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Old 08-12-2009, 08:25 PM   #1
bbaltes
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What time does the terminal open?

We're looking to get an upgrade on Saturday morning, but don't know how early to get there?

The plan is to drop me off early with the bags to wait until it opens while Mom and daughter drop off the car and take the shuttle back.

Is that the smart thing to do? Advice, please....
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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They don't let you start going in until 10 we got there early last time and had to sit in the parking lot for an hour
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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we waited 45 min - not worth it!!!! last time we were told 'none available'. a year ago we were told upgrade was $1600! This was to a CAT 5 from a 12. forget it!!
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:15 AM   #4
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The port area opens to incoming traffic about 10 and the terminal opens officially at 10:30. In reality, it usually opens at 10:15. Of course these dimes assume normal disembarkation from the previous cruise.

On our last cruise they still had upgrades available at 11:30!

In my experience the typical upgrade costs about $50 per "type" of cabin per day of cruise. We paid $411 from an inside to a balcony on a 4 day (upgrade of 2 "types", right at $300 from an inside to a porthole on a 7 day, and $688 from inside to balcony on a 7 day. We turned down $1400 for a 12 to a 4 on a 7 day. They consider a 4 to be a different "type" of cabin (not in my book!)
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:41 AM   #5
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I'd ccall DCL and verify that there are still cabins available. I'm on the Aug 29th Eastern and someone from our roll call contacted DCL and we were told the both our cruise and your cruise were completely sold out. If that is the case, there will be no upgrades available. As stated above, they don't even open up the parking lot until 10AM, so if you get there earlier you won't be able to drop off anyone prior to then.
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:52 AM   #6
bbaltes
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When you all are saying the port does not open to "incoming traffic" until 10am, does that mean if my wife wants to just drop me off (does not park), that the car won't be allowed in the port area until 10? Or that you can't park until 10? Or that it's just closed to car traffic (meaning, I can walk from someplace to that first security checkpoint)?

Just weighing my options.

Even if there are no upgrades, we'll be able to get on board and in the pools quickly.

Ben
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbaltes View Post
When you all are saying the port does not open to "incoming traffic" until 10am, does that mean if my wife wants to just drop me off (does not park), that the car won't be allowed in the port area until 10? Or that you can't park until 10? Or that it's just closed to car traffic (meaning, I can walk from someplace to that first security checkpoint)?

Just weighing my options.

Even if there are no upgrades, we'll be able to get on board and in the pools quickly.

Ben
They don't allow cars to access the drop off area or park at all. You're stopped outside the security shack and won't be allowed out of your car until the terminal has been cleared for incoming passengers. At that point, you'll be able to drive around and be dropped off.
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:04 AM   #8
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Ok, so we can still drive and get there at 9:30 and just wait in our car outside of the shack? Really want to get a chance at the few upgrades that may be available. Appreciate everyone's help!
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:11 AM   #9
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Has anyone taken ground transportation from a local hotel? I'm wondering if they have to wait in line or if they are let right in (after the 10AM opening time).

We are at the Residence Inn and I was going to return the rental car the night before and take the hotel shuttle over.
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sonnyeclipse View Post
Has anyone taken ground transportation from a local hotel? I'm wondering if they have to wait in line or if they are let right in (after the 10AM opening time).

We are at the Residence Inn and I was going to return the rental car the night before and take the hotel shuttle over.
I believe (someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that the hotels don't schedule their first shuttle until 10AM anyway, so they don't have that problem.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jel0511 View Post
I believe (someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that the hotels don't schedule their first shuttle until 10AM anyway, so they don't have that problem.
That has been my experience. We have even taken a taxi over once from a hotel and that was the case as well.
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Old 08-13-2009, 10:54 AM   #12
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As above, the hotel shuttles don't leave the hotels until 10 so that the port is open when they arrive. No waiting in line. The Radisson shuttle does ask that you stand on the sidewalk until you SEE your luggage come off the luggage trailer and the porters take it. Then you can enter the terminal.

If you arrive in a car before the port area opens, you will either be kept waiting in line or directed to a waiting spot.

As to getting an idea of upgrade availability....you can go to Orbitz or another travel site about a week before your cruise (they will come off line 3 days before) and make a "fake" reservation. Put in the lowest category you are interested in, then with a single mouse click you can go up by category and see whether there are any stateroom numbers available for booking. For instance, if you are in a 12, act like you're booking a 9...then click to "upgrade" to 8, 7, etc. If it says gty a week out, there is probably nothing available in that category. If it lists a number, there is likely to be an upgrade available. It isn't a perfect system, but it gives you a good idea.

Even calling DCL isn't perfect--if a family has an emergency and cancels at the last minute, their cabin may be available at the port...even if it is the day of the cruise!
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:56 PM   #13
Macavity
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I really don't remember the exact time we got to the port, but it was incredibly early – there were still people getting off the ship it was that early. I want to say 9:30amish…. We had someone dropping us off, so we just drove right up to the drop off spot.

Even though we were first in line, we were not first in line…. People who were doing back-to-back got to go right back on (they got off, met another family traveling with them for this cruise and both of the families got to go right back on)

But…. One of the cast members did call up to the terminal and we did get to upgrade right there while we were waiting in line – we told the cast member that we would love to take the upgrade they were offering to us – they took all our information –even our passports to take info from them, gave us our passports back – and when we got into the terminal – we were able to go right to the upgrade supervisors desk, not to the normal check in line.

Would that ever happen again? I really don’t know – I do know that what happened was not the way I have ever read about port upgrades happening on any cruise forum website.

So, my advice is – do what you are comfortable with. If you are comfortable knowing you may have to stand right to your luggage at gate for an incredibly long time while someone else stands in what will become the line to go to the terminal - then by all means do it.

Last edited by Macavity; 08-13-2009 at 07:17 PM.
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