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Did Covid-19 Kill The Early Check-in?


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That's a slippery slope.  How many slots do Full Suites vs. Junior Suites get?  Pinnacles?  The Key?  D+ then D and so on down the chain?  It's one thing to say if you are checked in and waiting

To be clear, nothing has been announced yet that boarding times have changed. For all we know, RC's app is acting up again. And to @twangster's point, even if later embarkation is a thing, RC has

I keep thinking about my Sydney cruise.  Only Star Class had a special meeting point.  Suites/Pinnacle/Key all waited for their appointment time.  The only difference was that the process all started

This is just temporary, they may only do later check-ins for the first couple of sailings. They may be doing it to gauge how things will occur. There is a strong possibility that they will be doing rapid COVID testing, so a 2:30 check-in would allow plenty of time for people to be properly vetted. As they get back into the grove of things, early check-ins should be back.

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I just checked in for my Nov 13th cruise on the Anthem leaving from Port Liberty in NJ. Hopefully the cruise will sail and not be cancelled...fingers crossed!

My first concern will be inside the cruise terminal. Will I be able to even enter the terminal or be held outside until a certain time...and if so, will the system of who gets to go in next be well-planned or will there be the usual crowding about near the entrance. Short-cutters always looking for the short cut!

I am Diamond Plus but I also purchased The Key. I’m solo and I use the internet so it’s worth it for me....also because it gave me early boarding (in Port Liberty), carry-on bag drop-off and delivery to my cabin, lunch from Chops Grill, reserved times for the NorthStar, priority disembarkation at ports and end of cruise, and more. I’ll see how the Key program is managed this time...especially at check-in and boarding.

I understand that the cruise lines are making an effort to limit the number of passengers aboard ship to increase distancing between guests. If so, then hopefully they will be able to successfully manage the first day without too many issues...but I’m a little nervous being part of one of the first ‘test cases’......but I’m still hoping to go. I miss the Anthem and her crew!

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1 hour ago, BrianB said:

Will I be able to even enter the terminal or be held outside until a certain time...and if so, will the system of who gets to go in next be well-planned or will there be the usual crowding about near the entrance.

No one really knows at this point.  

Before the pandemic in places like Sydney the general process was to start allowing guests to enter the terminal for check in only once the ship itself was ready and able to accept guests.  The terminal there doesn't have large waiting areas so they keep everyone outside until the ship is actually boarding new guests.  Once your appointment time has been reached you enter the terminal, go through security, do check in, get processed by Australian immigration then immediately board the ship.  Being Diamond Plus or Pinnacle or in a Suite didn't matter.  The only thing that mattered was the time on the SetSail pass.  They turned away many people trying to enter the terminal before their time.

I suspect that is what we will see.  I can't see them encouraging guests to enter a terminal then putting them into a waiting area inside, confined with an interior space.

Another option might be to allow guests to check in but then directing them back outside to wait.  Once the ship is ready then guests reenter the terminal, do security and walk onto the ship.  This approach has implications in inclement weather and for any guests with mobility challenges.  Consequently I'm not sure they'll go this route. 

I suspect that appointment times will be strictly enforced and those times will only be offered when they know the ship has been given ample time to sanitize absent of all guests.  

All we can do is wait to see what they come up with.  Hopefully sometime later this month we'll know.

Despite that there will be guests that try to jump the process so there will be some crowds near the control points.  It's inevitable no matter how well they explain things some people will try to bypass the process.  

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On 9/11/2020 at 9:56 AM, BrianB said:

I just checked in for my Nov 13th cruise on the Anthem leaving from Port Liberty in NJ. Hopefully the cruise will sail and not be cancelled...fingers crossed!

My first concern will be inside the cruise terminal. Will I be able to even enter the terminal or be held outside until a certain time...and if so, will the system of who gets to go in next be well-planned or will there be the usual crowding about near the entrance. Short-cutters always looking for the short cut!

I am Diamond Plus but I also purchased The Key. I’m solo and I use the internet so it’s worth it for me....also because it gave me early boarding (in Port Liberty), carry-on bag drop-off and delivery to my cabin, lunch from Chops Grill, reserved times for the NorthStar, priority disembarkation at ports and end of cruise, and more. I’ll see how the Key program is managed this time...especially at check-in and boarding.

I understand that the cruise lines are making an effort to limit the number of passengers aboard ship to increase distancing between guests. If so, then hopefully they will be able to successfully manage the first day without too many issues...but I’m a little nervous being part of one of the first ‘test cases’......but I’m still hoping to go. I miss the Anthem and her crew!

What time did you get with The Key? 

My Cape Liberty check in for December had 2:30 as the earliest...and all the rest are after sailaway, which is currently scheduled (3pm).  😄  I see definite alterations to our itinerary.  

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On 9/9/2020 at 10:39 PM, twangster said:

That's a slippery slope.  How many slots do Full Suites vs. Junior Suites get?  Pinnacles?  The Key?  D+ then D and so on down the chain? 

It's one thing to say if you are checked in and waiting in the terminal, then here is the boarding order.   It's another to reserve slots for arrival because at what point do you they give up on a "class" that hasn't checked in online to get their arrival time?

I suspect they will adopt something like the Sydney, Australia format.  

In Sydney only Star Class really gets priority arrival/check-in at the terminal.   I didn't get a special early arrival time for my C&A status, I think I received what was available when I checked in.  I dropped my bags then went off to walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge and get pictures (to kill time).   Once back I was still too early for my arrival time.  It didn't matter what my C&A status was, I had to wait.  Walking from the ship luggage drop to the bridge, across the bridge and back isn't exactly a "quick" walk. I went to the museum up there too and I was still too early to check in when I got back.  I asked about C&A status ... nope, what time I had was the only thing that mattered.  This was before any pandemic.  

I think initially some Suites/Pinnacle/Key/D+ will be upset when they assume privilege.  Blah, blah, blah.  We'll hear about it without doubt.  But oh well, I'm okay losing this privilege if it means getting back on a ship.  Others will be more vocal but we all have to give in these difficult times.  Trying to appease special status may not work like it did before.  Eventually it will be back. Until then everyone needs a super large dose of "Calm down and cruise on".

 

I was thinking Pinnacles and the suites with the extra privileges that comes with their price tags, and The Key.  Everyone else would be in the general masses.  I don't think Anthem has genies but I can't see everyone standing outside waiting to get in.  There are folks who just don't find that option as acceptable.  That's not what they are paying for. So I expect to see certain groups being ushered inside, to a separate area.  Those are the ones I think may get earlier times set aside for them.  Hell, if I'm paying thousands per person to sail, I think I'd want something extra done for me. LOL 

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@KathyC we have the Key for our Thanksgiving Oasis cruise and the earliest check in was 2:30 for us too. I’m fine with the later check-in but wonder what adjustments will be made to the Key privileges since we won’t be able to have the embarkation lunch and bag drop off. Perhaps they will replace the lunch with a fancy dinner? 

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2 hours ago, KathyC said:

I was thinking Pinnacles and the suites with the extra privileges that comes with their price tags, and The Key.  Everyone else would be in the general masses.  I don't think Anthem has genies but I can't see everyone standing outside waiting to get in.  There are folks who just don't find that option as acceptable.  That's not what they are paying for. So I expect to see certain groups being ushered inside, to a separate area.  Those are the ones I think may get earlier times set aside for them.  Hell, if I'm paying thousands per person to sail, I think I'd want something extra done for me. LOL 

I keep thinking about my Sydney cruise.  Only Star Class had a special meeting point.  Suites/Pinnacle/Key all waited for their appointment time.  The only difference was that the process all started around 11am instead of 2:30pm.

Given the late start at 2:30pm I don't think there is time to grant special status to anyone, especially in the early days of a restart.  I'm fine with that, you won't hear me griping about my status and early appointment times.  The last thing they need are whiners during these crazy times.  Give me a time and get me on board 😉 

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3 hours ago, S.Marie said:

@KathyC we have the Key for our Thanksgiving Oasis cruise and the earliest check in was 2:30 for us too. I’m fine with the later check-in but wonder what adjustments will be made to the Key privileges since we won’t be able to have the embarkation lunch and bag drop off. Perhaps they will replace the lunch with a fancy dinner? 

I've been thinking about Key guests and boarding.  I think anyone who has purchased the Key will need to take a close look at the process once it's announced and determine if the Key still has value for them if certain boarding perks from the past need to be modified for the current situation.  For those who primarily buy the Key for the early boarding perk, day one lunch and bag drop, they may need to consider cancelling the Key and taking the refund.  Others may still find value in everything else the Key has to offer.  

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23 hours ago, KathyC said:

What time did you get with The Key? 

My Cape Liberty check in for December had 2:30 as the earliest...and all the rest are after sailaway, which is currently scheduled (3pm).  😄  I see definite alterations to our itinerary.  

I purchased the Key after I checked in. My check in time is 2:30 (the earliest offered)...

I know it’s going to be different now that things have changed to accommodate the extra precautions and cleaning. I’m patient and understanding with that. There will be trial and error and I hope it goes as smooth as possible. I know each port is different and each have their own way of doing things. What works in some ports may not work in others. It may be a later departure than usual, but I just know that I’ll be aboard and getting ready for sailaway again! Leaving New York harbor at night is beautiful! ....plus...a huge positive change will be the muster drill. Being able to satisfy the drill requirement by using the app or the room TV will be phenomenal! Still keeping my fingers crossed that the cruise happens!

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I'm still assuming my December cruise will be cancelled, but if for some reason I am blessed to go, I do expect a lot of changes, especially to my itinerary - since we have a sailaway time of 3pm...yet the first check in is at 2:30.    I think the last offered was 5:00.  If we sail three hours late, (assuming all goes well and we can leave by 6pm) I don't know if Anthem can get from Bayonne to San Juan on schedule (and we already have a 3pm arrival time).  I'm assuming it takes quite awhile or we'd have an earlier arrival time.  @twangster you would know much better than I what she is capable of.   We have six ports in total - I'll be happy if I just get to get off at one! 

These standard check in times no matter which ship/itinerary are a good indication to me that these sailings will not happen.  

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52 minutes ago, KathyC said:

I'm still assuming my December cruise will be cancelled, but if for some reason I am blessed to go, I do expect a lot of changes, especially to my itinerary - since we have a sailaway time of 3pm...yet the first check in is at 2:30.    I think the last offered was 5:00.  If we sail three hours late, (assuming all goes well and we can leave by 6pm) I don't know if Anthem can get from Bayonne to San Juan on schedule (and we already have a 3pm arrival time).  I'm assuming it takes quite awhile or we'd have an earlier arrival time.  @twangster you would know much better than I what she is capable of.   We have six ports in total - I'll be happy if I just get to get off at one! 

These standard check in times no matter which ship/itinerary are a good indication to me that these sailings will not happen.  

All cruise itineraries are planned with buffers built into to accommodate unexpected events.  They leave wiggle room and plan using an economical cruising speed so the bridge can crank up the speed as a means to keep the schedule if they have a delay.  Weather can cause course changes, medical evacs happen, other delays happen.  We'll have to wait and see what boarding delays do to itineraries. 

Oasis class in Miami often has to wait for best tides to transit the channel but they build extra time and choose close next ports like CocoCay so they have greater flexibility.  I imagine these sorts of things are being looked at right now.  

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On 9/12/2020 at 1:11 PM, twangster said:

  For those who primarily buy the Key for the early boarding perk, day one lunch and bag drop, they may need to consider cancelling the Key and taking the refund.  Others may still find value in everything else the Key has to offer.  

I agree @twangster. Especially those that have chosen to purchase the key on some of the smaller ships, where the perks you mentioned above, seem to be the biggest draw for some.

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

All cruise itineraries are planned with buffers built into to accommodate unexpected events.  They leave wiggle room and plan using an economical cruising speed so the bridge can crank up the speed as a means to keep the schedule if they have a delay.  Weather can cause course changes, medical evacs happen, other delays happen.  We'll have to wait and see what boarding delays do to itineraries. 

Oasis class in Miami often has to wait for best tides to transit the channel but they build extra time and choose close next ports like CocoCay so they have greater flexibility.  I imagine these sorts of things are being looked at right now.  

San Juan is our first stop out of Bayonne.  Ugh I hope they don't send us to Port Canaveral instead...but I guess a visit to Grills and possible meet-up would make it worthwhile. 

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7 minutes ago, KathyC said:

San Juan is our first stop out of Bayonne.  Ugh I hope they don't send us to Port Canaveral instead...but I guess a visit to Grills and possible meet-up would make it worthwhile. 

I boarded Anthem with after a noro cleaning delay and we still made our stops on time.  We weren't delayed to 2:30pm though. 

There will be fewer cruisers so keep that in mind.  The first few cruises after restart will be new for everyone.  Once they get into a rhythm it will go faster.    

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On 9/9/2020 at 9:10 AM, cruisellama said:

Betting the AM times will be suspended for now.  We checked into our Thankgiving cruise and the earliest boarding time was 1:30p so took it.   I think the lines will need to provide a lot of messaging to mitigate the usual swarming of the terminal area on embarkation day.     Also curious how it might affect the special suite lounges in the newer terminals.

I was getting 1:30 pm boarding times pre-Covid and as always disregarded them and was on the ship by 11am for the most part. I think the boarding time is more of a suggestion but maybe things are actually changing? 

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Based on what it could potentially take to ramp up these ships, I would venture to guess holiday 2020 sailings are most likely not going to happen. This assumes that RC has not already started the process on the backend to get things moving. It’s one thing to get CDC backing but the bulk of the start up process will involve some serious logistics across multiple continents. 

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1 hour ago, Va4fam said:

Just wondering out loud.......if we are boarding later in the day, how long will it take our bags to make it to our cabins?  

That's a great question.  I would guess that there will be additional "precautions" taken with luggage - perhaps some type of disinfecting mist or something....so it may take longer than it used to....but then again, we won't be onboard until later, so maybe it's a wash.

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