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VermeulT

new (later) boarding times?

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9 hours ago, Cruisin Kay D said:

Got this email this AM too about boarding the 1/4 Koningsdam!   Its unusually late boarding times.   That day these are there are only 4 ships in port, 3 of which are HAL.  Other 2 are Veendam & Prinsendam.   Could it be because the actual terminal that K'dam will use in Port E is too small for the K'dam crowd getting off & arriving?  (If so, why couldn't they use the large Princess terminal, since there are no Princess ships in port that day?)   Could it be because of 3 HAL ships?    Could it be crew will be too busy taking down Christmas decor to get rooms cleaned or visa-versa?     Could there be some  sort of extra cleaning, inspection or construction that will be necessary that morning?   

Have those notifications in past always included such late arrivals??

Viking Ocean sent out this sort of schedule, but we arrived around 11:30 AM and got on then, but didn't access our cabins for several hours.   Was no big deal as there were lots of nice places to hang around in.

We (group of 7) were looking forward to the leisurely lunch in the MDR.....

 

Christmas decorations will already be down.  (2 years ago on the Eurodam, they were completely down New Year's morning).

It could be because of 3 HAL ships.  They only have so many local staff members.

 

To suggest we start boarding at 1pm is crazy.  As someone else said - hotel check out is usually 11am.  I'm not sitting in the hotel lobby for 3-4 hours.

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25 minutes ago, Pokeymon said:

I'm on the Dec 21 Kdam sailing. Have not received a notice. Has anyone else ?

 

 

25 minutes ago, Pokeymon said:

I'm on the Dec 21 Kdam sailing. Have not received a notice. Has anyone else ?

 

Just got it.:classic_sad:

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On 12/16/2018 at 11:09 PM, Nymich said:

Last month we got there about 1130 for Oosterdam and the waiting area was packed with everyone waiting with a boarding card in hand.  I am sure you will be ok getting there at 10:30 and being able to check in and sit  but if it is like a month ago you will wait to board.  On the other hand that was just one cruise but I got another delayed boarding email for the NS we are booked on.

BTW Detroit Rocks!

 

Pretty much the same deal here today for ns.  Everyone sitting here waiting.  They say they will start at 1pm.  They give a boarding card by group.  

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On 12/17/2018 at 6:41 AM, tinykygal said:

It appears DH and I are on this same cruise.

Neither of us have received an email regarding boarding times.

I assume we will check out of the hotel as usual and shuttle to port.

 

I have learned in our 3 past HAL cruises that boarding is much later than on the many  RCCL cruises we have taken.

We have always been able to enjoy a leisurely lunch.

 

I think it is the nieuw normal.

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28 minutes ago, Nymich said:

Pretty much the same deal here today for ns.  Everyone sitting here waiting.  They say they will start at 1pm.  They give a boarding card by group.  

In your case the wait is likely because of required CDC and CG inspections for the ship's first visit to US. Priority boarding will likely begin when that is over.  On the K-dam in 2016 Priority boarding began around 12:30.

 

Edited by catl331

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On 12/17/2018 at 8:48 PM, VermeulT said:

It could be because of 3 HAL ships.  They only have so many local staff members.

K'dam does the staggered boarding even when it is the only HAL ship in port.

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I am really disappointed to hear about this shift in boarding times. It was so easy to check out of your hotel, taxi to the pier, check-in and board, and then enjoy lunch in the MDR. There was still plenty of time to unpack and explore before the drill. Now I have no idea how we are going to spend 3+ hours, with luggage, after the hotel check out and  pier check in at 3:00. I would imagine the hotels don't want you lingering after check out. Frustrated!

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21 minutes ago, Saphire said:

I am really disappointed to hear about this shift in boarding times. It was so easy to check out of your hotel, taxi to the pier, check-in and board, and then enjoy lunch in the MDR. There was still plenty of time to unpack and explore before the drill. Now I have no idea how we are going to spend 3+ hours, with luggage, after the hotel check out and  pier check in at 3:00. I would imagine the hotels don't want you lingering after check out. Frustrated!

 

Many hotels have a baggage check with the bellman, allowing you to leave your luggage after you check out. Or drop it off at the port earlier (no restrictions there) and then come back later, after sight-seeing until your appointed time. 

 

How convenient is it when all 3000 passengers show up "early"? I assume with the larger ships, this is why they want to regulate traffic flow to make the overall process easier for everyone.

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On 12/17/2018 at 11:49 AM, 1964IceCreamLady said:

 

I have been thinking the same thing.  Our plan was to sleep in, eat simple (read: cheap) breakfast, check out of our AirBnB by noon, leisurely board at 1ish (beating the crush), and eat lunch on board.  Now we have 3:30???  Now I have to buy lunch for my family.  Tack another $100 onto our Visa. 😞

Make the freeloaders pay for themselves!

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5 hours ago, Saphire said:

I am really disappointed to hear about this shift in boarding times. 

 

It is not a shift. They have been doing it for 2 years now...

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Thanks for all the feedback on boarding times, and I really don’t mean to argue but my experience has differed in the last two years. This will be my fourth cruise in that time period, I’ve received that same email for at least two of those cruises, and have been able to board between 11 and 12 every time. Additionally, a friend gave me a massage as a Christmas gift, and HAL scheduled it for 1:15 on Friday, which would be impossible with my boarding time.  I guess we’ll see on Friday! Looking forward to meeting all of you...

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Much like everyone else we have always tried to arrive early and board for lunch. Our last cruise on the Eurodam changed our minds. We absolutely realize now after too many cruises to count that at least 1000 people (us included always) rushing the boarding process severely impacts the the first few days of your cruise. There is no way any crew/cabin attendants can properly take the care necessary to properly clean/disinfect each cabin/public areas between cruises, get the room preferences/drink cards/excursions/pre arrival in cabin orders in place when they literally have a minimum of 2 hours and a max of 3 hours to do so for new guests. 2-3 guys turning around 32 cabins for new guests and luggage leaves only about 5 minute per cabin. IMPOSSIBLE other than quick wipe, luggage sheets on bed and sheet change. Yes some will say "I have never had an issue with early boarding and everything was perfect" We were those folks, until we found others peoples clothes, hair, breakfast goo on tables in the cabin and did the math for turnaround day. Did not blame our attendants for one second, blamed ourselves for needing to be on the ship at 11:45 when in fact as passengers we don't give the hard working crew enough time in between guests to make it as lovely as it can be and should be for us.  

  

I know we are most likely in the minority but we will now gladly arrive later or at our designated time to ensure a spotless ship, cabin and a refreshed organized non-rushed crew to begin our cruise. Let's face it you can't check into a land based hotel on vacation earlier than 3:00pm in any decent hotel!  If you arrive when designated and things aren't up to satisfaction then the complaint dept. should be officially opened.     

 

Edited by Crusinsusan2
Format

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1 hour ago, Crusinsusan2 said:

Much like everyone else we have always tried to arrive early and board for lunch. Our last cruise on the Eurodam changed our minds. We absolutely realize now after too many cruises to count that at least 1000 people (us included always) rushing the boarding process severely impacts the the first few days of your cruise. There is no way any crew/cabin attendants can properly take the care necessary to properly clean/disinfect each cabin/public areas between cruises, get the room preferences/drink cards/excursions/pre arrival in cabin orders in place when they literally have a minimum of 2 hours and a max of 3 hours to do so for new guests. 2-3 guys turning around 32 cabins for new guests and luggage leaves only about 5 minute per cabin. IMPOSSIBLE other than quick wipe, luggage sheets on bed and sheet change. Yes some will say "I have never had an issue with early boarding and everything was perfect" We were those folks, until we found others peoples clothes, hair, breakfast goo on tables in the cabin and did the math for turnaround day. Did not blame our attendants for one second, blamed ourselves for needing to be on the ship at 11:45 when in fact as passengers we don't give the hard working crew enough time in between guests to make it as lovely as it can be and should be for us.  

  

I know we are most likely in the minority but we will now gladly arrive later or at our designated time to ensure a spotless ship, cabin and a refreshed organized non-rushed crew to begin our cruise. Let's face it you can't check into a land based hotel on vacation earlier than 3:00pm in any decent hotel!  If you arrive when designated and things aren't up to satisfaction then the complaint dept. should be officially opened.     

 

 

What you just said, needed to be said. Thanks.

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12 hours ago, Crusinsusan2 said:

Much like everyone else we have always tried to arrive early and board for lunch. Our last cruise on the Eurodam changed our minds. We absolutely realize now after too many cruises to count that at least 1000 people (us included always) rushing the boarding process severely impacts the the first few days of your cruise. There is no way any crew/cabin attendants can properly take the care necessary to properly clean/disinfect each cabin/public areas between cruises, get the room preferences/drink cards/excursions/pre arrival in cabin orders in place when they literally have a minimum of 2 hours and a max of 3 hours to do so for new guests. 2-3 guys turning around 32 cabins for new guests and luggage leaves only about 5 minute per cabin. IMPOSSIBLE other than quick wipe, luggage sheets on bed and sheet change. Yes some will say "I have never had an issue with early boarding and everything was perfect" We were those folks, until we found others peoples clothes, hair, breakfast goo on tables in the cabin and did the math for turnaround day. Did not blame our attendants for one second, blamed ourselves for needing to be on the ship at 11:45 when in fact as passengers we don't give the hard working crew enough time in between guests to make it as lovely as it can be and should be for us.  

  

I know we are most likely in the minority but we will now gladly arrive later or at our designated time to ensure a spotless ship, cabin and a refreshed organized non-rushed crew to begin our cruise. Let's face it you can't check into a land based hotel on vacation earlier than 3:00pm in any decent hotel!  If you arrive when designated and things aren't up to satisfaction then the complaint dept. should be officially opened.     

 

I agree with needing time to clean... but they can let us onboard to lounge in public spaces.  Rooms weren't always ready when we boarded.  I'm fine with that.

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2 hours ago, VermeulT said:

2-3 guys turning around 32 cabins for new guests and luggage leaves only about 5 minute per cabin.

On turn-around day the room stewards have many people who work in other capacities onboard helping them, and we have often had stewards ask if they can start the servicing while we are still sitting in the room waiting for our group color/number to be called, so it's not quite as bad you paint it.  

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I understand it is not realistic to turn around the rooms so quickly, but I would much rather have them revert back to the days of you can board early but not go to your stateroom right away than say you can’t  board at all.  Most people are going to be boarding after checking out of a hotel, and it has alway been check out of the hotel, head to the terminal and board the boat.  It is hugely inconvenient to change the game and now have to check out of the hotel, find somewhere to kill time with a bunch of baggage, and then get on the boat.  I’m not going to be dramatic and say I would no longer cruise as a result of the change, but it does kind of suck.  

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Sorry, but I am going to be the whiney jerk on this one. 

 

So I can't board until 3:30pm. Like someone said before, guess I will have to shell out $$$'s for lunch. I finally get on the ship, and I now have to go to muster. OK, so muster is over and it's 4:30pm-4:45pm. I guess my suitcases will not be available to unpack until way later. Guess that means I will have to eat in the Lido, because I certainly would not want offend someone by wearing shorts in the dining room. Oh wait, they are prohibited. Oh, the food cost savings HAL will have. Guess the dining room will need less staff, because us on deck 1 will be denied the Dining room day one. Hey, why can't those staff help with cleaning rooms. I know, I know, put clothes in my carry-ons. May as well carry my own luggage on so I can have the privilege  of the dining room. Oh, but now they won't need as many porters. 

 

HAL is charging me for day 1, yet I somehow feel my vacation wont start until day 2. I totally agree with 4-5 star Mariners/ suite passengers getting priority boarding, but to make Deck 1 wait until3:30pm is ridiculous. I forgot, I can pay $100 a day and take advantage of Club Orange. Let see, on the 1/3/19 sailing, which is 9 days, that's $900 just to have a meal on day 1. That's more expensive that my fare. 

 

My lowly 3 star status really gets me nothing, and I am loosing a vacation day. Guess I will see how other cruise lines will treat me with my hard earned money.  

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I've got a 3pm boarding time for my upcoming cruise on the Königsdam.  Would I like to be able to board earlier?  Sure.  Is this the end of the world?  No.  Is it more important to me to have a clean room than a few more hours on the ship? Yes, definitely. 

 

My husband and I will probably eat lunch for less than $20 total, and while we won't be fancy, we'll wear clothes that are MDR acceptable.  We may walk our bags on, though.  I don't see much point in checking them if we can go straight to the room, anyway.

 

What *would* be nice is if boarding times were communicated at time of booking. I may have chosen a room on a higher deck if I had known we could board the ship sooner.

 

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2 hours ago, wannagonow123 said:

I guess my suitcases will not be available to unpack until way later. Guess that means I will have to eat in the Lido, because I certainly would not want offend someone by wearing shorts in the dining room. Oh wait, they are prohibited.

The loading of bags is not affected by the staggered boarding, and if you drop your bags off early before you go kill some time they may be in the room before you are. And if you don't get them in time to change you will be allowed into the MDR in shorts.

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I respect the differences of opinion that have been shared here about boarding earlier, and I’m hoping I don’t get flamed for this, but I want to share my experience today boarding the Koningsdam.  For some very personal reasons and despite the email with later boarding times, I chose to arrive at the port at 11 this morning, along with several hundred other early arrivals. I’m fortunate to be 4 star so I moved rather quickly through the checkin process and then waited for a short time in the “holding pen.” As  we walked onto the ship, we were advised that the cabins were not ready yet which no one seemed to complain about. I was on board and in the Neptune Lounge at 11:40, and 10 minutes later it was announced that all cabins were ready. Activities on board seemed to be in full swing, and I never heard any mention of the schedule that had been sent from HAL. Again, this isn’t meant to argue, but to simply share my experience. 

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Still whining. Guess I am being stubborn and thick headed, but Holland appears to be penalizing those of us that are booked on deck one, like steerage class. detroit70 stated activities are in full swing at 11:40am. I cannot partake in any of them, because I am not supposed to board until 3:30pm. Maybe I want to see where things are on the ship. I am not 4 stars, so I don't get to board at my leisure. I  am not getting any kind of rate reduction because I can't participate in lunch or activities.

 

I called Holland today about this, and I was told the changes were made to prevent terminal congestion. My hotel offers a shuttle to the port, but the last one leaves at noon. So now in order to use what I have prepaid, I get the pleasure of sitting in a cruise terminal 2-3 hours fuming. I am in agreement with those saying the boarding procedures should have been communicated when booking. I would have had a choice. 

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 to clarify, Wannagonow123:  most of the several hundred who were at the port at 11 am we’re not 4 star or Neptune’s with priority boarding. They just didn’t have the priority checkin but, as I watched the two line move, I don’t think they waited much longer as we had one person to check us in, and they had several. In other words, from my observation today, had you arrived at the port at 11, you probably could have boarded shortly after me.  I’m sorry. 

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14 minutes ago, wannagonow123 said:

Still whining. Guess I am being stubborn and thick headed, but Holland appears to be penalizing those of us that are booked on deck one, like steerage class. detroit70 stated activities are in full swing at 11:40am. I cannot partake in any of them, because I am not supposed to board until 3:30pm. Maybe I want to see where things are on the ship. I am not 4 stars, so I don't get to board at my leisure. I  am not getting any kind of rate reduction because I can't participate in lunch or activities.

 

I called Holland today about this, and I was told the changes were made to prevent terminal congestion. My hotel offers a shuttle to the port, but the last one leaves at noon. So now in order to use what I have prepaid, I get the pleasure of sitting in a cruise terminal 2-3 hours fuming. I am in agreement with those saying the boarding procedures should have been communicated when booking. I would have had a choice. 

 

You do have one way of looking at it. Wish we could all electronically chip in and provide you that free lunch you will be missing so this does not totally spoil your vacation.  Have two lunches the next day on the house to make up?

 

Just picture  processing 3000 early birds all at once and then be glad they at least worked out someway to smooth it out. Maybe they can come up with a better method if they get enough feedback. Club Orange ($$$) is one option they now offer for the privilege of earlier boarding. As someone else also mentioned, most hotels have 3pm check-in times too. 

 

If it makes you feel any better, four star can be a jammed up mess too. And most 4 star perks get taken away when there are too many of them onboard. We are all pretty much in the same boat. 

 

 

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