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New Checkin Policy

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We received an email this morning from HA stating they have a new check-in policy.  The new policy issues required check-in times by ship level.  I can't say we are thrilled.  Like most seasoned travelers we enjoy arriving early, having lunch, and going for a swim before the crowds arrive. 

 

Any thoughts/suggestions on this new mandate?

 

IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION:
To help facilitate a smooth start to your voyage we have implemented a
progressive cruise check-in schedule. Please arrive at the check-in time listed
below. If you purchased a pre-cruise hotel package from Holland America, your
transfer time will be provided at your hotel. Guests traveling on shared
transport or arriving as a group will be checked in together. Guests should not
arrive prior to the suggested check-in time below.
Boarding will begin at 1:00
PM and all guests must be onboard by 4:00 PM.


1:30 PM - Deck 6, & Deck 10 (Mozart & Panorama)
2:00 PM - Deck 4 & Deck 8 (Beethoven & Navigation)
2:30 PM - Deck 5 & Deck 7 (Gershwin & Schubert)
3:00 PM - Deck 1 & Deck 11 (Main & Sun)


We invite our 4 & 5 Star Mariners and Pinnacle & Neptune Suite guests to arrive
anytime between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.

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Interesting. What is the departure port?

 

We live in Florida and drive to the port for many cruises. The pier crew always seem ready and happy to process arrivals in Ft. Lauderdale from about 10:30 a.m. onward, and we are usually invited to have lunch in the MDR starting at Noon.

 

My theory has always been that they benefit by a smooth flow of independent arrivals as early as feasible, since there will be later buses arriving from the airports with groups that get backed up.

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Our suggested time for our October 20th Cruise from San Diego was 2 p.m.  We checked in at 10:45 a.m., and were on board by 11:30 a.m.

 

I did not save our email, so not sure if they listed different times for different levels,

but we were allowed to board before “our time”. 
 

I would like to think this would be consistent fleetwide, but not sure if this is the case. Good luck & have a great cruise. If you have the time & inclination, please Circle back and let us know what you decided to do. And if you decided to go early, what happened?

Edited by cat shepard

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8 minutes ago, catl331 said:

Note that it said suggested ...

 

Both HAL and Princess and perhaps others are "suggesting" this. My last cruise on HAL in Sept we arrived at port (New York) at 10:30 am and were on board by 11:15am. My last cruise on Princess 2 weeks ago, I had the Princess transfer from LAX, arrived at San Pedro at 10::30 and was onboard at 11:30.

 

I think the only real delayed boardings occur after a transatlantic when the ship and crew are inspected by various US government agencies and no one can board until these formalities are completed.

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I don't see anywhere in the notice saying it is 'suggested'.. Looks more like mandated to me.

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4 minutes ago, KroozNut said:

I don't see anywhere in the notice saying it is 'suggested'.. Looks more like mandated to me.

Guests shouldnot
arrive prior to the suggested check-in time below.

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Whether it is mandated or suggested unless HAL enforces the times it has little impact and makes little difference.  

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Not new. Has been the policy on Koningsdam and N. Statendam since they launched...Koningsdam over 2 years ago.

 

And, as noted, it's a suggestion. Has never been reported as enforced.

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Since we don't know what ship, port, or date is being referenced we also don't know if there is a reason like a TA or Noro for the late embarkation.

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21 minutes ago, ski ww said:

Wonder if they're trying to not use the MDR on embarkation day. 

More money saving tactics?  Wouldn’t surprise me sadly.  

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10 minutes ago, ski ww said:

Wonder if they're trying to not use the MDR on embarkation day. 

 

Simply a customer experience mgmt thing.  Koningsdam / Nieuw Statendam are  ~2650 pax boarding from the same terminals that HAL has used for ships with half their capacity, so some voluntary compliance w/staging makes things a little less chaotic for all.  That said, there is no enforcement, and on our NSDM TA last month, we were on board (and in our room!) at about 11h30 despite being Sun Deck (11) with a requested boarding time of 15h00.    Scott.

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A friend on the Nieuw Amsyerdam reported that on Saturday the checkin started at 10:30 am and boarding at 11:30 AM.  They had gotten the 1 PM and later email a few weeks prior.

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59 minutes ago, richwmn said:

Since we don't know what ship, port, or date ... 

From the deck names we can tell that it's a Pinnacle, and if we surmise that the cruise is before the spring relocations that points to a Port Everglades round trip ...

Edited by catl331

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5 minutes ago, catl331 said:

From the deck names we can tell that it's a Pinnacle, and if we surmise that the cruise is before the spring relocations that points to a Port Everglades round trip ...

Agree about the deck names, but if you really want to make an educated guess the cruise is near the end of December since I believe everyone who has mentioned these emails tend to get them around a month before embarkation.

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1 hour ago, ski ww said:

Wonder if they're trying to not use the MDR on embarkation day. 

 

5 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Just reading these "suggested" time arrivals -- it sounds like HAL wants to close the dining room and force passengers to use the Lido.

 

I wonder the same thing. They already treat it like some kind of state secret. Nobody will tell you if it's open. Unless you already know, you wouldn't go to the MDR.  I would miss that embarkation lunch. It's funny, I usually have lunch in the Lido but on that first day I really enjoy the quiet lunch in the MDR. 

 

The problem with enforcing the times is where in the terminal would they hold all the early passengers? At Port Everglades, all the seating is full by 11:30, maybe earlier. Can you imagine if they made everyone sit there until 1:00 or later? They have to let the early arrivals board or the building would exceed its legal capacity, and passengers would be VERY grumpy! 

 

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder

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2 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

 

I wonder the same thing. They already treat it like some kind of state secret. Nobody will tell you if it's open. Unless you already know, you wouldn't go to the MDR.  I would miss that embarkation lunch. It's funny, I usually have lunch in the Lido but on that first day I really enjoy the quiet lunch in the MDR. 

 

The problem with enforcing the times is where in the terminal would they hold all the early passengers? At Port Everglades, all the seating is full by 11:30, maybe earlier. Can you imagine if they made everyone sit there until 1:00 or later? They have to let the early arrivals board or the building would exceed its legal capacity, and passengers would be VERY grumpy! 

 

Very true, plus what do all the passengers who have to check out of their hotels by 11 am do for 2 plus hours?  Its not easy to "change the program".

 

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18 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

At Port Everglades, all the seating is full by 11:30, maybe earlier. 

And that's why they're trying to spread it out!  Maybe if they went back to the old way of rooms not being ready until 1:00 or so more people would decide to come later. 

Edited by catl331

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Celebrity and RC have tried this too. While I do understand the need to minimize congestion at the port, this new 'staggered' boarding scheme fails to take one important fact into consideration: Most cruisers have flown in a day in advance, and must check out of their hotels by 11:00am -- or noon, at the latest. Where are all of those people, loaded down with their luggage, supposed to go, for those 2-3 hours? Nope -- I'll just continue to show up at the pier, no later than noon, and hope that I at least have a comfortable place to sit and wait until boarding.😏

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41 minutes ago, wwcruisers said:

Where are all of those people, loaded down with their luggage, supposed to go, for those 2-3 hours?

One option would be to take a taxi/Uber to the pier around 10:00, have it wait while you check your bags, and then have it take you down to Las Olas Boulevard for shopping/strolling and lunch.

 

Or take a boat tour around the canals. We enjoyed this one: http://www.carriebcruises.com/ 

 

Or check out of the hotel early, rent a car, and go see some other attraction in the area.

 

Edited by catl331

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2 hours ago, wwcruisers said:

Celebrity and RC have tried this too. While I do understand the need to minimize congestion at the port, this new 'staggered' boarding scheme fails to take one important fact into consideration: Most cruisers have flown in a day in advance, and must check out of their hotels by 11:00am -- or noon, at the latest. Where are all of those people, loaded down with their luggage, supposed to go, for those 2-3 hours? Nope -- I'll just continue to show up at the pier, no later than noon, and hope that I at least have a comfortable place to sit and wait until boarding.😏

 

I think the hotel check-out is driving the early arrival situation more than any other factor. 2-3 hours isn't a lot of time to go any distance for sightseeing. You could have your hotel store your bags after you check out and do something in the area near your hotel, then collect your bags and head to the ship later. But that seems like a lot of coming and going when you could just go to the port and wait there. 

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As I have posted on other threads this week, I will arrive at Port Everglades on Dec 8 at 11:00 and report back here if I indeed can board before my 1:00 time.  Some of my fellow roll call passengers will be joining me on the bench outside the terminal doors at the same time.

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53 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I think the hotel check-out is driving the early arrival situation more than any other factor. 2-3 hours isn't a lot of time to go any distance for sightseeing. You could have your hotel store your bags after you check out and do something in the area near your hotel, then collect your bags and head to the ship later. But that seems like a lot of coming and going when you could just go to the port and wait there. 

 

Or you can wait in your hotel lobby or pool area after check-out and have another coffee, a snack from the restaurant, read a book, etc.  Just because you have to vacate you room does not mean you have to physically leave the property.  And yes, most properties will store your bags if you wish to leave for a bit and come back later to pick them up.  They just need the rooms vacated for turnover more than anything else, and are usually happy to allow guest to use the rest of the common facilities longer if they desire

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