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On completing the online check-in for the Radiance of the Seas transpacific departing Honolulu on 17 September 2018, I noticed that our documentation shows check-in as being between 4.30pm and 8.30pm, I guess due to the 10.00pm sailing.  This seems to be the standard check-in time for everyone joining the ship in Honolulu even though RoS arrives at 6.00am.

As most most hotels require check-out by noon, does anyone know if the terminal will at least be open before 4.30pm so that we can at least do bag drop.  It will also be interesting to see how MDR will operate in-conjunction with this late boarding.  I'm just glad that I didn't select the "first night done right' package.

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I'm guessing here, but if this is a Transpacific sailing then the reason for late boarding is most likely because there is a mandatory Coast Guard inspection of the ship that will take some time. I have read here that those happen for incoming Transatlantic and Transpacific cruises, and I would assume it also applies to the outbound sailings as well since they're checking the ship for contraband and other materials, not just for safety inspections.

If I'm right and the inspection is going on, you will probably be able to drop off your luggage with the porters before 4:30, you just won't be allowed to board earlier than that. The porters will put it in whatever storage area they use until the ship is cleared by the Coast Guard. I'll let others who have more experience with TA / TP sailings confirm, but 99% sure that's what I've read here before.

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I don't think USCG does any enhanced inspection for ships leaving the region - that would be up to the equivalent organization in Australia when she arrives.

It's more likely the local port employees and/or union have made it desirable to handle the boarding process in a single shift.  Otherwise overtime would be involved if they made the terminal available starting at 10am and were still loading luggage close to departure at 10pm.  The workers in the terminal are not usually RCI employees rather they are employed by the local port operator.  Additional labor costs to staff the terminal for an extended boarding window would ultimately be passed onto cruise guests so I'm guessing it's in everyone's best interest to accept guests starting at 4:30pm.

Given the infrequency of this itinerary (once a year) it may be more challenging to find previous cruisers who have experienced boarding for this cruise but ultimately that is who you need to hear from. 

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