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Forced to get off in Miami


Al Miller
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37 minutes ago, BDunn said:

Interesting topic… made me think.  

Why doesn’t this CBP process (first US port after foreign visit) apply to Puerto Rico or St Thomas stops after visits to St Maarten/St Kitts/Bahamas?  They are after all, US Territories.  #askingforafriend

I do actually remember, many years ago, having to do US immigration on board the ship, prior to being able to get off in St Thomas. It was an Eastern Caribbean itinerary so I'm guessing (too long ago to remember exact details) that we stopped in Saint Martin and/or Nassau and then in St Thomas. I have the vague idea that the ship kept our passports on boarding and that they were returned to us by the US immigration officials.

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2 hours ago, BDunn said:

Interesting topic… made me think.  

Why doesn’t this CBP process (first US port after foreign visit) apply to Puerto Rico or St Thomas stops after visits to St Maarten/St Kitts/Bahamas?  They are after all, US Territories.  #askingforafriend

In 2004 on Voyager out of Miami we made a stop day 2 (Don't remember where) the next day was St Thomas and everyone on board had to present themselves in the main dining room at 6am to be checked by customs before the ship could dock. Took hours and all were asked about place of birth etc.

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3 hours ago, Ampurp85 said:

OP has every right to vent. I would be upset to be forced to put on clothes at 7am, stand in line with others who probably put on clothes but didn't wash their butt, when I had no plans to do that. 

I guess the issue with these threads turning "spicy" is that most people acknowledge the "rant" but provide reasononing. When most people vent they don't want to hear solutions to their vent, just people agreeing. 

When someone posts things in a public forum, they open themselves up to public comments.  Sure, vent away, but be prepared for comments from people who think differently.  If anyone doesn't want to be judged by their words, they should not put them out there for everyone to critique.  This is the internet, not a couple friends having coffee.
 

Quote

 

"Like I didn't hate Miami enough already..." 

"Royal basically said "Screw your vacation, we are going to schedule a worthless port of call in order to ruin half of one of your days with us. You're welcome!"

"This is punishment for booking an 8 day itinerary.

 

Here we go:

We just booked the Feb 4 sailing on Anthem with these ports.  Currently, Miami is before the Bahamas, but if the order gets mixed up and I have to go through Immigration at 730, I won't care because I don't plan on going off the ship in Miami, and I'll be awake long before 7:30 am.  This doesn't make me superior, it just means different things are important to me and I'm an early riser.  I'm simply happy to be able to cruise and extremely pleased to cruise out of a port that doesn't require flying (and all the hassles that go with it).

Now everyone can comment on my words.

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8 hours ago, teddy said:

Here we go:

We just booked the Feb 4 sailing on Anthem with these ports.  Currently, Miami is before the Bahamas, but if the order gets mixed up and I have to go through Immigration at 730, I won't care because I don't plan on going off the ship in Miami, and I'll be awake long before 7:30 am.  This doesn't make me superior, it just means different things are important to me and I'm an early riser.  I'm simply happy to be able to cruise and extremely pleased to cruise out of a port that doesn't require flying (and all the hassles that go with it).

Now everyone can comment on my words.

I suppose here is another way you can look at it.  For those of us who are not early risers, having been a late night shift worker/overnight shift worker for years, being up for 6 am, 7:30 etc does not make for me to be a happy cruiser on vacation.  Thankfully I have the ability to choose how late I can sleep and I have even missed breakfast hours having slept in "too long."   So perhaps a little empathy for people like me would be nice.(and if you don't want to have it, so be it)     It really sucks for me  having to get up to be out of the cabin by 8am on the last day, but that s what I know will happen- I learned that the "hard way"  after my first cruise-and before I knew of boards like this .   It did not stop me from sailing again- I know I will have to make that sacrifice the last day of each cruise.  Haivng read what the OP shared I now know to look for this in the itinerary   I'll be mentally prepared to deal with this.

Now suppose they tell you that customs will be at midnight or 1 am, or 2 am =assuming you are asleep by then and not one of those people who sleeps only 4-5 hours and functions!   I don't imagine you would be too happy. you might even vent about it,  I on the other hand would be very happy because then I can go to bed immediately after. and get my good night's sleep. However, II would not castigate you, or anyone else,  for venting. 

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Unfortunately, I am currently sitting waiting to be let back on the ship. We were given contradicting info. We knew we had to get off, but also told that we could get right back on after we cleared. They scheduled it in increments and the last were for those who would not be going to Miami. If you wanted to go to Miami later, go at your designated time. Everyone had to clear. Well, I did as I was told, was one of the first people off per my time and then told we all had to wait until every single person was cleared. I got up thinking I could get through and come back, have breakfast then maybe head to Miami. So many are sitting pretty upset because they were also told that yes, they would be let back in right after they cleared. I have been here for like two hours. We all know that people linger and last call is not until 10-10:30 and for that section, they say it can take time, so bring meds, a book, whatever because they cannot get back on until all are cleared. I cannot head to Miami as I am not ready or have what I need. At this point, I am not even going. 
     If you are doing this itinerary, you will indeed have to get up and leave the ship. If you are heading into town, be ready to leave at that time, otherwise you are going to wait until every single person is off and cleared. It is pretty full in here, so I can imagine getting back on is going to take time as well.

     This cruise has been issue after issue, right from arrival, parking and finding a family in my cabin. First day was literally spent at Guest Relations until 8:45pm, so a little grumpy. I am sure some are fine with the hours wait and using it productively. 
     
     

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@Xaa, oh gosh! Let me say that I love Royal, I really do, but this cruise has been a comedy of errors, but not so funny. After finding the family in my cabin, I go to Guest Services, they had no clue what to do, I was the one assigned. Since now they just leave your card at the door, they took mine and went in. Guest services kept saying they did not know what to do or how to contact them. Uh, send someone up there, they are there right now! Personally, I think they just went to the wrong cabin. They spoke Chinese, so I could not communicate with them. One spoke English, but was confused and did not know what to do. Pretty sure just at the wrong place. The ship is at capacity, so they could not move me. They waited until after check in and found me a room. I had to go looking for my luggage, did not get my paperwork they leave in the cabin, etc. Finally done at Guest Relations at 8:45pm. 

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36 minutes ago, Adriana said:

     This cruise has been issue after issue, right from arrival, parking and finding a family in my cabin. First day was literally spent at Guest Relations until 8:45pm, so a little grumpy. I am sure some are fine with the hours wait and using it productively.      
     

 

That story about the family in your cabin is so crazy!

You said parking was an issue too?  Are they still having people park in a lot and not in the garage?

 

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12 minutes ago, karl_nj said:

 

That story about the family in your cabin is so crazy!

You said parking was an issue too?  Are they still having people park in a lot and not in the garage?

 

They put the key cards on the door. I'm actually surprised it doesn't happen more often.

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13 minutes ago, wordell1 said:

They put the key cards on the door. I'm actually surprised it doesn't happen more often.

Yeah... but they are in a sealed envelope with your name written on it...

I think the response from the customer "service" desk is the *really* crazy part of the story.

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16 minutes ago, karl_nj said:

Yeah... but they are in a sealed envelope with your name written on it...

I think the response from the customer "service" desk is the *really* crazy part of the story.

I agree. That's nuts. They should have sent someone up there right away to sort it out.

Did you at least get a room of an equivalent or better standard @Adriana?

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14 minutes ago, karl_nj said:

Yeah... but they are in a sealed envelope with your name written on it...

I think the response from the customer "service" desk is the *really* crazy part of the story.

I agree, why wouldn't the send someone to sort it out. As I said above, I expect it happens more than we think. People see what they want and I could see someone getting the wrong floor or number and just walking in. If the are Chinese speakers, the may not be familiar with Arabic letters on the key cards.

 

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It really was crazy! I was thinking the same thing; gee, let me mistakenly go to a nice suite! Yes, they were going to let them stay there, at least it appeared at thus, but I doubt it. Who knows, though. It was a balcony cabin and thankfully they put me in another one. I just am sad that I missed the entire first day, missed sail away, no Diamond welcome (first cruise as one and was so looking forward to it, the little things, you know). 
 

 As for parking, yes, by 11ish, everyone was sent to the overflow lot. The garage was only for handicap, but we were the only ship. 
 

  Still over 600 people on ship and we cannot get back on until they get off and cleared by customs. I have been here waiting for close to three hours. There are hundreds of people waiting to get back ok, so I cannot imagine how long it will be get back on after this. 

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I really do not blame the family who went in, I think they genuinely made a mistake. They were Chinese speakers, so maybe just did not notice my name and that they had the wrong number. I was even grateful for the one person who was trying to be helpful. I just wish it did not cost me a day, my dining reservations at the specialty restaurants I wanted, got yelled at because I was standing too long at the Guest counter, etc. Like I said, I love Royal, but this has been a not so humorous comedy of errors. 

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@GatorCruiser, don’t do it! At least, for me, I will not do this again. For those who for sure want to get up early and be in Miami early, no biggie. Getting through customs was super easy since I followed directions and was out at my assigned time. However, since I was told I could go back and go into Miami later , I did not get really ready, no breakfast, etc and now waiting hours and hours and getting back will be a headache. It is now standing room only, so imagine the fun of getting back on ship. 

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17 minutes ago, Adriana said:

no Diamond welcome (first cruise as one and was so looking forward to it, the little things, you know)

Go to the Diamond lounge and talk to thr concierge or visit the Loyalty Ambassador desk and ask about your Diamond welcome amenity! They should be able to get you what you didn't receive!

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Eek, major walk of shame. Some of the last people who were not getting off are finally walking down and we can all see them through the glass walkway. Most in here began booing them. Poor people. I mean, not cool for doing that, but that had to stink to do that walk. Let’s see if we are back by on by noon. … Yikes, more booing. 

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People are still getting off and people are restless and angry. Everyone wants to get back on board, I hope people are calm when we finally are cleared. It is packed, packed packed. There are only about three staff, people are packing the openings already. I really hope this goes smoothly. Too late for me to go to Miami now, but God willing, this goes well. 

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1 hour ago, Adriana said:

Unfortunately, I am currently sitting waiting to be let back on the ship. We were given contradicting info. We knew we had to get off, but also told that we could get right back on after we cleared. They scheduled it in increments and the last were for those who would not be going to Miami. If you wanted to go to Miami later, go at your designated time. Everyone had to clear. Well, I did as I was told, was one of the first people off per my time and then told we all had to wait until every single person was cleared. I got up thinking I could get through and come back, have breakfast then maybe head to Miami. So many are sitting pretty upset because they were also told that yes, they would be let back in right after they cleared. I have been here for like two hours. We all know that people linger and last call is not until 10-10:30 and for that section, they say it can take time, so bring meds, a book, whatever because they cannot get back on until all are cleared. I cannot head to Miami as I am not ready or have what I need. At this point, I am not even going. 
     If you are doing this itinerary, you will indeed have to get up and leave the ship. If you are heading into town, be ready to leave at that time, otherwise you are going to wait until every single person is off and cleared. It is pretty full in here, so I can imagine getting back on is going to take time as well.

     This cruise has been issue after issue, right from arrival, parking and finding a family in my cabin. First day was literally spent at Guest Relations until 8:45pm, so a little grumpy. I am sure some are fine with the hours wait and using it productively. 
     
     

This is great advice you shared: when you leave the ship, make sure you have everything you need so you can carry on and enjoy your day.  This isn't the itinerary of when I'm sailing however in the event of a change, you should always be prepared.

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I suggest not booking a cruise that stops in Israel then. Whether you are going ashore or not EVERYONE has to disembark, go into the terminal and go through face to face immigration. It took 3 hours for Odyssey to clear immigration a few weeks ago. Tours that were to start at 8:30 didn’t get started until almost noon. But that’s their policy and not much we could do about it. 

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@Carlos A., seriously! That was cray! The best part was Guest Services saying they cannot get in touch with them. They were right in the cabin!! All good, at least it ends as a comical story. One day this cruise will be a funny memory. Not right now as we are still waiting to clear. But one day.  

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Latest update: It is passed noon and they just announced that it will still take time to get back on board. Not everyone is off and the ship is having issues. People are really angry (can’t blame them). I just keep thinking about how we all will get back on peacefully. Some had plans for Miami, but is too late now. 

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These US "zero out the ship" rules are so crazy.  In Europe Royal has cruises where you can embark/disembark at a selection of ports.  On Transatlantic crossings on Cunard's QM2 from NYC to the UK, immigration officers from the UK board the ship with you in New York and you are assigned a (large) timeslot (at a reasonable time of day) to take care of all immigration formalities before you even leave the ship in Southhampton.  There are so many better ways to handle these things.

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21 minutes ago, GatorCruiser said:

what an absolute Sh*t show. surveys should be good reading after this fiasco

I hope people take the time to do the surveys so that it gets further than onboard crew. I wonder what the response rate for the surveys is? I feel like a lot of people probably don't because it comes as you're traveling home and catching up from vacation etc etc.?  I'm usually sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home when I get the survey email and just do it right away....  Anyway, I've been trying to talk myself out of an Anthem cruise in January for the past 24 hours and this is certainly helping!

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I guess I'm happy that my Anthem cruise on Nov.27 is a seven day sailing with no Miami stop. I'll check before booking any future cruises to make sure there's no US ports scheduled after a foreign port.  Unless it's a port I really want to visit of course.  The 7:30 in the morning mandatory port customs visit would be a killer for me.

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