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Old 04-04-2006, 12:29 PM
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A lot of the reviews I have read curse the embarkation process. With two small children in tow, I am looking for any tips on making it go more smoothly.
The only one I have heard so far is to get luggage tags in advance. Our TA has been pretty useless so far, though, so I doubt she could help us with that.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:29 PM
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A lot of the reviews I have read curse the embarkation process. With two small children in tow, I am looking for any tips on making it go more smoothly.
The only one I have heard so far is to get luggage tags in advance. Our TA has been pretty useless so far, though, so I doubt she could help us with that.
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:03 PM
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Luggage tags are included with your cruise documents, which you should receive at least two weeks before your cruise. The cruise line includes them, not your agent. This is unless you booked a "guaranteed" cabin category, which means your cabin may not be assigned until you get to the pier. In this case there will be someone on the pier with your cabin number and they will give you the tags. The porters won't (well, shouldn't) load your baggage without a tag on it. So - don't worry about the tags. You'll get them.

Embarkation isn't really as bad as some make it out to be. A good way to avoid the crowds is to simply not show up at the pier too early. Getting there too early means sitting around while they clear the previous passengers off the ship and then get the ship ready for your cruise. I have done this in order to evaluate things for my cruise reviews, so it was self-inflicted. However, even the worst case for me was around an hour or so of waiting. But this can mean lots of standing in lines that are herded like cattle through chutes.

If you wait and show up a couple hours prior to the stated departure time, you will most likely find no crowds and will be on the ship in mere minutes.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:53 PM
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I completely agree with Dave. You don't want to show up as soon as the doors open. I took a later flight this time- gave me more time in the morning and then walked right up to the counter to embark- all about 15 min process (showed up 2 hours after they started). Last time, waited about 1 hour since I showed up right at 1pm when they started embarkment.
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:25 PM
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I would agree that you will most likely find the shortest lines about 2 hours prior to the departure time.
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:42 AM
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With two small children, make sure they are not hungry/thirsty, do not have to go to the potty, and are not tired. The embarkation process takes less time after the big rush is over (later in the afternoon), however, to get situated in the room will still take a little time and little ones do not like waiting. Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:23 AM
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Ok, this may be a stupid question but I didnt know how to answer hubby. According to Consumer Reports (ok, yea, ok we are CR geeks)you need to know what your pier # is....or your taxi wont know where to go and drop you off..is this true? and if it is, how do I find this information out? I thought if I knew the boat name and cruiseline I was set. Please advise! Pam~
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:24 AM
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For the big ports which have routine cruise ship departures - such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, etc - not knowing the pier number is not a problem. Even though the pier number can usually be found on your cruise docs, just telling the driver "Carnival Triumph (or whatever)" has always been sufficient for us to arrive at the correct pier.

I suppose if a cruise ship was sailing out of a non-routine port for cruises, you might need more details for a cabbie but even then he probably knows where the ship is since either he or other cabs from his company have already been dropping off fares that day.

And finally - many ports will have a listing of ships at the entrance and which pier they are moored to.
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:31 AM
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Thanks Dave,
Could you tell me, does the taxi drop you right at your boat? We are sailing out of Miami next Saturday on the Triumph, but the night before we are staying at a hotel...actually, the hotel has a shuttle to the pier, do they routinely drop you at your boat, or do you walk? Thanks for any info.
P~
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:49 AM
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The taxi will take you right to the terminal where your ship is docked. Miami is a big port with several terminals in a row; you should be able to see the top of the ship above the terminal buildings too, and may be able to see on approach to the port which terminal to go to. Like Dave said, Miami is a fairly "routine" port and taxis shouldn't have a problem getting you to the right building. The only ports I can think of offhand that it might be important to know which pier are NYC, Seattle and Vancouver.
 
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