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Old 08-05-2006, 07:30 PM
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We booked our cruise, but forgot to ask so many questions, could someone please help?

1. We are flying to Miami, FL and spending the night in a hotel. When does the shuttle arrive at our hotel the next day to take us to the ship? Can we specify a time, or is it up to them?

2. Our ship: Freedom of the Seas sails at 5:00 PM. I would like to be among the first ones going on the ship. Could we board earlier than the recommended time stated? What time could we try to board to be early?

3. Would it be better to pay for our own transportation and get there earlier instead of waiting on the shuttle from the hotel?

Thank you,

Linda
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Old 08-05-2006, 09:03 PM
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Hi Linda,
I'll try to answer your questions from what my experiences have been. First of all, the shuttle services are private companies. You will be able to arrange a shuttle pick-up from your hotel desk for whatever time you want. You should be able to board the Freedom around noon. If your hotel offers a free shuttle to the port I would take advantage of it. Your cruise is more then a year away and things could change before then. You are wise to fly in the day before your cruise. Hope this helps a little.

Sonny
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Old 08-06-2006, 08:27 AM
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Linda,

On the maiden voyage of Freedom we arrived at the pier a little past 11am and were aboard the ship by 11:30am. However, they are quite adamant about no one being allowed to go to their cabin until 1pm. This is enforced. But you can go everywhere else, schlepping your carry-on bags along with you. Most head to the Windjammer for lunch and to make reservations for Chop's and Portofino's.

Regarding the shuttle - I get the impression from your note that you are saying this is a shuttle provided by Royal Caribbean. Did you book the hotel through RCCL? Or was the shuttle arranged by your agent?

I always prefer going with a cab or limo. You won't be arriving with a bunch of other people which can clog things up. It is well worth the cab fare (of limo fee).
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:45 AM
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Thank you Sonny, it does help a lot!

Dave,
We booked the cruise with a travel agent. We are inexperienced, so instead of getting our own airplane tickes and hotel, we done it all with Royal Caribbean, but the travel agent set it all up.

That is great to hear we could get on the ship that early. The agent didn't tell us any specifics like meeting the shuttle to get to the ship. I just hope we will receive something in the mail telling us all we need to know? Also I wondered if we get our Sea Pass in the mail or after we get on the ship?

The agent didn't mention anything about our seating in the main dining room either. My parents will be going on this cruise along with my husband and little boy, so there will be 5 of us. I would like for us all to be able to sit at the same table. Is it too late to set up the seating arrangements?

Thank you so much! All of you experienced & master cruisers are such a blessing for us confused people.
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by wesnlin:


The agent didn't tell us any specifics like meeting the shuttle to get to the ship. I just hope we will receive something in the mail telling us all we need to know?

Also I wondered if we get our Sea Pass in the mail or after we get on the ship?

The agent didn't mention anything about our seating in the main dining room either. My parents will be going on this cruise along with my husband and little boy, so there will be 5 of us. I would like for us all to be able to sit at the same table. Is it too late to set up the seating arrangements?
You need to call your agent and get answers to these questions. A competent agent would cross-reference bookings so that you'd all be seated at the same table. RCCL doesn't make table assignments until the cruise time gets closer. You really won't know until you check-in at the pier. As a last resort, if the table assignments are wrong (your table number will be listed on your Sea Pass card) you can go to the dining room and they will have someone adjusting table assignments. This happens every cruise. They will be able to fix it.

You do not get your Sea Pass until you check-in at the pier. You do need to complete the check-in process on line at the RCCL website. Then you can print out a Set Sail sheet which will expedite the check-in process. All you will have to do is give them the Set Sail sheet you printed, your credit card, and your passports. They will verify everything and issue your Sea Pass cards. It only takes a minute.
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Old 08-07-2006, 07:40 AM
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Wesnlin, My wife is a travel agent and usually she will get to the specifics when she gets all your paperwork in. I know my wife will call her cruisers in and go over all the paperwork and things about the ship that you need to know. My wife is one of those "****" people and she likes to be well informed about things for her customers. So hopefully your agent is the same way. I am sure if you call they would be happy to answer any questions they can at the moment. And I am on the Freedom in September and I know we are leaving SFO Sat. AM and arriving in Miami Sat. around 3pm. So we will have a half day in Miami and then be ready for the ship bright and early Sunday AM!!
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:58 PM
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we cruised on the Freedom in july. We too stayed the night before in a hotel. We arrived at the port at 11:00 and had boarded by 11:30! (We walked by many signs that stated boarding began at 2:30-no one seemed to care)
Also there was a long line to get off the ship at the end of the cruise. Someone asked if any were US citizens and we went forward to the next agent so you might want to check that out at the end to see if there is a seperate line for US citizens..
Have a great cruise. We miss the ship so much!
Lisa
 
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