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alexandra cruiser

important reminder about departure off ships seen today

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Just got off the Explorer this am and was reminded that 8 am is just an APPROX time for departure..

We had first departure times marked,,but waited until after 8 and still no news  on intercom.

Went down to see massive line near door at 8 15 and still no news.

Finally at 8 20 they said ,,,a delay and another 10 mins.or so.

Waited till after 8 30 before ,,,or later,,before first group allowed off.Took 20more min to do this,,then terminal was changed and had to take shuttle to find car in first terminal area.

Little help or info was given as to where to pick this up,,,so dragged luggage a good distance to find it. Needless to say it was well after 9 15 before we were able to leave terminal.

Feel more info should have been given earlier,,,many unhappy people in line and few saying that this was first and last time with this  ship.

Know delays happen,,but Regent should have been prepared to let cruisers know EARLY of this to prevent anger and confusion.

I have been on 20 or more cruises,,with many cruiselines,,and this was one of the worst departures due to above.

Sure many must have missed their flights,,,now they know why 12 noon is earliest to book flight home.

 

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Not sure of the circumstances today, but when we arrived in miami a couple of weeks ago,  its seems they had issues with the union unloading the bags, thus we were 30 minutes late in starting the disembarking. Once that was done, then it seems Border Security were either working to rule, or on some sort of strike, as there was only two agents, thus once you got off the ship, there was another 30 minute wait to get through customs. 

I believe its been said before, but its simply not worth booking a flight before 1 pm as things happen and its not really the cruise lines fault. 

  It's not like Regent wants departing passengers to be delayed on their way out, the quicker they gert everyone off the happier they are. 

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15 minutes ago, ronrick1943 said:

Which is why we never fly out until afternoon at any port.

This is the correct answer.

 

There always seems to be a reason that having been told what time we need to vacate our cabin, and exactly when we will disembark, we need to sit in the Constellation Theater for an excessive amount of time, being exposed for one last time to those who can't control their coughing, before we leave for our long trip home.

 

Even when we had a 3 night post cruise excursion, and could see our bus outside before our disembarkation time, we still needed to sit in the Constellation Theater for an extended period of time. When they finally called our number, we found that many, many others were already in line at the gangway, and that the disabled were told to go ahead so they can take their time getting to the buses, blocking everyone else. 

We are questioning whether we want to take another Regent Cruise because of the whole Constellation Theater experience. We never leave for an excursion on time, and it's normally at least 45 minutes or more between the time we're told to be there, and the time our number is called. Then we have to compete for seats in a bus with limited leg room, and we can't sit near the front because it's all reserved for limited mobility who will take forever to get off the bus at each stop. And the excursions always ended later than listed, most often causing everyone to miss lunch onboard, and often causing people to miss other scheduled events. The tour guides were reluctant to get us back on schedule, since we hadn't been allowed to board the bus ontime. A few tour guides asked if we wanted to cut short "free time" for shopping and dining, and the answer was always "yes".

The excursions on Regent are definitely not a luxury experience, and it's been no different for us on paid excursions than on included excursions. The only excursion we really enjoyed on our last cruise was a a Regent overnight excursion. We were told that our "One Night in Bangkok" was cancelled because no one else signed up for it, and if we still wanted to do it, we would need to pay much more. When we checked into the hotel, we met 2 other couples who were told the same thing. For this private excursion, we were told to go to the Constellation Theater, but we just disembarked, and found our driver and tour guide waiting for us with a sign with our name on it. That was a luxury experience, but with the cost of a Regent Cruise, we should not have to pay 1500 dollars extra for it.

 

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Caribbean tours are usually pretty lame, unless you like zip lining or swimming with dolphins where you can take pictures for $40 a crack. Maybe in Europe or Asia there is real value in Regent free tours, but all included can’t be a bad thing. On one of our stops in Central America, I paid a cab outside the port gate  $40 for a couple hour tour of the port city, where I met his x wife, his kids, his mom, all the neighbours, but actually got a great tour of the local port city, probably the best way to explore. 
  I went on three free excursions on the last cruise, let’s just say they weren’t great , too much chocolate and tequila selling and not much of real tours.  It almost seemed like the local merchants paid Regent for the tour vs the other way around. 
   It’s one thing to end up in a carpet factory in Turkey at the end of a tour, but this seems a bit too much. 
 

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Certainly there have been some tours that didn’t meet expectations but, for the most part, the tours we have taken have been great with some that were absolutely outstanding.   Even with some questionable busses in India, we had a fabulous time and the bus just added color to the retelling.   Some standouts were the tea plantation in Sri Lanka, the tour of Jane sites in India, elephanta Island (Mumbai),  the Cham ruins in Vietnam, snorkeling in Oman, Petra, Luxor, Komodo....I could go on and on.  I realize that some tours can go off the rails, but I look at them as a way to see the sites and decide whether I want to return for a more in depth look in the future. 

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7 hours ago, alexandra cruiser said:

Know delays happen,,but Regent should have been prepared to let cruisers know EARLY of this to prevent anger and confusion

 

Seems like this was a set of delays beyond the control of Regent.  At just what EARLY time should Regent tell guests about a problem that hasn't even happened yet?

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I was simply saying that as SOON as delay was known,,,let passengers know.. Like when stated time known to be delayed..Say,,,if set at 8am,,,a simple announcement of KNOWN delay be broadcast. 

 

As far as shore escursions,,when ship KNEW about change of scedule,,they let us know and then we were able to choose new exc.  on new island. Bad weather was handled well,,,captain let us know and how they were dealing with it for our safety.

 

Re.Caribbean cruises per se,,,have been on 3 prior and take them just as a get away without needing to fly,,,since we live in FL and drive down.All islands starting to look similar,,but still enjoy the break and cruise .We like to cruise every 6 mos.and this is just a convenient one close by. 

 

In general,,,Regent still my favorite cruiseline,,,,after Oceania got rid of all tubs,,,had to rely on other lines.Booked another Seabourn also. I always am very thankful of how very lucky we are to be able to cruise in first place. Many of my friends are not,,,for many reasons.

Also,,re the new lighting on stairs in theater,,,that did help a little. Still prefer a slope down to stage,,,as still hard for those with canes and walkers.Which we had MANY on this one. 

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Really, SWFLAOK, you would forego another Regent cruise because you don't like waiting in the Constellation Theatre? A bit harsh, dontyathink?

I was on the cruise/disembark with Westmount having breakfast in Compass Rose at 8:15 when CD Lorraine came on the PA system to announce the luggage union delay because of offloading luggage, so there was notification. And the two (only) immigration agents could have been because of other ships disembarking. I was held up in October in Miami because of a big Norwegian ship disembarking the same time as my Regent Mariner. Soo, when you're in Miami's huge cruise port, delays are inevitable and expected, though not desirable.

As for Regent excursions, I AGAIN expressed on the survey my dissatisfaction with "Included" tours. Reduce my cruise fare and let me choose and pay for the ones  I want!

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Delays for disembarking are usually caused by Port of Miami, not Regent. Happens all the time for many reasons. We too, sail in and out of Miami because we live there and we do not have to fly. 
- most times there are announcements regarding delays. 
- book flights after noon. 
sheila

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22 hours ago, alexandra cruiser said:

Just got off the Explorer this am and was reminded that 8 am is just an APPROX time for departure..

We had first departure times marked,,but waited until after 8 and still no news  on intercom.

Went down to see massive line near door at 8 15 and still no news.

Finally at 8 20 they said ,,,a delay and another 10 mins.or so.

Waited till after 8 30 before ,,,or later,,before first group allowed off.Took 20more min to do this,,then terminal was changed and had to take shuttle to find car in first terminal area.

Little help or info was given as to where to pick this up,,,so dragged luggage a good distance to find it. Needless to say it was well after 9 15 before we were able to leave terminal.

Feel more info should have been given earlier,,,many unhappy people in line and few saying that this was first and last time with this  ship.

Know delays happen,,but Regent should have been prepared to let cruisers know EARLY of this to prevent anger and confusion.

I have been on 20 or more cruises,,with many cruiselines,,and this was one of the worst departures due to above.

Sure many must have missed their flights,,,now they know why 12 noon is earliest to book flight home.

 

Just curious....What was the arrival time per your itinerary?  Was it 8:00 am?  I'll be on the Explorer scheduled to arrive in Miami at 7:00 am on 3/2/2020 on the last day of the cruise.  How long does it "usually" take to actually disembark the ship if the arrival time is accurate?  We have a flight scheduled at 11:41 am out of Miami on disembarkation day.  It's making me a little nervous and I'm seriously considering paying the penalty to change it to 1:48 pm instead.  I felt our 11:41 flight time was within the Regent suggested 4 hour guideline for flights but after reading these posts I'm not so sure we'll make our flight home.   I'd appreciate any advise anyone can offer.

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Hi Ibastida (Linda),

So grateful for your question, since we also have a 12 noon flight out of Miami on debarkation day.  I wonder if we can debark the earliest if we give notice to guest services.  If not, another alternative (maybe not possible for you both) is to debark independently; that is, carrying our own luggage... I have no idea if this is feasible in a port with a long stretch to the terminal.  Like you, I will certainly appreciate input from experienced Regent cruisers. 

See you soon, Virginia

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22 minutes ago, Camillus112 said:

Hi Ibastida (Linda),

So grateful for your question, since we also have a 12 noon flight out of Miami on debarkation day.  I wonder if we can debark the earliest if we give notice to guest services.  If not, another alternative (maybe not possible for you both) is to debark independently; that is, carrying our own luggage... I have no idea if this is feasible in a port with a long stretch to the terminal.  Like you, I will certainly appreciate input from experienced Regent cruisers. 

See you soon, Virginia

I believe Miami does not allow getting off ship even if carrying your own luggage until the union has removed all luggage.  So, carrying own luggage doesn’t really accomplish anything. 

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Thanks for the heads-up, rcandck, one alternative down.  Hopefully all will be well.

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9 hours ago, Mahogany said:

Really, SWFLAOK, you would forego another Regent cruise because you don't like waiting in the Constellation Theatre? A bit harsh, dontyathink?

I was on the cruise/disembark with Westmount having breakfast in Compass Rose at 8:15 when CD Lorraine came on the PA system to announce the luggage union delay because of offloading luggage, so there was notification. And the two (only) immigration agents could have been because of other ships disembarking. I was held up in October in Miami because of a big Norwegian ship disembarking the same time as my Regent Mariner. Soo, when you're in Miami's huge cruise port, delays are inevitable and expected, though not desirable.

As for Regent excursions, I AGAIN expressed on the survey my dissatisfaction with "Included" tours. Reduce my cruise fare and let me choose and pay for the ones  I want!

When we paid 60K for a back to back cruise in a Penthouse Suite, it's not harsh at all to consider foregoing another Regent cruise because we have to wait an excessive amount of time in the Constellation Theater at every port.

In Sydney, no shipwide PA announcements were allowed, according to our CD Margaret, so they were only broadcast in the Constellation Theater. There was no where else that they were broadcast so your choice was to ignore your instructions from Regent, or sit in the Theater until the announcement was made.

We already had another Regent cruise booked in 2021 before we took this cruise. If we decide not to cancel it, we won't be waiting for any announcements from destination services in the CT. We'll turn in our tickets for a bus number and be on our way. Or maybe we'll just head to the bus area with our tickets, and pick a bus that matches where we're going as we saw numerous others do on our recent cruise.

And why is it acceptable that a large Norwegian Cruise ship should be an excuse for your Regent Cruise ship to be delayed. Who paid more, and why did they disembark at the same time, or prior to you?  Big ships that cost less seem to get the best spots to dock and have preference for embarking and disembarking.This was definitely the case in Sydney where all of the big ships, mostly on 3 day cruises, docked at The Rocks, while we disembarked 40 minutes out of town in a cargo port. Maybe we should be on those cheap cruises if we really feel the need to cruise, or we should stop cruising and go back to traveling on our own. We're definitely leaning toward the latter.

Edited by SWFLAOK

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One other thing to consider, if you have many ships in the port of Miami unloading at the same time--you need to think about the back up in Security at the airport. 

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1 hour ago, SWFLAOK said:

And why is it acceptable that a large Norwegian Cruise ship should be an excuse for your Regent Cruise ship to be delayed. Who paid more, and why did they disembark at the same time, or prior to you?  Big ships that cost less seem to get the best spots to dock and have preference for embarking and disembarking.

 

In Miami, NCL has their own dedicated facilities.  CBP staffs people for the "regular" schedule of 7 day loops, and then fills in with extra staff for those ships that are not on a weekly schedule.

 

As for the "cost less"....I would wager that NCL pays far more than Regent for their docking privileges.  It's not about the cost to the passenger - except when you want to think that way.

 

1 hour ago, SWFLAOK said:

This was definitely the case in Sydney where all of the big ships, mostly on 3 day cruises, docked at The Rocks, while we disembarked 40 minutes out of town in a cargo port. Maybe we should be on those cheap cruises if we really feel the need to cruise, or we should stop cruising and go back to traveling on our own. We're definitely leaning toward the latter.

 

Many large ships can't sail under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and thus can only use The Rocks.

 

I guess all of the port authorities should change their procedures so that YOUR cruise isn't affected in ANY possible negative way.

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I really do not understand the issues here. It is very clear that the earliest possible flights are after 12noon, depending on where the port and the airport are located. Why ruin the end of the holiday from a quality cruise like Regent, costing you thousands to save a little on an earlier flight . This would just make the last day crazy and take away the positives of the cruise. Miami seems to be different , will a much more unionized port and rules on luggage handling different to most ports. It is the only place you need to tip the porters, to a European an outrageous concept, you would not even think about here.

Equally we have found the theatre meeting for excursions no issue at all, far better than the queues for tenders on other ships, or meeting up on the pier. The only issue we have is when people do not listen to instructions or do their own thing and jam up the process, destination services do a great job. Most of the issues are around fickle passengers or those who do not follow the rules.

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13 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

This was definitely the case in Sydney where all of the big ships, mostly on 3 day cruises, docked at The Rocks, while we disembarked 40 minutes out of town in a cargo port.

 

Large ships don't fit under the bridge, that's why they get the prime spot. The terminal at Sydney's Rocks is  too small for the number of passengers on large ships. When they built it, they did not anticipate the increase in the cruise business. We embarked there many years ago and had to wait in line outside for a ~ 2000 passengers Princess ship. Maybe they have made improvements in the meantime,  but there is not much space around it.

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I really do love this forum - we can complain about anything - maybe I can supplement retirement as a guest lecturer on board  - I can work on a few themes - "How to control your coughing in 7 easy steps" - maybe a second part with a practical on "Sprinting off the bus for the mobility impaired" and then of course the follow up  - "Tolerance - what is it good for? (absolutely nothing... say it again!)"

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On 1/19/2020 at 2:48 PM, lbastida01 said:

Just curious....What was the arrival time per your itinerary?  Was it 8:00 am?  I'll be on the Explorer scheduled to arrive in Miami at 7:00 am on 3/2/2020 on the last day of the cruise.  How long does it "usually" take to actually disembark the ship if the arrival time is accurate?  We have a flight scheduled at 11:41 am out of Miami on disembarkation day.  It's making me a little nervous and I'm seriously considering paying the penalty to change it to 1:48 pm instead.  I felt our 11:41 flight time was within the Regent suggested 4 hour guideline for flights but after reading these posts I'm not so sure we'll make our flight home.   I'd appreciate any advise anyone can offer.

Our arrival was also for 7am,,,not sure if that flight will be late enough,,since we were one of the first off and got to car at 9 15. Since you would be going farther and need to be at airport 2 hrs.before,,,seems it may be a bit of a rush. I prefer later just so I don t have to worry about ,,,,Will i make it??I would book the later one and be safe and worry free.As many have said,,,why worry about small amt ,,,after paying much more for the cruise.

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8 minutes ago, alexandra cruiser said:

Our arrival was also for 7am,,,not sure if that flight will be late enough,,since we were one of the first off and got to car at 9 15. Since you would be going farther and need to be at airport 2 hrs.before,,,seems it may be a bit of a rush. I prefer later just so I don t have to worry about ,,,,Will i make it??I would book the later one and be safe and worry free.As many have said,,,why worry about small amt ,,,after paying much more for the cruise.

Thank you so much for your reply.  Based on your helpful information, I changed to the later flight.  You are so right about feeling too rushed and/or missing our flight and not being able to get seats on a later flight at the last minute.  That would be a terrible way to end a fabulous cruise vacation.  

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Thanks all for your input.  I was also able to change our flight to leave out of Miami Airport at 1:45pm, rather than at noon.  Since you win some and then lose some, our Charlotte to Syracuse connection was changed to Philadelphia and we will have a higher weather risk for not arriving to Syracuse on debarkation date at all.  Oh well!  Hopefully all will be fine.

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21 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

As for the "cost less"....I would wager that NCL pays far more than Regent for their docking privileges.  It's not about the cost to the passenger - except when you want to think that way.

Since I'm the passenger, that's the only way I'm thinking about it. Is the cost of the cruise worth it to the passengers is what the cruise line determines. And based on my Regent cruise experience, I'm thinking we pay too much for what we get. Maybe you've already figured that out FlyerTalker, and we're making the right decision to look for a cruise elsewhere. It definitely won't be on any ships bigger than Regent's ships, so NCL is definitely not a possibility.

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