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Stupid question... but it involves the "All Aboard" vs "Sail Away" time


Z'Loth
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This one has me scratching my head. I'm looking here at my upcoming cruise, and I see that the "Sail Away" time is either 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM local time. However, all the few times I've been on a cruise, they tell us to be back at the ship about 30 minutes prior to the "Sail Away" time. Why not just publish the public "All Aboard" time and be done with it? Yes, even if that means fewer "volunteers" on the "Pier Runner" YouTube channel. 

Celebrity_Cruises_-_Google_Chrome 2021-10-03 09-11-37.png

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I am sure they have a method behind the madness........I don't know what it is but I am guessing they do🙂

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It's like many marketing tactics in many industries.  They want to show the longest time in port.

 

And it's not just the All Aboard vs. Sail Away; it's also the Arrival Time vs. Disembarkment Time - where the difference often depends on the time for port inspections/authorizations.

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1 hour ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

It's like many marketing tactics in many industries.  They want to show the longest time in port.

 

And it's not just the All Aboard vs. Sail Away; it's also the Arrival Time vs. Disembarkment Time - where the difference often depends on the time for port inspections/authorizations.

 

I can understand why they don't want to give the disembarkation time as there can always be paperwork problems with port clearance.  As far as the difference between all aboard and sail away time, it is just another example of cruise company manipulation of the truth to make their cruises appear better than they actually are - in this case the amount of time you have in the port.

 

DON

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I never thought about this until now.  I'm wanting to say I like knowing both the on board by time and sail time.   No hard logic behind it other than I like knowing the planned time to pull away from the dock.  

 

Of course the key info is the "all aboard" or "last tender" time.  

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For me the sail away time is much more important than the all aboard time.

 

The all aboard time is irrelevant for me because we are always back on the ship long before that time. Sail away time is important because then we want to be on deck with a drink or at a table by the window in a restaurant if it's a late departure.

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Z'Loth, your question is not a "stupid one".  You are asking a legitimate question just as many of us do on CC.

 

A scenario:  the "need to be aboard time" is 4:30 P. M.  Sailaway is 5:00 P. M.  Given the number of guests that the ship's computer will report that is aboard, the crew will begin to prepare for sailaway at 5:00 P. M.  It takes some time for all the onshore "stuff" that has been set up to be brought aboard and stored.  During that time, those who were "pushing the all aboard time limit" will have time to get to the ship and board.  It takes time for the gangway to be prepared to be pulled aboard.  A bit more time for the stragglers to make the ship.  Also, on the Bridge during this time period, departure pre-checks are completed.  That takes time.  Once all of that is done, the gangway is hauled aboard while the lines are being loosened and taken in.  If one is not aboard by that point, that is clearly the fault of the guest.  Enjoy the sight of your ship sailing without you.  

 

I think one of the reasons ships want to sail "on time" is because if they overstay in a port, there will be an increase in the dock fees/tug (if needed) fees that they have to pay.  

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The all-aboard time is at the discretion of the Master. It can also vary for the pax and crew. The latest all-aboard time is posted on the gangway board and is what should be complied with. It isn't always 1/2 hr, as I have seen some ports where the Master had 1 hr before, especially tender ports.

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on board time it more a planned time.....

where sail away, can be delayed... by late tour returns, rough weather ( tendering )

medial reasons... etc...  have had plenty of late sail away....

 

It is nice to know time for photos or just watching leave with drink in hand

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3 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

Sail away time is important because then we want to be on deck with a drink or at a table by the window in a restaurant if it's a late departure.

 

11 minutes ago, getting older slowly said:

 

It is nice to know time for photos or just watching leave with drink in hand

 

 

I like the way you guys think!  

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And there may be a need to change the all aboard time due to local conditions that weren't known ahead of time. This probably doesn't happen often, but things to happen and by not publishing the all aboard time beforehand they have the opportunity to change it without a lot of complaints "but you said it was four thirtyyyyy". 

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9 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

And there may be a need to change the all aboard time due to local conditions that weren't known ahead of time.

 

I have been on a couple of cruises at private island ports where, unexpectedly, the ship's whistle starts to sound, repeatedly.  And, the staff/crew start to try to "round up the guests" as quickly as possible.  Some kind of unexpected weather condition was soon to start that required guests tendered ashore needed to be brought back to the ship ASAP!  The same kind of situation can also happen when the ship is at dock and the dock is not well protected from the open sea.   

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13 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I have been on a couple of cruises at private island ports where, unexpectedly, the ship's whistle starts to sound, repeatedly.  And, the staff/crew start to try to "round up the guests" as quickly as possible.  Some kind of unexpected weather condition was soon to start that required guests tendered ashore needed to be brought back to the ship ASAP!  The same kind of situation can also happen when the ship is at dock and the dock is not well protected from the open sea.   

 

And if the change in weather is really serious and occurs really rapidly, the ship will leave immediately and leave passengers behind.  This scenario has happened.

 

DON

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The topic is interesting.  And perhaps the term "Starboard" should be named "Rightboard" because some folks think it is a better option.  My point is that there are some traditions in the cruise/mariner community.  Most folks will tell you that support the idea of "transparency" and that criticize a transparent policy.  Cruise ships do their best to keep to a schedule and that does include a published departure time.   We have cruised on 16 different cruise lines and they have all been consistent in telling passengers the scheduled departure/sailing time.  It is usually in the itinerary, the daily schedule,  and always posted at the exit to the gangplank (or tender).  Along with the sailing time you will usually see an "All Aboard Time" for passengers and many ships will also show the all aboard time for the crew (usually a half hour or an hour prior to the passengers).  

 

The daily schedule will also show the all aboard time, the last tender time (if it is a tender port) and other important port related information such as the name, address and phone number of the Port Agent.  The information is there for anyone that chooses to look.  

 

Some raise the issue of changes and while that does happen (sometimes a big weather change can cause this) it is rare.  In fact, we have been cruising for over 45 years (to hundreds of ports around the world) and have never been on a ship where they moved up the departure time after folks had gone ashore.  We do know of a case where a ship had to depart a port early (because of a sudden storm) and those that missed the departure were met by Port Agent staff who took care of the problem.  But most folks could cruise for a lifetime and never have such an experience.

 

Another question often asked is will a ship wait for late arriving passengers?  And the answer is that it depends!   We have been on quite a few cruises that did delay departure a few minutes (for late arriving passengers).  We have also been on some cruises where the Captain departed on time and left some passengers stranded ashore (it is up to them to catch-up to the ship at a future port).  

 

DW and I are very independent travelers and usually go ashore on our own (sans tours).  We always take some basic precautions including checking the daily schedule, checking the board with departure information that is near the exit off the ship, taking a copy of the information about the Port Agent (who we can call in an emergency).  And these days we will often ask (quietly) at Guest Relations if they have a cell phone number to directly reach the ship (sometimes yes and sometimes no).  Perhaps because we do take those kind of precautions we have never missed a ship's departure (knock on the bulkhead) in over 1000 ports.  We have come very close on two occasions and that is such a rare thing that DW and I clearly remember both of those situations (both our fault).

 

Hank 

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15 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

 

 

Some raise the issue of changes and while that does happen (sometimes a big weather change can cause this) it is rare.  In fact, we have been cruising for over 45 years (to hundreds of ports around the world) and have never been on a ship where they moved up the departure time after folks had gone ashore.  We do know of a case where a ship had to depart a port early (because of a sudden storm) and those that missed the departure were met by Port Agent staff who took care of the problem.  But most folks could cruise for a lifetime and never have such an experience.

 

 

 

Hank 

 

I believe that this was when a HAL ship had to depart the Falklands quickly leaving people on shore.  The islanders put the people up overnight and the ship came back to pick them up.  When we did a tour on the Falklands, our guide said that he put up several of the passengers.

 

DON

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Airlines have boarding times and departure times.  Boarding normally ends 15 minutes prior to departure. If you aren't on board, well you know what happens.  

 

Kind of the same thing in my view.   

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On 10/4/2021 at 5:23 PM, donaldsc said:

 

And if the change in weather is really serious and occurs really rapidly, the ship will leave immediately and leave passengers behind.  This scenario has happened.

 

DON

I was on an NCL ship alongside Front Street in Hamilton, after first stop at St. George, and due to sail across to Dockyard the next morning- when word of a hurricane’s course change caused the ship to sail on very short notice at about 4:00 PM- leaving several lifeboats as tenders, at Hamilton and St. George to pick up stragglers - the last of whom were brought aboard while the ship hung just off St. George (in the lee of the island) at about midnight.  We then dawdled slowly back to New York using up the unscheduled sea day.   I was surprised that all passengers did make it back on board.

 

 

Dockyard the next day

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On 10/5/2021 at 11:22 AM, ldubs said:

Airlines have boarding times and departure times.  Boarding normally ends 15 minutes prior to departure. If you aren't on board, well you know what happens.  

 

Kind of the same thing in my view.   

This is it in a nutshell.  

What is wrong with advising people of two things:  the time they should be back on board and the time the ship will actually get underway?  Does the concept of the existence of two times (for two different events) overload peoples’ comprehension capability?

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37 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

This is it in a nutshell.  

What is wrong with advising people of two things:  the time they should be back on board and the time the ship will actually get underway?  Does the concept of the existence of two times (for two different events) overload peoples’ comprehension capability?

 

I would say that for a significant percentage of the population, the answer is definitely "yes".

 

DON

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16 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

 Does the concept of the existence of two times (for two different events) overload peoples’ comprehension capability?

 

Agree with donaldsc's post.  Reading for details, reading the "fine print",  reading an instruction manual for a new purchase:  these are not things that too many of our fellow men do not do well.  

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17 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Does the concept of the existence of two times (for two different events) overload peoples’ comprehension capability?

 

I earn a living from Internet technical support, specifically online meetings.

 

Enough said. 

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On 10/5/2021 at 11:22 AM, ldubs said:

Airlines have boarding times and departure times.  Boarding normally ends 15 minutes prior to departure. If you aren't on board, well you know what happens.  

 

Kind of the same thing in my view.   

Of course, the main difference is that with a ship, there is no danger of waiting on the tarmac for several hours after the pull-back-from-the-gate departure time.

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