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Old 11-09-2012, 08:22 AM   #1
hubbard53
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Logistics of a B2B Cruise?

I am planning next year's vacations and am considering a B2B cruise on the Fantasy taking advantage of the two itineraries, east and west Caribbean.

I was looking at the 14 night Panama Canal cruise but with a couple discounts I have that cannot be used on 14 night cruises, it is more economical to do two 7 night cruises, back to back.

My question is, if doing B2B, do I have to disembark and go through the entire boarding process again or do they have something in place to accommodate this scenario?

Thanks
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:41 AM   #2
kcashner
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We have done multiple B2Bs, and each was different. In addition, ours were different from what friends have told us. Things that matter are which port, how many guests are doing B2Bs, and what DCL/Customs current policy is.

What is consistent: You will get a letter in your room on the last full day with your instructions, and DCL will make it as easy as Customs will allow.

If you are in the same room, you will not need to pack up your stuff--you can leave your cabin as you wish. If you are changing rooms, DO NOT put your luggage out the last night. You just pack everything up and the stateroom hosts take care of moving the luggage for you in the morning.

At Port Canaveral, you do have to get off the ship. We were asked to get off by 9:15. If there is a big group, you'll be asked to meet in one of the nightclubs; when there are only 1 or 2 cabins involved you just get the instruction sheet. You get off, go thru Customs, and literally walk up the stairs to the entry part of the terminal (yes, you can use the elevator if needed). All you need to take with you are your documents. You sit in the terminal for maybe 45 minutes, and as soon as they have "closed out" the previous cruise, you check in again and are allowed to walk onto the ship BEFORE the terminal opens to new guests. You are literally the first people to check in and you do not have to wait for boarding to begin.

When on the ship, there will be one or more locations with food and drinks are available at the beverage station. The pools are open as soon as they are cleaned. The laundry rooms are open. The Aquaduck is not open (no CMs/lifeguards). The shops and most other services are not available. BUT, this is only for an hour or so. As soon as boarding starts, everything is up and running.

If you are staying in the same room, you can run in and out of the room until boarding starts. After that, you are asked to not "cross the tape" so that other people don't wonder why you are allowed to do this while they are not.

This is actually a good time to do laundry with a few warnings--if you put your laundry in, put a post it note or sign on it so the CM who comes in to clean doesn't think it belongs in "Lost and Found." At some point, your old KTTW card will cease to function for both door opening and working the washer/dryer. Just be aware that this will happen and you may need to have the new card to activate the dryer.

Our BEST situation was at Barcelona--all we had to do was go to Guest Services to pick up our new KTTW cards. They were pre-processed, so we didn't even need documents. US Customs doesn't allow that at PC.

OK, stateroom--if keeping the same room, you don't have to get out at any time other than the time you need to get off. We even suggested to our stateroom host that he didn't need to do our room that morning since we knew he was busy (he did it anyhow). If switching rooms, you do need to vacate the room by 8. You do not have to attend your scheduled breakfast, especially if it is crack of dawn--have breakfast at Cabanas OR talk to your head server as to whether you can have a later time.

We were contacted by dining services toward the end of the first leg asking us if we had any requests--same rotation or different, same team or different, did we want Palo or Remy on second leg.

As far as DCL is concerned, your 2 cruises are 2 separate reservations, separate accounts, etc. You will tip the servers at the end of each cruise. You can't intermingle anything with very few exceptions. If you talk to Shutters manager or a shop manager, they have been known to hold a few photos from the first cruise and allow you to add them to the package on the second cruise. In the shop, they have held an item or two tagged with the guest's name and number and allowed it to be paid for on the second leg (this works if you have more OBC on one than the other).

Finally, don't believe everything you'll hear about B2Bs, including the above. DCL changes the policy as needed. Your B2B letter may well not be identical to mine. None of my 3 were exactly the same.

Last edited by kcashner; 11-09-2012 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:15 AM   #3
hubbard53
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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thank you very much. I assumed a lot of that would be the case. The only problem I have with that is the time between itineraries where we wont have access to the room. Traveling with a 3 yr old can be tough but if the pools are open, he should be easily entertained
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:23 AM   #4
kcashner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubbard53 View Post
thank you very much. I assumed a lot of that would be the case. The only problem I have with that is the time between itineraries where we wont have access to the room. Traveling with a 3 yr old can be tough but if the pools are open, he should be easily entertained
If you are staying in the same room, the only time you don't have it is from when you come out till 1:30. For instance, if you are in your room when they start boarding, you are welcome to stay there as long as you'd like....but once we came out, we respected their request that we not cross the barrier....so you could be in the room from 11:15-?, come out and have lunch, and be able to get back into the room at 1:30.

We found that the situation on paper was more cumbersome than in reality--none of the "waits" were long.

Example--off shop 9:15, back on ship before 10:15. Spent a little time doing photos with no people in them, then went up to Cove Cafe area and talked with the other guest doing B2B. We ended up really hitting it off and requested seating together for dinner. Boarding started/everything opened at 11:45--briefly watch the newbies boarding from deck 4 balcony, then went to lunch. Then had room access at 1:30.

With a 3 year old--you will need to re-register for the kid programming although they will make it easy for you. Another example of things not carrying over from one cruise to the next.

Last edited by kcashner; 11-09-2012 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:44 AM   #5
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We are doing a B2B on the Fantasy in about 30 days. I can give you all the details when we get back.

Kevin
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:58 AM   #6
hubbard53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWDAD View Post
We are doing a B2B on the Fantasy in about 30 days. I can give you all the details when we get back.

Kevin
awesome! Look forward to hearing about it!
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:27 AM   #7
Grooovertoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
We have done multiple B2Bs, and each was different. In addition, ours were different from what friends have told us. Things that matter are which port, how many guests are doing B2Bs, and what DCL/Customs current policy is.

What is consistent: You will get a letter in your room on the last full day with your instructions, and DCL will make it as easy as Customs will allow.

If you are in the same room, you will not need to pack up your stuff--you can leave your cabin as you wish. If you are changing rooms, DO NOT put your luggage out the last night. You just pack everything up and the stateroom hosts take care of moving the luggage for you in the morning.

At Port Canaveral, you do have to get off the ship. We were asked to get off by 9:15. If there is a big group, you'll be asked to meet in one of the nightclubs; when there are only 1 or 2 cabins involved you just get the instruction sheet. You get off, go thru Customs, and literally walk up the stairs to the entry part of the terminal (yes, you can use the elevator if needed). All you need to take with you are your documents. You sit in the terminal for maybe 45 minutes, and as soon as they have "closed out" the previous cruise, you check in again and are allowed to walk onto the ship BEFORE the terminal opens to new guests. You are literally the first people to check in and you do not have to wait for boarding to begin.

When on the ship, there will be one or more locations with food and drinks are available at the beverage station. The pools are open as soon as they are cleaned. The laundry rooms are open. The Aquaduck is not open (no CMs/lifeguards). The shops and most other services are not available. BUT, this is only for an hour or so. As soon as boarding starts, everything is up and running.

If you are staying in the same room, you can run in and out of the room until boarding starts. After that, you are asked to not "cross the tape" so that other people don't wonder why you are allowed to do this while they are not.

This is actually a good time to do laundry with a few warnings--if you put your laundry in, put a post it note or sign on it so the CM who comes in to clean doesn't think it belongs in "Lost and Found." At some point, your old KTTW card will cease to function for both door opening and working the washer/dryer. Just be aware that this will happen and you may need to have the new card to activate the dryer.

Our BEST situation was at Barcelona--all we had to do was go to Guest Services to pick up our new KTTW cards. They were pre-processed, so we didn't even need documents. US Customs doesn't allow that at PC.

OK, stateroom--if keeping the same room, you don't have to get out at any time other than the time you need to get off. We even suggested to our stateroom host that he didn't need to do our room that morning since we knew he was busy (he did it anyhow). If switching rooms, you do need to vacate the room by 8. You do not have to attend your scheduled breakfast, especially if it is crack of dawn--have breakfast at Cabanas OR talk to your head server as to whether you can have a later time.

We were contacted by dining services toward the end of the first leg asking us if we had any requests--same rotation or different, same team or different, did we want Palo or Remy on second leg.

As far as DCL is concerned, your 2 cruises are 2 separate reservations, separate accounts, etc. You will tip the servers at the end of each cruise. You can't intermingle anything with very few exceptions. If you talk to Shutters manager or a shop manager, they have been known to hold a few photos from the first cruise and allow you to add them to the package on the second cruise. In the shop, they have held an item or two tagged with the guest's name and number and allowed it to be paid for on the second leg (this works if you have more OBC on one than the other).

Finally, don't believe everything you'll hear about B2Bs, including the above. DCL changes the policy as needed. Your B2B letter may well not be identical to mine. None of my 3 were exactly the same.
This is all very good information, thank you for putting this up here.

Question, on our 2nd leg of the B2B will will have family joining us, do you think we would be able to decorate their door during that brief time we re-board and they allow all to board? We will all be on the same deck/floor.
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