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zanderblue

Immigration at Port Everglades Terminal 25

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We disembarked from Reflection yesterday in Port Everglades at terminal 25. Pretty slow process and took us more than 2 hours from leaving ship to getting outside. 

Passengers were being streamed by nationality with priority given to US passport holders. I guess if that is how the authorities wish to manage these things, then so be it. It is their perogative. 

Not a problem of the cruise lines making, nevertheless, I feel that Celebrity should deal with consequences of this in a better manner. At the very least they need to let folks know what is going on. I heard several folks around me saying that they were less than happy with how they were being treated and would be considering not using the port again.

I can only think there has been a recent change at the port or the terminal. I am a non US passport holder and have been visiting US 2 or 3 times a year for many years and have to say immigration and customs experiences have improved significantly over the years! And my experience yesterday is not representative of how my recent entries have gone. Anyone know what’s happening here?

 

Edited by zanderblue

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So sorry it took so long, but like you stated, it is out of the hands of any cruise line.  I would guess to say the is slows the ship down turning over for the next cruise.

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The old terminal had pretty long lines as well, especially with the large royal caribbean ships. They should stop allowing US passport holders to cut the line. It just slows everyone else down.

 

 

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Last time we used FLL Terminal 25 was in March, 2019. It was a fast process with facial recognition.

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My experience a few weeks ago was completely different, altho I was early, and did self assist walk off. 

They have transitioned to facial recognition in Terminal 25. The line moved right along (at that hour), and all one had to do was pause for a second in front of the camera. 

If recognized (from passport photo, I assume), it flashes OK.  If not, "see agent" flashes. 

Since it  knew me, I just kept walking out to the Uber pickup. Fastest I have ever been through Port  Everglades.

 

I can only assume, that since they planned for this facial recognition to work for most passengers, they cut down on the number of agents and booths - in fact , the old style booths are gone. This certainly would cause the type of holdup you describe. 

 

New procedures always have speed bumps.

Haven't they always had 2 lines, one for US passport holders, and one for others? 

 

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The last time we disembarked at Port Everglades, we used Mobile Passport and sped right through.  Are they replacing that with facial recognition? They did that at Atlanta airport.  I believe most countries have a separate line for their own returning citizens. 

Edited by Lazz58

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We used facial recognition and we passed right through very quickly.  But that perhaps is just for USA passports??  Does anybody know if non-US citizens can use facial recognition in Terminal 25?  We have also used Mobile Passport at other terminals and ports and it is very fast.  As is Global Entry.

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We had the same problem 2 weeks ago after disembarking from the Reflection.  My husband has a US passport and I do not.  He elected to stay in my line as he would have had to wait outside in the heat  for me when he was through.  It took an extra hour until all the US passengers were processed first. The system is ridiculous.  We both have global entry/nexus cards and they have no way to use it to expedite the issue.  

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15 minutes ago, nikel said:

We had the same problem 2 weeks ago after disembarking from the Reflection.  My husband has a US passport and I do not.  He elected to stay in my line as he would have had to wait outside in the heat  for me when he was through.  It took an extra hour until all the US passengers were processed first. The system is ridiculous.  We both have global entry/nexus cards and they have no way to use it to expedite the issue.  

We were there 2 weeks ago on the Silohette and found the Nexus line. No one seemed to know that it existed but we kept asking. same line as use by wheel chairs at the far end

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3 minutes ago, gold1953 said:

We were there 2 weeks ago on the Silohette and found the Nexus line. No one seemed to know that it existed but we kept asking. same line as use by wheel chairs at the far end

 

 

Good to know for next time.  Both security staff I asked said they do not have !! 

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51 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

We used facial recognition and we passed right through very quickly.  But that perhaps is just for USA passports??  Does anybody know if non-US citizens can use facial recognition in Terminal 25?  We have also used Mobile Passport at other terminals and ports and it is very fast.  As is Global Entry.

 

I'm from Mexico and have used facial recognition in FLL and Cape liberty, N.J.

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We cleared at Terminal 25 about a month ago coming off the TA.    We were not in a hurry as we had a later flight and left with the last called group around 9:15.   

 

Immigration and Customs were very quick and we were curbside in less than 10 minutes.   I didn't notice that they were using the facial recognition and we were cleared by a CBI Agent.   The agent was very engaging and signaled me to clear with Iain.   He joked and said while they use to address a gay couple  as friends they consider us family and we should always clear together.

 

Having said that I noticed that there was a rather large line of non-US passport holders clearing.   

 

.   

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From some of the comments it would appear that there are various systems being used. Yesterday they weren’t using facial recognition, all the booths were using finger print scans. From what I could make out, there was no expedited process like GE or mobile passport available. 

It was a pretty frustrating experience all round, especially since it was so slick in the past. 

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On previous cruises we have asked about Global Entry and Mobile Passport.    In most terminal's there is a hidden sign that points to a lane.    When we presented either or GE or MP we were told that they don't have the equipment to use it and just waived us through the lane which is also used for handicapped. 

 

Not sure if that is the case anymore but was told this in Port Liberty, Miami and Port Everglades.

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Facial recognition also for us on 11/22 at Terminal 25. Didn’t even have to show passport to anyone, just looked at the square on a tablet, confirmed as recognized.  First group off after self-assist. Zipped through, fastest ever. 

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Last November we used our Global Entry card and were directed to the front of a line.  There was a line with a sign above it for Global Entry but things were pretty chaotic and we couldn't figure how to get to it or even if it was open.

2 weeks ago they used facial recognition when we disembarked Equinox. There was no staff at the customs desks and one agent for anyone who got a red light. 

I wonder if facial recognition is only available on the Revolutionized ships or Edge which is creating 2 different experiences with disembarkation.

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2 hours ago, nikel said:

 

 

Good to know for next time.  Both security staff I asked said they do not have !! 

I got two no s before I got a yes. Others on our cruise said there was none

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3 hours ago, taosjellybean said:

My guess is if you were clearing the day after Thanksgiving many of the workers were on vacation. Therefore, slow lines. 

 

Mmmm, I suspect you may be right. I had thought this initially, but all but one of the booths were manned. Perhaps they need back office staff to be working for some of the newer technologies??

Reading the other posts, yesterday may not be a typical experience. 

We are back on Edge in 4 months, so can do it all over again 😊

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8 hours ago, zanderblue said:

Passengers were being streamed by nationality with priority given to US passport holders. 

 

This seems to be the process whenever we (US citizens) visit other countries.  I'm surprised that giving US citizens priority isn't the standard process.

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Disembarked Equinox at 8:45 this morning at Pier 25.  When you came down the escalator into the terminal, there was a sign on the left for PASSPORT HOLDERS and a sign on the right that said BIRTH CERTIFICATES.  All passport holders went to the left where you walked up to the facial recognition screens.  They took  your photo, the screen showed a green check mark and they  said you were good to go.  No one looked at our passport and we were on our way.  There were no separate lines for those with foreign passport.  Everyone went to the same lines with screens if  you were a passport holder.

 

We were off the ship, picked up luggage, went through the passport control  and at the curb waiting for my husband to bring the car around within 20 minutes, max!

 

That was our experience this morning! 

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5 hours ago, nikel said:

 

 

Good to know for next time.  Both security staff I asked said they do not have !! 

Always ask for the Global Entry line as they have no idea what Nexus is.  Sometimes we have had to show our card though so not sure if they know or don’t know, but always a faster line.we have been doing this the last 3yrs from Port Everglades the lane is always right down the middle.

Edited by If only

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I was there yesterday as well  and it was a complete fubar for 2 reasons. First of all we had an early flight and had zone 2 to get off the ship pretty early. So zone 1 was called and we made our way down to the gangway where there were hundreds of ppl clogging up everything in site. We were asked not to leave our open seating areas until our zone was called yet we saw zones of about every number standing near the gangway with everyone complaining.  They made several announcements and yet no one listened.

The second problem was the facial recognition went down right out of the the gate in the morning so of course the line never moved until they could figure out what to do. It was chaos that I have never witnessed in 11 cruises. I saw many instances on this 11 day cruise where ppl decided to make their own rules for whatever reason. But when you have 3700 ppl getting ready to disembark in a 2 hr span and there is a great system in place and then half  the passengers decide to get off when they want to this is the result. It was quite frustrating.   

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Ah, ok, a system failure. Good to know that Friday morning experience is not typical. 

Our experience was similar to yours, but we were in group 15 and waited until called and then had to queue for what seemed ages both in line on the ship and then again in the terminal.

We enjoyed our cruise and are now looking forward to next one on Edge.

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