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Old 02-16-2013, 02:08 PM   #1
ImNarek
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Disembarkation/Embarkation Day for B2B Cruisers

My husband and I are booked on B2B cruises on the Fantasy this fall to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We've never done B2B cruises; could someone who has please explain (in detail) the disembarkation/embarkation process between the two cruises?

I believe from what I've read in other threads you have to disembark the ship.

How long are you in the terminal? When are you allowed back on the ship?

Do you have to pack up your room and have your bags outside the door the night before the end of your first cruise? Then reclaim them in the luggage area?

Right now we don't know if we are booked in the same cabin for both cruises (one is guaranteed category, the other assigned), but if it turns out that we have to pack up at the end of week 1 regardless, then I'd guess it doesn't really matter.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:24 PM   #2
kcashner
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Having done several, I can tell you that each one was different! ANd they were different from what friends have reported. What is certain is that you will get a letter in your cabin explaining YOUR process in detail.

IF you are keeping the same cabin, you don't pack up at all. If you are changing cabins, you pack up your suitcases and leave them packed in the first cabin on the last morning; the stateroom host will have them moved to the second cabin--no need to take them off the ship or put them out on the last night.

At Port Canaveral, our experience was that we were asked to be off the ship by 9:15. We were NOT escorted off, nor did we meet a CM at GS. We got off the ship with our documents and went thru Customs. We told the agent we were doing a B2B and he pointed us to the stairs that took us right back into the terminal boarding area. At about 9:45, a CM appeared and told us that they weren't quite ready for us yet--it would be a few more minutes till the previous cruise was "closed out" on the computer. At that time, she could check us in for our next cruise. That happened about 10. We did ask about upgrades and there were none available. We reboarded as soon as we had checked in (all finished before any newbies were allowed into the terminal). We had access to all open areas of the ship--pools as soon as they were cleaned (not slides as there were no lifeguards). THere was food in the Cove Cafe and beverages at the beverage station. Lunch was available as soon as boarding started.

On other cruises, there was adult food in the Cove Cafe and food for families in the Promenade Lounge...but when only a couple of families, they note that for this 1 1/2 hour period, kids will be allowed in the Cove Cafe. Obviously, the Promenade Lounge time was on the Magic; not sure if they use the Vista Cafe on the Fantasy for families....as if we don't have enough food already.

We told our stateroom host to not bother with our room since it was such a busy day for him--he did it anyhow.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:15 PM   #3
ImNarek
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This is great information! Thank you! I am soo glad we won't have to wait through the standard embarkation process twice. It's not bad at all once, but could get very old if we had to do it again.

Have you been able to secure last minute room upgrades on the second cruise for other B2B cruises than the one you described? I hadn't even considered that possibility.
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Sept 1998 - Port Orleans/DM Land & Sea
Sept 2000 - Port Orleans/DW Land & Sea
Sept 2003 - 7N DM Eastern Caribbean, AKL
Sept 2005 - 7N DM Western Caribbean
Sept 2006 - 7N Special Western Caribbean & Port Orleans
2011 - Inaugural Alaskan Cruise, Disney Magic
Trips to WDW - too many to count
Feb 2012 - Disney's Aulani resort
Dec 2012 - Grand Family Gathering & 1st trip to our new 'home' resort AKV
May 2013 6N DM Western Caribbean out of Galveston
Sept 2013 B2B Eastern & Western Caribbean, Disney
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:11 PM   #4
clten
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I have done quite a few back to backs in Port Canveral. I have to say the process is not quite as smooth on the new ships as the classics only because of the size of the ship. When we have done them on the classic ships, we are usually off the ship for about 45 minutes. On the new ships, it was a bit longer -- just wanted you to be prepared. You will get a letter telling you the last night what to do. Depending on how many people are doing B2B, you might have to meet somewhere on board and be escorted off. Or they will tell you to be off by XX time. If you are not given a meeting place, Don't rush to be off by the time they give you. We rather sit in the comfortable chairs on board than the hard chairs in the port. You still have to go through customs so be near the last people off so the lines aren't that crazy and you'll be off less time.

In our 5 b2b at Port Canaveral, we have been escorted off on all but one.

Once we checked back in, they had us wait in the concierge area. The last couple of times, we were let back on as new guests were arriving. So we were in the terminal until about 10:45. Time on the ship before other guests were let on was greatly reduced from years ago when we did our first b2b.

As far as other things with a b2b. Sometime during the week (maybe not until the last evening), your head server should ask you if you want to keep the same serving team for the next cruise. Also, your cabin steward should know that you are doing b2b but we always make sure we mention it. (If you keep the same cabin, you can arrange if you want your room made up first or not. If you aren't keeping the same cabin, your steward would be the one helping move your luggage to your new cabin.)

Enjoy your b2b.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:18 PM   #5
ImNarek
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Clten, based on your experiences, would you do another B2B on the newer ships?

My husband and I are huge fans of the classic ships, but I'm a little nervous about the increased size (and crowds) of the newer ships.
__________________
Sept 1998 - Port Orleans/DM Land & Sea
Sept 2000 - Port Orleans/DW Land & Sea
Sept 2003 - 7N DM Eastern Caribbean, AKL
Sept 2005 - 7N DM Western Caribbean
Sept 2006 - 7N Special Western Caribbean & Port Orleans
2011 - Inaugural Alaskan Cruise, Disney Magic
Trips to WDW - too many to count
Feb 2012 - Disney's Aulani resort
Dec 2012 - Grand Family Gathering & 1st trip to our new 'home' resort AKV
May 2013 6N DM Western Caribbean out of Galveston
Sept 2013 B2B Eastern & Western Caribbean, Disney
Fantasy
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:21 PM   #6
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I hardly noticed a difference, but both times we were on newer ships, they were not filled to capacity. The pools were seldom crowded, the shows had empty seats, and port days were a quick walk off and on. I was pleasantly surprised. Time of year traveling will determine how full yours ends up being. You'll love it!
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:35 AM   #7
clten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNarek View Post
Clten, based on your experiences, would you do another B2B on the newer ships?

My husband and I are huge fans of the classic ships, but I'm a little nervous about the increased size (and crowds) of the newer ships.
It's highly unlikely that we will even sail the new ships in the foreseeable future (only because we really didn't enjoy the size of the ships and some of the challenges the size presented). But as far as doing B2B, I don't think the turnover delays would dissuade us from doing it. I just wanted to give a heads up that you don't want to get off too early. The one cruise we were on our own to get off the ship was on the new ships. When we made it into the terminal, we started chatting with one of the other families. It was their first b2b. They were rather upset as they had been sitting in the terminal for almost two hours as they thought they had to leave right after breakfast. They weren't thrilled with the news that it was going to be about another hour (and it was). They wished someone had told them they just needed to be off with the last of the stragglers. So I like to make sure people don't rush when they don't have to.

You might not get as much "alone on the ship" time if things are slow. But you do get some and can pick what's most important to do with an empty ship - pictures with no one in them or swimming in a clean empty goofy pool. It will still be fun.
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