No porters in Seattle?

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#1
SF Bay Area
188 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
SailorMarge submitted a long and detailed report of her family's Alaska cruise on the Eurodam. She said that they arrived at the terminal at 11:00 am and there were no porters so they had to wheel their luggage deep into the terminal. Was this because it was too early? If so, what time would porters be available? Asking because I am not able to walk long distances and have requested a wheelchair for embarkation and disembarkation.
Thanks for any information you can provide.
#2
South Carolina
505 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
When I left out of Seattle on 4/19 there were porters available before 11. The taxi left me off on the street right where the porters were collecting the luggage. After I dropped my bag off, I had to walk 100/200 feet further down the block to the terminal entrance. I’m guessing she came from the other side of the terminal entrance and didn’t see the porters, or there’s been a dramatic change - which I doubt.

Also, seems like wheelchairs weren’t available until shortly after you entered the terminal.


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#3
Sunny Sequim, Washington state
6,160 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by kubies
SailorMarge submitted a long and detailed report of her family's Alaska cruise on the Eurodam. She said that they arrived at the terminal at 11:00 am and there were no porters so they had to wheel their luggage deep into the terminal. Was this because it was too early? If so, what time would porters be available? Asking because I am not able to walk long distances and have requested a wheelchair for embarkation and disembarkation.
Thanks for any information you can provide.
Yes, there are porters at the terminal to carry your luggage. Sailor Marge embarked Eurodam on a Saturday, when it is sharing pier 91 with the Ruby Princess. Eurodam carries something like 2,000 passengers, and Ruby Princess 3,600 passengers. That's a lot of passengers all arriving at the same time and needing porters. Based on my experience at Pier 91, get there around 10:30am, or if you can't, then prepare to have to wait for a porter. However, they are there, as my sister has mobility issues and we also depend on using the services of a porter. Good luck to you.

Here is the cruise ship schedule for Seattle this year (2018), so you can see who else is sharing the terminal at Pier 91 with you:

http://online.pubhtml5.com/xflj/jyci/#p=2
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#4
112,944 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
In previous years when we sailed out of Seattle there were porters -- but not a lot of them like in other ports.
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#5
michigan
339 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by ElaineKeagy
When I left out of Seattle on 4/19 there were porters available before 11. The taxi left me off on the street right where the porters were collecting the luggage. After I dropped my bag off, I had to walk 100/200 feet further down the block to the terminal entrance. I’m guessing she came from the other side of the terminal entrance and didn’t see the porters, or there’s been a dramatic change - which I doubt.

Also, seems like wheelchairs weren’t available until shortly after you entered the terminal.


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Pier 91 is not on a street. the drop off area is a large U and it can be a long way from the terminal
#6
michigan
339 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by kubies
SailorMarge submitted a long and detailed report of her family's Alaska cruise on the Eurodam. She said that they arrived at the terminal at 11:00 am and there were no porters so they had to wheel their luggage deep into the terminal. Was this because it was too early? If so, what time would porters be available? Asking because I am not able to walk long distances and have requested a wheelchair for embarkation and disembarkation.
Thanks for any information you can provide.
The porters are hit or miss. There is a handicap parking spot for drop off but often it is full. let your driver know you are handicap it may help.
#7
Centerville, Ohio, USA
9,991 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
After two sailings from Seattle, upon arrival at the terminal, Porters are available. But, one might have to wait for a short while until one appears from helping a previous guest.
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#8
West Texas
5,345 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
We had a porter shortage in Vancouver in May and had to drag our own luggage. They wouldn’t even let us use an empty nearby cart. I must say, I didn’t handle it very well. Vancouver has moved below Galveston on my bad ports list.


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#9
Centerville, Ohio, USA
9,991 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by knittinggirl
We had a porter shortage in Vancouver in May and had to drag our own luggage. They wouldn’t even let us use an empty nearby cart. I must say, I didn’t handle it very well. Vancouver has moved below Galveston on my bad ports list.


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Any reason given as to why a luggage cart that was available could not be used by you?
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#10
Montana
463 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
We sailed out of Seattle a few weeks ago and all the porters seemed to be Princess Porters! We arrived around 10:45. We finally found a HAL porter and he said he had 6 large groups in front of us and as said by others, we needed to wheel our luggage deep into the luggage hall. Worst luggage embarkation of all the worldwide ports we've sailed from.
#11
Eastern Pacific
1,413 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by rkacruiser
Any reason given as to why a luggage cart that was available could not be used by you?
Union rules. No one can use porter carts. HAL shoreside staff are not allowed to use them either, nor touch passengers' luggage, even if attempting to assist a passenger. Also, carts are assigned to porters...if one is borrowed by passengers, it takes it out of service, and mucks up their system.

All of this may sound implausible, but the porters are a well organized (if you catch my meaning), and well paid group.
The terminal is their territory and they run it as such.
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#12
Georgetown, TX
327 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by rkacruiser
After two sailings from Seattle, upon arrival at the terminal, Porters are available. But, one might have to wait for a short while until one appears from helping a previous guest.
I was on Princess last month and there were porters for them and HAL. Just be sure you use the rights ones. If I remember correctly Princess porters wore orange vests and HAL yellow.
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#13
West Texas
5,345 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by rkacruiser
Any reason given as to why a luggage cart that was available could not be used by you?
I think they were holding it for the missing porters. I tried to take one, and she told me not to. I wasn't handling the situation very well. I wondered about the cart, since any porter would probably arrive from the entrance and just bring a cart from there.

I said the porters were going to be out our tip, and the lady said the porters weren't allowed to accept tips. DH grabbed two bags, and I grabbed the wheeled carry-ons, plus my camera bag and medicine bag. I had my thumb splints on, but two months later, my hands still hurt. Thus the need for porters. The lady that told me not to use the cart was one of the helpers with the scarves that they works embarkation.



Embarking the Emerald the next day was also very crazy. Vancouver had one long line for four ships, until we went through US customs. Then they split us into four lines.

Maybe the second weekend of the season. We'd come up from San Diego and stayed on the ship for the 7-Day Alaska. Turn around day was crazy too, since they kept us waiting literally on the gangplank for 30 minutes while they chased something down. Both cruises, we were hours late getting out of Vancouver due to customs delays.
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#14
350 Posts
Joined May 2015
Nothing works perfectly all the time and travel can certainly be frustrating. Coping with a shortage of porters etc, is one of the things that we have to put up with.
sandra
#15
29 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
SailorMarg here, the poster referenced by OP. I’ve cruised many times out of Baltimore, Galveston, and multiple ports in Florida. All these other ports have a strong porter presence with a reliable system of handing over the baggage you’d like to have transferred onto the ship. It is a smooth operation that runs like clockwork. There has never been a “hit or miss” or “nothing is ever perfect” porter absence in any port I’ve sailed from, other than Seattle. We had to wheel our checked luggage, carry on luggage, and shoulder totes a long way deep into the terminal to drop off our checked luggage before retracing our steps back to the front of the terminal to then enter the checking-in area. It certainly sounds like a union issue, or a simple failure of customer service from the Port of Seattle. That so many have found such difficulty with a service that is so routine at all other ports I’ve sailed from speaks to the Port of Seattle, and from what I’ve read here, maybe Vancouver as well, and not cruising in general.
#16
Pompano Beach, FL
651 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by kubies
SailorMarge submitted a long and detailed report of her family's Alaska cruise on the Eurodam. She said that they arrived at the terminal at 11:00 am and there were no porters so they had to wheel their luggage deep into the terminal. Was this because it was too early? If so, what time would porters be available? Asking because I am not able to walk long distances and have requested a wheelchair for embarkation and disembarkation.
Thanks for any information you can provide.
I arrived by taxi at Seattle cruise port 2 weeks ago and got there early around 10 a.m. The porters were waiting for the taxis to assist with luggage. no problem at all.
Maryjo
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#17
West Texas
5,345 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by Boatdrill
Union rules. No one can use porter carts. HAL shoreside staff are not allowed to use them either, nor touch passengers' luggage, even if attempting to assist a passenger. Also, carts are assigned to porters...if one is borrowed by passengers, it takes it out of service, and mucks up their system.

All of this may sound implausible, but the porters are a well organized (if you catch my meaning), and well paid group.
The terminal is their territory and they run it as such.
What if the porters NO SHOW? If they're not there to use them, why are they forbidden? Very stupid.
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Ken and Martha


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#18
West Texas
5,345 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by Boatdrill
Union rules. No one can use porter carts. HAL shoreside staff are not allowed to use them either, nor touch passengers' luggage, even if attempting to assist a passenger. Also, carts are assigned to porters...if one is borrowed by passengers, it takes it out of service, and mucks up their system. All of this may sound implausible, but the porters are a well organized (if you catch my meaning), and well paid group. The terminal is their territory and they run it as such.
What if the porters NO SHOW? If they're not there to use them, why are they forbidden? Very stupid.

They can thank the unions, because their union cost them a $50 tip!
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Ken and Martha


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, 1 Norwegian Fjords, South Pacific/Australia/New Zealand


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#19
Centerville, Ohio, USA
9,991 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by emjayel56
I arrived by taxi at Seattle cruise port 2 weeks ago and got there early around 10 a.m. The porters were waiting for the taxis to assist with luggage. no problem at all.
Maryjo
Whatever the port of embarkation, I always try to time my arrival close to the time of the last departure of previous guests and the arrival of the new ones. Maybe that is the solution to this issue?
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#20
West Texas
5,345 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by rkacruiser
Whatever the port of embarkation, I always try to time my arrival close to the time of the last departure of previous guests and the arrival of the new ones. Maybe that is the solution to this issue?


That’s about what we do too. If the boarding is delayed, at least we get a seat before they run out.


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Ken and Martha


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