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Bar Harbor Customs Question


DaddyTheRunner
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I'm researching shore excursion options for our Bar Harbor port call (July 2020).  We are scheduled to arrive at 7:00 AM in Bar Harbor and the shore excursion (not booked through RCI) starts at 10:00 and is a 5 minute walk from the tender pier (per the package details).  I am wondering how long does it take to process through customs and get ashore?  Is it reasonable to make a 10:00 shore excursion?  BTW, everyone in our family are US citizens if that makes a difference in the processing times.  Also, we don't have any preferred statuses (i.e. loyalty club, cabin class, The Key) that would give us priority disembarkation.

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There are so many points of "it depends" to this question but here was my experience on Adventure of the Seas doing customs at Bar Harbor:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/9521-adventure-ots-13-night-snowbird-migration-quebec-to-ft-lauderdale-oct-8-2018/&do=findComment&comment=87666

We arrived at 7am and I was processed by CBP and on the pier by 9:10am.  

CBP comes to the ship.  They can be quick to arrive or they can take their time so it is variable but 10am would have worked fine for me on that day.  

They will post a schedule of when you are to appear at your designated meeting point to see CBP.  I think I was in the MDR.  As they are calling groups you can predict when your group will be called based on timing and queue up at the tail of the last group.  If things are slow on your day you should be able to talk to the crew and request going ahead of your time.  The times are simply a means to avoid thousands of people all trying to queue at once, CBP really doesn't care if deck 8 comes before deck 7, cards are swiped until they have processed everyone.

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Thanks @twangster and @Allen2 for the info I was looking for.  I realize there are many variables involved and I was mostly looking for an idea of what to expect when we arrive in port.

17 hours ago, whenismynextcruise said:

Assuming this is a New England/Canada cruise there should be no customs to go thru at the port for departure in Maine.  You should have more than enough time to get to your excursion.

Yes, this is a New England/Canada cruise and Bar Harbor is the first US port after visiting Canada, hence the need to go through US customs in Bar Harbor.

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On 12/2/2019 at 9:41 PM, DaddyTheRunner said:

Thanks @twangster and @Allen2 for the info I was looking for.  I realize there are many variables involved and I was mostly looking for an idea of what to expect when we arrive in port.

Yes, this is a New England/Canada cruise and Bar Harbor is the first US port after visiting Canada, hence the need to go through US customs in Bar Harbor.

We had the customs check on our New England/Canada cruise, except it was in Portland. Had a specific time, I think by cabin number to get in line.  We actually were late, no big deal as it turns out, because the line was moving so fast. They took about ten seconds at most looking at people's "paperwork." After processing I would just head to the tendering deck. If you get to town early, there are a lot of small shops and things to look at while you wait for your excursion. 

Happy cruising!

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4 hours ago, wstephensi said:

If the ship has not visited a foreign port yet is CBP required or is this a newer requirement?

All itineraries require a stop in a foreign country so at some point the ship will stop in a foreign country.  Upon its first return to a U.S. port after stopping in a another country it will be cleared by CBP.

The same happens in Key West.  If you stop in Key West at the beginning of the cruise you don't have to be processed by CBP in Key West.  If Key West is at the end of your cruise after you have visited another country then you do have to be processed by CBP in Key West. 

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22 minutes ago, twangster said:

All itineraries require a stop in a foreign country so at some point the ship will stop in a foreign country.  Upon its first return to a U.S. port after stopping in a another country it will be cleared by CBP.

The same happens in Key West.  If you stop in Key West at the beginning of the cruise you don't have to be processed by CBP in Key West.  If Key West is at the end of your cruise after you have visited another country then you do have to be processed by CBP in Key West. 

That what I thought I remembered.  Thanks.

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