We received the same card two weeks ago and we got to the pier at 12:00. There were several people there at the same time, and there was no problem boarding. I don't think that it's a problem with security, but that it's taking them longer to have the ship ready between groups.
So is this limited to just the Port of Miami ships? Or maybe just to Freedom? If it is, its most like the passengers to customs agents ratio.
It would be an ugly trend if it started spreading to all ships. I myself don't consider a 7 day cruise a full 7 days now because you are not cruising until 5Pm. So being able to board by noon bought back "cruise time" in my mind.
The person that I spoke to said that it's just taking them longer because of the condition of the rooms once the guests leave. She said that she and her assistant have 15 rooms to keep up with daily. I'm not sure if that's more than before, but it sounds like a lot for just two people. And walking by some of those rooms when the doors are opened, I can easily understand why it would take them longer to clean.
I've seen cabins in those conditions and it really annoys me. Why do some people think they need to trash the place? Do they live like that at home?
We always pick up our stuff before leaving the cabin in the mornings, stow our bathroom stuff, etc. And on debark day about the only thing they have to do in our cabin is change the bedding and clean the bathroom.
I agree with Dave. When I cruise (or any vacation for that matter) I think I am more organized and tidier than when at home.
When you tip the room stewards it's not for cleaning up your mess it's for making sure you have everything you need (towels, pillows etc...). If you do leave a mess at least leave more than the recommended tip.
In September and late October, I cruised out of Port of Miami with Carnival. Both the Valor and the Victory were docked next to Freedom of the Seas.
We had no problem boarding or disembarking on the earlier trip, and we arrived at the dock by 10:30 am because of a rental car return time we had to make. We were on the Valor by 11:45 that time.
I had the same rental car situation before the Victory cruise, and arrived at the dock around 10:45. I was one of the first ones in line inside the terminal, but this time we waited almost 2 hours beore they let us board. While we were standing in line, we could see passengers still disembarking.
And, when we got back to Miami, we were among the first ones off the ship with self-disembarking, but after about 100 of us got off, they stopped everyone. It was almost another hour before they allowed people to resume disembarking. A number of people on my store cruise were in that second group.
What we were told in both instances was that Immigration was the basic cause of the delay. They didn't have enough people working either day. I can tell you that when I disembarked, there were only two agents checking us. The guy in my line didn't even look at my passport. He grabbed the declaration form and told me to have a good day. While I was in line and then later standing and waiting for others in my group, someone made several announcements for the agents to report to their stations asap.
Someone in my group said that a Carnival employee also told them that one of the drug dogs had alerted to something in a piece of luggage in the terminal warehouse, so they had to check that.
I know what we're talking Carnival here, but it is POM, so who knows what is what!!
(Alaska or Europe? That is the question. . .)