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First cruise since covid. Are we still able to arrive at the port early? We signed up for 1230.i believe that is the boarding.?.not sure.

We park at the pier and want to make sure we get a good parking spot. We used to arrive around 9am and waited.

Mk

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So far, there have been lots of posts regarding passengers experiencing the new arrival procedure. When you get to the port, you will be allowed in at your assigned time. You then check in and walk right onto the ship. If you arrive early, you’ll have to wait outside. It’s been this way for me in Bayonne NJ and Fort Lauderdale. 
There have been some instances where they allowed you in early, but only because there where no passengers with the current boarding time. But, as capacity keeps increasing, I don’t think that’s going to be the case too often. Enjoy your cruise!

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I totally agree with Matt's, "at least for now".  Just like everything else in life, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, though.  The entitled will complain and complain and complain until companies will slowly relent eventually getting to where it's back to the same old same old.  In this particular case/issue, I don't necessary think that is a bad thing.  I liked showing up when I wanted and process without issue.  BUT, it's not a big enough issue, for me, to question/complain about it.  I'm sure many are benefiting from this policy.  

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I've seen a lot of posts about arriving early to check in.  Both on this this site and on social media sites.  It's like people are secretly hoping someone will tell them it's okay to arrive early.  It's not.

The arrival times are in place for a purpose and to ensure no one experiences a miserable start to their cruise vacation.  Standing around in the rain or the Florida heat and humidity for hours is not a great way to start a cruise vacation.   The security lines and check in lanes are not designed for everyone arriving in large masses.  When guests ignore their appointment times and arrive early it makes for a miserable experience for everyone including folks who hold the proper arrival time appointments who arrive on time.  

It's not okay to arrive early.  If you arrive early you are not just part of the problem, you are the problem.  

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

It's not okay to arrive early.  If you arrive early you are not just part of the problem, you are the problem. 

I have been following the advice of fly into embarkation port a day early. I go straight from airport to cruise terminal and “rough sleep” in front of entry doors.

I apologize for being part of the problem.

Side note, I have never missed the ship. 

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I hope it stays this way. I never experienced the previous way, but I like having a time I know to be there and not having to arrive to see a sea of people ahead of me. Shorter, more manageable lines, seems to make way more sense. If someone wants an earlier check-in, then they can check-in early like I did.

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1 hour ago, Lexster said:

I hope it stays this way. I never experienced the previous way, but I like having a time I know to be there and not having to arrive to see a sea of people ahead of me. Shorter, more manageable lines, seems to make way more sense. If someone wants an earlier check-in, then they can check-in early like I did.

While I don't care, much, either way, I'll survive, I hope, I do see issues with the enforced check in times.  Here's why:

I would venture to say that a very large % of us fly in either the night before or the day before embarkation.  My point, we have to rely on someone/thing else to get us to the port on time, not early, not late.  We are relying on an entity that we can not control.  I call that "stress +".   If you show up early, you are stuck in front of the terminal like a homeless person with, at least your carry-on(s).  Arrive too late and you are left to the whim of someone/thing else, again out in front of the terminal like a homeless person.  Pre-COVID, you just showed up and went with the flow.  In fact, pre-COVID, I don't remember having a chick-in time.  If there was, I didn't pay any attention to it.  For me, and I'm sure many other elderly folks, getting to the airport, possibly parking, checking in at the airport, flying, getting your luggage at the destination airport, transferring to hotel, hoteling, transferring to the port (hoping the vehicle shows up on time), and boarding is already a stressful process.  But, worth it.  Adding a hardcore embarkation time where there wasn't one before is just an unnecessary (opinion)  added step to an already stressful process.  

On the other hand, IF ALL GOES WELL, and you show up during your check-in time window, it's smooth sailing <every pun intended>.  

But, like I said, I'm good either way.  

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8 hours ago, twangster said:

I've seen a lot of posts about arriving early to check in.  Both on this this site and on social media sites.  It's like people are secretly hoping someone will tell them it's okay to arrive early.  It's not.

The arrival times are in place for a purpose and to ensure no one experiences a miserable start to their cruise vacation.  Standing around in the rain or the Florida heat and humidity for hours is not a great way to start a cruise vacation.   The security lines and check in lanes are not designed for everyone arriving in large masses.  When guests ignore their appointment times and arrive early it makes for a miserable experience for everyone including folks who hold the proper arrival time appointments who arrive on time.  

It's not okay to arrive early.  If you arrive early you are not just part of the problem, you are the problem.  

I totally agree but that's part of the problem.  My last cruise out of Port Canaveral,  we arrived on time and there were about 6 lines out side in the covered area by the doors that your enter to go through security check.  These lines were checking for correct paperwork, vaccine cards , covid tests etc. even though when you get in for the real check in you will have to show it again. There was a large family in from of me that finally made it to the check in and lo and behold they then started dragging out their paperwork.  They were looking in purses, backpacks, carry-ons for the paperwork.   It took at least 30 minutes for them to do something simple. Wouldn't you think they might have had that ready way ahead of time.  Like days before.  It was a major cluster watching them scream at each other.  Not trying to say we are perfect but we have all that stuff paperclipped together ready to go well in advance.  If anything they should have been looking for it while waiting in line.  It was comical and frustrating at the same time.

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7 minutes ago, MikeK said:

Wouldn't you think they might have had that ready way ahead of time.  Like days before. 

The issue you mentioned here isn't related to folks arriving early or on time.  These folks will be a hindrance regardless what time they arrive at the port, early, late or on time.

The solution for dealing with people who are not prepared or lack proper documentation is to pull them aside into a separate waiting area so others may pass.

1 hour ago, 1st Mate said:

My point, we have to rely on someone/thing else to get us to the port on time, not early, not late.  We are relying on an entity that we can not control.  I call that "stress +".   If you show up early, you are stuck in front of the terminal like a homeless person with, at least your carry-on(s).  Arrive too late and you are left to the whim of someone/thing else, again out in front of the terminal like a homeless person.  Pre-COVID, you just showed up and went with the flow.  In fact, pre-COVID, I don't remember having a chick-in time.

The entity in this case is CBP.  CBP dictates when a ship can commence boarding in the US.  No cruise line can control CBP. 

Pre-shutdown there were times on SetSail passes, they just weren't enforced at least not on Royal or at most of their ports.  Many other cruise line did enforce times and for decades guests on other cruise lines have managed to deal with it.  In places like Sydney when sailing Royal check in times have always been enforced.  Even suite guests had to wait, unless Star Class.    People adjusted and dealt with it because there is no choice.  

Where the majority of guests arrive from doesn't change the math - too many arriving at the same time causes a miserable experience for everyone.   

Choosing to arrive early and becoming a "homeless person" in your words is your choice.  You have an opportunity to do something else, go somewhere else, plan your day differently, or you can choose to sit outside and become a "homeless person".  Your choice.  

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10 hours ago, twangster said:

 

The entity in this case is CBP.  CBP dictates when a ship can commence boarding in the US.  No cruise line can control CBP. 

Pre-shutdown there were times on SetSail passes, they just weren't enforced at least not on Royal or at most of their ports.  Many other cruise line did enforce times and for decades guests on other cruise lines have managed to deal with it.  In places like Sydney when sailing Royal check in times have always been enforced.  Even suite guests had to wait, unless Star Class.    People adjusted and dealt with it because there is no choice.  

Where the majority of guests arrive from doesn't change the math - too many arriving at the same time causes a miserable experience for everyone.   

Choosing to arrive early and becoming a "homeless person" in your words is your choice.  You have an opportunity to do something else, go somewhere else, plan your day differently, or you can choose to sit outside and become a "homeless person".  Your choice.  

You have totally mischaracterized my post!  I'll not go through it word for word, like I did last night and it looks like it's been deleted.   But, I'll just go over the first and last sentence to set the tone for the rest of the post because the rest isn't any better:  The "ENTITY" I was talking about is the transportation company that you/me/us rely on to take you to the port from your hotel, you know, the Shuttle/Limo/Uber/whatever.  The entity that you have to hope/worry/rely on that they come to your hotel on time and gets you to the port on time.  

"In my words"?  No, not in my words.  My words:   "stuck in front of the terminal like a homeless person with, at least your carry-on(s)".  If you are going to quote me, do it with accuracy.  I never said I felt like I have "become" a "homeless person".  

 

 

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12 hours ago, twangster said:

The issue you mentioned here isn't related to folks arriving early or on time.  These folks will be a hindrance regardless what time they arrive at the port, early, late or on time.

The solution for dealing with people who are not prepared or lack proper documentation is to pull them aside into a separate waiting area so others may pass.

The entity in this case is CBP.  CBP dictates when a ship can commence boarding in the US.  No cruise line can control CBP. 

Pre-shutdown there were times on SetSail passes, they just weren't enforced at least not on Royal or at most of their ports.  Many other cruise line did enforce times and for decades guests on other cruise lines have managed to deal with it.  In places like Sydney when sailing Royal check in times have always been enforced.  Even suite guests had to wait, unless Star Class.    People adjusted and dealt with it because there is no choice.  

Where the majority of guests arrive from doesn't change the math - too many arriving at the same time causes a miserable experience for everyone.   

Choosing to arrive early and becoming a "homeless person" in your words is your choice.  You have an opportunity to do something else, go somewhere else, plan your day differently, or you can choose to sit outside and become a "homeless person".  Your choice.  

I wish people would define an acronym the first time it is used.  CPB?? 

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16 hours ago, 1st Mate said:

While I don't care, much, either way, I'll survive, I hope, I do see issues with the enforced check in times.  Here's why:

I would venture to say that a very large % of us fly in either the night before or the day before embarkation.  My point, we have to rely on someone/thing else to get us to the port on time, not early, not late.  We are relying on an entity that we can not control.  I call that "stress +".   If you show up early, you are stuck in front of the terminal like a homeless person with, at least your carry-on(s).  Arrive too late and you are left to the whim of someone/thing else, again out in front of the terminal like a homeless person.  Pre-COVID, you just showed up and went with the flow.  In fact, pre-COVID, I don't remember having a chick-in time.  If there was, I didn't pay any attention to it.  For me, and I'm sure many other elderly folks, getting to the airport, possibly parking, checking in at the airport, flying, getting your luggage at the destination airport, transferring to hotel, hoteling, transferring to the port (hoping the vehicle shows up on time), and boarding is already a stressful process.  But, worth it.  Adding a hardcore embarkation time where there wasn't one before is just an unnecessary (opinion)  added step to an already stressful process.  

On the other hand, IF ALL GOES WELL, and you show up during your check-in time window, it's smooth sailing <every pun intended>.  

But, like I said, I'm good either way.  

I do think it would be nice that if RC is going to enforce times from now on, that they have an indoor waiting area at least, but I still would prefer it this way. If you get there early, then...yeah, waiting is the next step and I'm okay with that. I would expect to wait if it were me. If you get there late, then I think there should be some sort of "late arrival" line where you can sort of get priority through the boarding process.

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15 hours ago, MikeK said:

I totally agree but that's part of the problem.  My last cruise out of Port Canaveral,  we arrived on time and there were about 6 lines out side in the covered area by the doors that your enter to go through security check.  These lines were checking for correct paperwork, vaccine cards , covid tests etc. even though when you get in for the real check in you will have to show it again. There was a large family in from of me that finally made it to the check in and lo and behold they then started dragging out their paperwork.  They were looking in purses, backpacks, carry-ons for the paperwork.   It took at least 30 minutes for them to do something simple. Wouldn't you think they might have had that ready way ahead of time.  Like days before.  It was a major cluster watching them scream at each other.  Not trying to say we are perfect but we have all that stuff paperclipped together ready to go well in advance.  If anything they should have been looking for it while waiting in line.  It was comical and frustrating at the same time.

It's like the people who are waiting in line at a fast food place and only start looking at the menu once they reach the cashier. Why are people like this?

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2 hours ago, Lexster said:

I do think it would be nice that if RC is going to enforce times from now on, that they have an indoor waiting area at least, but I still would prefer it this way. If you get there early, then...yeah, waiting is the next step and I'm okay with that. I would expect to wait if it were me. If you get there late, then I think there should be some sort of "late arrival" line where you can sort of get priority through the boarding process.

No, I didn't say that I expect anything!  I presented a scenario and opinion.  I also said that I don't care either way.  

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10 minutes ago, 1st Mate said:

No, I didn't say that I expect anything!  I presented a scenario and opinion.  I also said that I don't care either way.  

Lester said:

I know you didn't. I'm giving my opinion in return 🙂

You're right, I read into something, I guess.  I'm usually more careful than that.  Sorry!

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2 hours ago, Lexster said:

I do think it would be nice that if RC is going to enforce times from now on, that they have an indoor waiting area at least, but I still would prefer it this way. If you get there early, then...yeah, waiting is the next step and I'm okay with that. I would expect to wait if it were me. If you get there late, then I think there should be some sort of "late arrival" line where you can sort of get priority through the boarding process.

I really don't think we are too far off here.  I guess, if stated more precisely, I would have said that, at least for me, the cruise experience starts off when you/I enter the terminal.  So, yes, I think a waiting room for those that arrive early or if things are running late would be a step in the right direction.   

 

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I would prefer that they keep the assigned boarding times. I've cruised three times out of NJ since restart, they're not very organized there. Seems like it's always been a very long line and unless you mill around at the front you can't tell when they call for each boarding time. My last cruise we went out of Ft Lauderdale, first time I flew for a cruise. I can feel for @1st Mate we came in the night before and signed up for the airport shuttle. We had an 11am boarding time. Two choices for the shuttle 9:45 or 11:30. Took the 9:45 shuttle got to the terminal at about 10:15. There was already  a huge line even though they hadn't even started boarding. The terminal folks were doing a great job of moving people around to get them lined up by boarding times and I was happy to see that even at the last point to enter they checked the sail pass for boarding times. They kept telling people this is 11-11:30 not 1:30 and moved them out of line. I'm a master at picking the shortest line that takes the longest 🙂 So amazing how many people are completely unprepared to board. It just makes that first drink that much nicer.

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22 hours ago, Lexster said:

I hope it stays this way. I never experienced the previous way, but I like having a time I know to be there and not having to arrive to see a sea of people ahead of me. Shorter, more manageable lines, seems to make way more sense. If someone wants an earlier check-in, then they can check-in early like I did.

When we sailed out of our local port in 2017 for 2 different cruises we were in the line for at least an hour. I'm VERY pleased with the assigned times so we hopefully won't be in a crowded small terminal for a lengthy time.

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