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Joining a cruise at 1st port


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We would like to take the Grand Africa next year (if Covid is not an issue) but need to be in Europe early October for a wedding.   I am going to call HAL to see if they will let us join the cruise at the first port stop, Mediera, rather than embark in Fort Lauderdale then do the rest of the cruise returning to Fort Lauderdale.  All we would miss is the transatlantic crossing.  I know we wouldn’t get a discount for those missed days.   I’ve done some research and it appears sometimes a request is approved and something it is rejected but I don’t know why. Has anyone made this type of request before?   Did you call a specific Dept or just the normal 1-800 number?

Edited by Wayfairers
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I would not expect to get a discount if approved.  They are holding your cabin for you for the whole cruise.

 

We have never done what you describe but have done many off the ship overnights once the ship has sailed.  I think the chances of approval are much lower in the virus world of today as they may not be able to do all the embarkation protocols in Mediera.

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3 hours ago, Wayfairers said:

We would like to take the Grand Africa next year (if Covid is not an issue) but need to be in Europe early October for a wedding.   I am going to call HAL to see if they will let us join the cruise at the first port stop, Mediera, rather than embark in Fort Lauderdale then do the rest of the cruise returning to Fort Lauderdale.  All we would miss is the transatlantic crossing.  I know we wouldn’t get a discount for those missed days.   I’ve done some research and it appears sometimes a request is approved and something it is rejected but I don’t know why. Has anyone made this type of request before?   Did you call a specific Dept or just the normal 1-800 number?

 

     On our last world cruise in 2018 more than 100 passengers didn't make it to Ft Lauderdale in time for departure because of a bad East Coast snowstorm that shut down airports & highways.  Most of them boarded at the first few ports we visited.  So, maybe you can just "miss" the Ft Lauderdale departure & board on the next port!  Seriously, though, this suggests that boarding at a subsequent port (without a discount, of course) is not all that unheard of. 

     COVID restrictions might change that, I suppose, although I imagine they will be doing some kind of check of people reboarding at all ports.  But we don't know yet what the COVID requirements will ultimately be or whether they will all still be in effect in October.  If you have a travel agent, you might ask him or her to see what they can arrange with HAL.

 

Rick

Edited by RBB
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I believe that, in pre-virus times, it wasn't usually a problem if the port agent could arrange for the regulatory country exit routines of immigration and/or customs, etc.  Some I know have had to pay a fee to have the cruise line arrange for this; in other cases, the cruise line had entertainers and other crew boarding in the same port so it was no trouble or fee.

 

Going forward in the virus world, this might prove different, at least at first.  Calling and informing the cruise line is your best bet.

Edited by 0bnxshs
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If you inform Seattle that you will board in Madeira, which is part of Schengen, instead of FLL, because you're in Europe, you should be ok, you're room is paid for, so it will be waiting for you..

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9 hours ago, Wayfairers said:

We would like to take the Grand Africa next year (if Covid is not an issue) but need to be in Europe early October for a wedding.   I am going to call HAL to see if they will let us join the cruise at the first port stop, Mediera, rather than embark in Fort Lauderdale then do the rest of the cruise returning to Fort Lauderdale.  All we would miss is the transatlantic crossing.  I know we wouldn’t get a discount for those missed days.   I’ve done some research and it appears sometimes a request is approved and something it is rejected but I don’t know why. Has anyone made this type of request before?   Did you call a specific Dept or just the normal 1-800 number?

 

Have you joined the Grand Africa Voyage rollcall yet?  There are 37 pages of posts currently.....

 

There is already a couple who are joining us in Funchal, Madeira.

 

If you would like to email me, I'll provide you with information that may be helpful to you, but please put "Wayfairers" in the subject line:  deedeegroff@gmail.com

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When we were on the Zuiderdam transatlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Copenhagen in April/May, 2019, our first stop was Bermuda.  We'd had a table for 4 to ourselves up to that point, but were joined by a couple who'd boarded the ship that afternoon.  They lived near Hamilton.  I asked if these arrangements were hard to come by, and they told me that their travel agent books cruises from Bermuda for them all the time.  🙂 It is probably not too difficult to make an arrangement to board in Madeira.

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16 hours ago, surfcitygirl said:

I have boarded at the second port myself. The only extra thing we had to get was a letter from HAL indicating that we were boarding to present to the port agents. And yes, you do not get a credit for the days missed.

And you also do not get any credit for days misses for leaving early.

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Thanks y’all!  I have discussed this option with my travel agent and she said she would ask HAL for the variance and she believes it would be granted.  But, she said I have to book the cruise before asking HAL.  Is that true for those that have done this?  

 

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17 hours ago, Wayfairers said:

Thanks y’all!  I have discussed this option with my travel agent and she said she would ask HAL for the variance and she believes it would be granted.  But, she said I have to book the cruise before asking HAL.  Is that true for those that have done this?  

 

Interesting.  Well, I would wait a few days and see what new sale crops up November 1 after the current sale expires Oct 31. HAL does allow a 48 hour courtesy hold.  Perhaps they will have low deposits and other perks.   Carnival is offering $50 deposits so maybe HAL will do the same.   I do not like that HAL requires people to book then see what is in the box, it drives me crazy.  Many other lines allow you to see shore excursions, packages and flights prior to booking. 

Edited by Mary229
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5 minutes ago, surfcitygirl said:

We got approval from HAL before booking the cruise. This was for a 2019 transatlantic where we boarded in Barcelona instead of Civitavecchia. We got the letter from HAL before final payment.

I am sure you are right @surfcitygirl  HAL representatives are still working at home.  If I were @Wayfairers I would call again to see what another rep would say.  

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1 hour ago, surfcitygirl said:

We got approval from HAL before booking the cruise. This was for a 2019 transatlantic where we boarded in Barcelona instead of Civitavecchia. We got the letter from HAL before final payment.

Thanks!   I’ll push my TA to get approval before booking and if she says no I’ll call HAL.  

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