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Jim C. 10-07-2009 07:28 AM

Hey all, just wanted to mention that the self check in kiosks at Carnival's Port of Miami terminal are not up and running yet. They were there, but not in operation. I got there so early that I did not have to wait in a line for an agent so I probably would not have used them anyway, but at least they are working on getting them into use.

I did notice the kiddo play area in the waiting area. It was nice for those with little ones as it kept them busy while we were waiting to board.

penny3333 10-07-2009 12:03 PM

Thank you for the update, Jim. I can't wait to hear about the new terminal in Port Everglades, too.

Jim C. 10-07-2009 12:42 PM

Well the new terminal itself is very nice. There is plenty of space inside to wait instead of having to stand outside. They have it organized very well. Once you enter and get up to the check in area they divide the line into 3 lines by groups of decks so everyone is not standing in one long line. I was not VIP on this cruise so maybe LHP will drop by and give us a review of the VIP lounge...

On the disembarkation end of the trip it was nice also. They have luggage carousels like at the airport which they group by tag numbers so its easy to find your bags. My only complaint is the line line to get through customs. The lines were huge. I'm pretty sure this was due to the long time it took each agent to clear a group and not anything carnival could really resolve.

penny3333 10-07-2009 01:42 PM

Customs/Immigration have always been the hold up, I think. They have a ship dropping off 2-3 thousand people with maybe 4 agents. The numbers have never worked. Then when you have a gung ho agent, it really gets backed up. I would wager that 90% of the cruise passengers honestly list what they purchased. I love watching them wave through the porters with tons of luggage and one claim slip. They never look at anything. Then they'll stop a couple that has 1 shopping bag and 1 box of alcohol. I guess I'm profiling, but it doesn't make sense to me.

Dwayne 10-07-2009 06:21 PM

Thanks Jim for the update. Customs busted me once for having a piece of coral (found on the beach) and a sea shell once in my back pack. I didn't even know it was illegal.

I sorta wish the Kiosks would have been open so you could have given it a try.


Jim C. 10-08-2009 07:19 AM

Well I bought a wooden carved sea turtle which is also a candy bowl... it was very pretty and we got a great deal on it. The customs agent made me open it up and show it to him so he could verify that it was sealed wood (varnished)... which it was. I had forgotten that they don't allow "raw" wood products in without quarantine... That would have been frustrating...

It then occurred to me that the cruise lines should do a much better job of letting everyone know what is and isn't allow by customs BEFORE the first port of call. I know they discuss it a bit in their port talks but they needs to add that info as a flyer along with the activity papers that first day...

Dwayne 10-09-2009 07:00 PM

I might actually hang on to that sheet of information!

Unlike the countless advertising sheets they include with the Capers.


LHP 10-16-2009 08:19 AM

This was our second experience with the new Miami VIP Lounge and it is VERY nice.

There is plenty to room (two rooms actually) with nice comfy couches to sit on.

Then they come into the lounge and gather everyone to lead you onto the ship (after any weddings) but before the general embarkation.

Debark was fine for us because we did the self assist. The VIP self assist was non-existant on this particular sailing. Had we followed the instructions in the letter...we would have been in the middle of that mess.

But because we know better than to just sit in the cabins to be called...we were fine.

We were some of the first off the ship and there were no lines at Customs.

LHP 10-16-2009 08:21 AM

I would like to add that Miami Airport Security needs to get a CLUE.

We got off the ship quickly because even though our flight did not leave until 12:30pm.....
we are all to familiar with the Miami airport and the ONE (yes, I said ONE) TSA agent clearing everyone before your carry ons get scanned at security.

Jim C. 10-16-2009 09:24 AM

I agree with you on that one LHP. I fly all over the country and the world for that matter. Miami security is indeed one of the worst places for timely movement through security. They have large amounts of people flowing through I grant you, but have you ever been to Vegas? They have even more people going through there and while the lines are long, they move quickly...

And well I can't verify your comment on "sVIP self assist" ince we won't be VIP until our next cruise... I did notice that the customs setup didn't have a way for the porter assisted people to move through quickly. In San Juan, you got your porter, he took your declaration card and you passed quickly through without waiting in line. I almost grabbed a porter when I saw the lines even though we only had one suitcase and a carry on.. but I was glad I didn't when I realized that even those with porters were standing in the same lines...

Don't get me wrong... I'm all for the customs agents being able to do their job, but there has got to be a better way...

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