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Old 08-02-2013, 09:13 PM   #1
HLAuburn
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When you first board...

I had a couple of questions about the ship when we first board. We signed up for a PAT of 11:00. When can we expect to actually onboard? Does the buffet and pool area tend to get really crowded? What do you do with your carryon bags while you're eating, at the pool etc? We were hoping to bring some drinks, change of clothes etc but I imagine dragging a bunch of bags around could get annoying

We are 3 families (11 people), so I'm trying to avoid complete craziness by planning ahead...Any tips/tricks for boarding would be great! Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:47 PM   #2
acamechis
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All carry on bags must be kept with you at all times. The earlier PAT normally have the first few boarding times. This is the best time to go and enjoy the pool before it gets overly crowded. We normally stay at the pools until our rooms open, then we drop our stuff off take a quick shower and head back up for the sail away party. We also have main seating so this works best for us.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:58 PM   #3
CSHaydt
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Yep gotta keep those bags with you. We just do a backpack and our camera bag as our carry ons... in that we put our son's swim stuff so he can swim for at least a little bit.

As soon as we board we go right up and have lunch before the line gets long; then we hit the pool for a while. Then i go down and see when we can get into our room and i get us situated. My son comes down gets dried off and changed and then we head to the drill and sail away show. Then we explore the ship and get ready for dinner.

If it's your first time on the ship; you might just want to have lunch and then explore; the first time we were on that is what we did. We checked out the kids club, walked around and got familiar with the ship. We found it too rushed with the drill to do too much including the whole swimming thing. Now that we feel more comfortable with the whole thing it's a little different.

Enjoy... it's lots of fun!
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
cpeters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HLAuburn
I had a couple of questions about the ship when we first board. We signed up for a PAT of 11:00. When can we expect to actually onboard? Does the buffet and pool area tend to get really crowded? What do you do with your carryon bags while you're eating, at the pool etc? We were hoping to bring some drinks, change of clothes etc but I imagine dragging a bunch of bags around could get annoying

We are 3 families (11 people), so I'm trying to avoid complete craziness by planning ahead...Any tips/tricks for boarding would be great! Thanks!
As far as when you can expect to board when we have had 11:00-11:30 in the past it was around 12:30 when we got on board, but it varies each time.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
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Port Arrival Time is just that: when you plan to arrive at the port. Lots of people get it confused with a boarding time. While they do coincide, they are not one in the same. The earlier your PAT, the earlier you will board once boarding starts. Even if boarding starts at 11:45, those with disabilities, Concierge, and Platinum Castaway Club members will board first. So, those with group 2 and on, may not board until after 12. Since they stagger boarding, the restaurants (Cabanas and Enchanted Garden) don't' tend to be too crowded. If you are some of the first in there, you will be done before the big crowd hits. You can then move on to the pools if you'd like.

We don't have kids, but we typically will walk around and check things out. We may dip our feet in Satellite Falls for a bit, but we usually will walk around and explore. You do have to carry your bags with you and watch them wherever you go, so remember that when packing. DF (by then he will be DH!) will probably just have his back pack. I may have 2 shoulder bags because even if my bags are misplaced, I will still have my makeup with me!!
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:03 PM   #6
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You can take turns being the "keeper of the carry on bags," aka babysitting the stuff your group carried on.

When just DH and I cruise together, one grabs a table at Cabanas, and parks at it with the luggage, while the other gets a plate of food, then we switch off. When we go to the sit-down restaurant, I feel safe enough leaving the carry-ons long enough to go through the buffet line, tho the cast members eye our cases of Diet Dr. Pepper and jokingly ask us to share.

Yeah, the bag are a hassle, but the alternative is waiting to board til after the rooms are available, usually no later than 1:30 p.m. sometimes 1:15.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:16 AM   #7
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We always choose the earliest arrival time possible. When we board we are usually in group 2 but last year's cruise out of NY we had group 5 . We are a group of 11 also so we usually have a few bags. We head up to Cabanas, grab lunch at a table outside then most of us change into our suits for swimming or Aqua Duck, depending on the ship. After a while, when the rooms are ready we head down, change for the muster drill, head to the SailAway party and then get ready for dinner.
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