would recommend arriving around 1230-2 pm to avoid the crowds and you'll be able to get onboard quickly. If you don't mind waiting to board a bit, arriving before 1030 am is also good. 

 

I've embarked here multiple times, so if you have any specific questions let me know! 

This is the exact information I was looking for.  You've been very helpful.  In dealing with a person with mobility issues when traveling, the more information the better.  DH doesn't like to make waves and draw attention to himself so I have to be armed with every ounce of ammunition I can to make it a smooth process!  

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@Felix331 covered it pretty well.

 

The info posted by @Sweetnspicy seems to be for the other berth at San Pedro, which will not accept a ship the size of the Bliss, Joy, Encore or maybe any other BA-class Norwegian ship.  I'm not saying Norwegian won't use that berth and that what they posted was incorrect for THEIR experience, just noting that their experience differs from that at the berth for the larger ships.

 

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Hope this helps.  Big blue/grey bldg. on the right is the luggage drop off.  You can also drive up and drop off luggage with porters standing on the sidewalk.  

20181013_102057.jpg

Edited by Socalev
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2 hours ago, hallux said:

@Felix331 covered it pretty well.

 

The info posted by @Sweetnspicy seems to be for the other berth at San Pedro, which will not accept a ship the size of the Bliss, Joy, Encore or maybe any other BA-class Norwegian ship.  I'm not saying Norwegian won't use that berth and that what they posted was incorrect for THEIR experience, just noting that their experience differs from that at the berth for the larger ships.

 

We were the only ship in port the day we left so that could definitely be the case. 

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For reference - in the second picture the luggage "warehouse" is to the left, the tent that has the ridge perpendicular to the grey building is the 'zig-zag buffer' for security tent overload, the next tent is the actual security line/tent and the building is where you check in.  For people with mobility issues you can let them know this if there is a line and they'll take you through a door direct into the security tent, I saw this a lot in October when we had a 2 hour line to board the Bliss.

 

If you're concerned that this terminal can't handle ships the size of the Bliss, Joy and Encore - it CAN.  There was absolutely no wait to board the ship when I got there in April, around the same time I got there to board in October (when I waited 2 hours).  October was delayed due to a CG inspection of the ship.

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2 hours ago, hallux said:

For reference - in the second picture the luggage "warehouse" is to the left, the tent that has the ridge perpendicular to the grey building is the 'zig-zag buffer' for security tent overload, the next tent is the actual security line/tent and the building is where you check in.  For people with mobility issues you can let them know this if there is a line and they'll take you through a door direct into the security tent, I saw this a lot in October when we had a 2 hour line to board the Bliss.

 

If you're concerned that this terminal can't handle ships the size of the Bliss, Joy and Encore - it CAN.  There was absolutely no wait to board the ship when I got there in April, around the same time I got there to board in October (when I waited 2 hours).  October was delayed due to a CG inspection of the ship.

It may help to note the port berth placement reference to the USS BB IOWA

One berth (#92) is inline and adjacent to the IOWA -

The other is a ship and half length away and 90 degrees to ship channel

Map Image LINK:

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.7452827,-118.2764749,808m/data=!3m1!1e3

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1 hour ago, 2+2 said:

So, what do most of you do with your carry-ons. 

I only carry on what I'm comfortable carrying for a couple hours, a backpack.  One of the reasons to bring a carry-on is to ensure stuff that needs to be secure is secure, leaving a carry-on anywhere but your own locked stateroom defeats that purpose.

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Well, the January 17 boarding for the Joy was at best, chaotic.  Thanks to the disembarking passengers who posted they were late getting clearance.

I arrived at 11.30, a line in the sun that was not moving.  I and my 20 year old son moved further away from the entrance and found a shaded bench.  We had drinks, WiFi and were quite prepared to sit out the next 2 hours, as the line got longer and much longer.

I saw a lady with a Haven paddleboard and she said strictly Haven only.  Fair enough.   My son went to the nearby food truck for snacks as we settled in.

Then after circa. 1 hour,  an older gentleman came by with a Concierge Class paddleboard, working for security sub contractors.  Well, that's us!  We are in a Concierge cabin.

3 times, he shined me and my son on, after we identified ourselves as "Concierge Class". Each time, moving away from us down the line towards the food truck.  After refusing to accept our printed boarding passes,   I started telling him off, he pushed me forcefully into a flowerbed. After slowly getting up, he pushed me again. Bleeding profusely, police were called, besides paramedics.
 

No handcuffs for "Bob".  No offer of assistance or apologies at at any point.   Cruise line is in SOP CYA mode.
 

He did me a favor. I am no longer fighting off the robbers from last October in Paris in my idle thoughts at night. My fighting days are well and truly over.  But I don't go cruising to get into fights.
 

Eventually we were escorted by a supervisor, given the "Haven" treatment. I like it.


Absolutely no explanation from anyone as to  why this SOB would not do his simple job of escorting Concierge Class passengers.  In an attempt by my son and 2 by me, we acted normally, actually chilled.   He demanded boarding passes then would not accept them, just staring at them.
  
Look, I have been subject to a 12 hour delayed boarding in New York.    I am quite sanguine about these things, so long as the ship is not steaming away without me.   And to be clear,  I never touched the perp.  Not a finger.  And I never saw him escort anyone.   What was he doing there?


In other news,  Concierge Class, unique to the Joy, is brilliant.  I hope to stay on for the next 12 day cruise.
 


 

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