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Boarding Time NieuwAmsterdam Vancouver


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6 hours ago, horseymike said:

Hello Everyone

Any advice on what time may be best to arrive at Canada Place Pier for embarkation on The Nieuw Amsterdam ?

First time cruising from Vancouver.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

 

To avoid the biggest crowds, check-in as soon as the terminal is open - a little after 10:00 AM and you will be assigned an early group boarding number.  Boarding starts at 11:30 with the physical challenged in the first group, then Pinnacle/Neptune Suites and 4-5* Mariners, followed by general boarding groups in the order that they checked-in.

 

If you are willing to skip the lunch that your fare includes and receive your luggage after dinner, check-in around 2:30 PM.

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The wait time in Vancouver can be unusually long compared to other ports in our experience if many ships are there at once (which you can check in advance). It’s a good idea to bring some water, a snack and some patience. When we were last there (July 2017), there was a significantly shorter immigration line for those with Global Entry which did help us reduce our wait time. We stayed across the street from the port at the Fairmont which was very convenient and headed over at check out time at 11am with our carry on luggage and the hotel arranged to send over our checked bags; I was nervous about that arrangement but all our bags did indeed make it to the ship. We really enjoyed the Nieuw Amsterdam  🙂

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Had the similar question. Our boarding documents say we should board at 12 noon for a 4:30 departure on 6/29. I assume the 12 noon - and not 11 am - is our "boarding group" since we have no special needs or status of any sort. Is there any reason at all to get there any earlier? I understand there are no seats there. We would like to get lunch but minimize standing time  There are two other ships in port that day. We do have Global Entry. Would be grateful for advice!

 

 

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This thread has experiences I posted about last May.  Not sure how the cruises have been going so far this year but I believe the overall process is still the same.

 

 

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56 minutes ago, bEwAbG said:

This thread has experiences I posted about last May.  Not sure how the cruises have been going so far this year but I believe the overall process is still the same.

 

Thank you !! Will read through this  and appreciate the direction  I tried searching but CC has such a poor search function I often don’t  get close to what I need. 

 

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I boarded the Volendam on May 22 and it took 24 minutes from when we entered the doors until when we were waiting to board. We waited 15 minutes in the boarding area and were onboard at 11:10 a.m. 

 

It was the easiest/best embarkation we’ve ever had. Disembarkation was equally as easy. 

 

There were 2 ships in when we boarded, 3 in when we had to leave.

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1 hour ago, sppunk said:

I boarded the Volendam on May 22 and it took 24 minutes from when we entered the doors until when we were waiting to board. We waited 15 minutes in the boarding area and were onboard at 11:10 a.m. 

 

It was the easiest/best embarkation we’ve ever had. Disembarkation was equally as easy. 

 

There were 2 ships in when we boarded, 3 in when we had to leave.

 

Thanks sppunk. So you got to the port about 10:45? And are you anybody special 😊(one of the earlier status boarding groups?) Encouraging to know.

 

Any idea why you got on so quickly?  i.e, not too many in line,? got there early, like at 10 am?, were in an early group? Not generally very crowded in the port? Or just pure luck of the travel gods 😁??

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21 minutes ago, zentraveler said:

 

Thanks sppunk. So you got to the port about 10:45? And are you anybody special 😊(one of the earlier status boarding groups?) Encouraging to know.

 

Any idea why you got on so quickly?  i.e, not too many in line,? got there early, like at 10 am?, were in an early group? Not generally very crowded in the port? Or just pure luck of the travel gods 😁??

No special status x they had a ton of employee directing people every step of the way and immigration is done by kiosk which takes a minute, tops. 

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It really varies.  Sometimes  Security is not there early or Customs isn't or the ship isn't be ready at 11:30 am when it supposed to be, so a longer wait.  Lots of chairs, people watching and anticipation!  If you want to breeze through try 3 pm.

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My experience in May was not particularly pleasant, when there were three ships in port, with a total of about 5500 passengers. Admittedly, at the time I was boarding Princess, not HAL, but I really don't think it made a difference because the entire hold up was after checkin and before boarding, and we were intermixed with HAL passengers during that time. Although we had planned to get there earlier, we ran a little late and didn't arrive to the port until around noon. The check-in went quickly, but then there was a line for security, which moved only by fits and starts. We later figured out the delays in security were actually due to delays in CBP--I think they were holding up the security line when the waiting area for CBP (and the overflow waiting area) filled up. That's where the real hold-up was. We were directed into the overflow area where groups were being called by row to move to the "regular" CBP line. We ended up sitting in the overflow area for well over 30 minutes, and probably close to an hour, before our row was called. We then got into the CBP line, and were starting our wait there. This was all particularly frustrating because we have Nexus cards, so there's a special CBP line. Unfortunately, although we asked multiple times along the way, we were told that Nexus had to go it with everybody else. It wasn't until after waiting a little time in the regular CBP line that a staff person finally recognized Nexus, pulled us out of the regular line, and put us in the very short Nexus line, which we should have been directed to in the first place. That probably saved us about half an hour of CBP line. So it ended up taking us only an hour and a half or so for the total process, but probably took others two hours. So it's certainly possible to have very long lines.

 

I'm going again on HAL in July. There will only be two ships in port, but one of them is a megaship, so there will be even more total passengers. Some key takeaways that I'm going to keep in mind:

 

1) Get there early--no later than 11. Since CBP appears to be the bottleneck, even if we have to wait a little after check-in, we'll still avoid the big bottleneck.

2) There is no elite/suite priority for the meaningful part of the process. It helps with check-in, but not with security/CBP.

3) If you have a Nexus card, be vocal and insist that it be recognized, so you don't get lumped in with regular CBP lines. Since I didn't know the process last time, I assumed that staff knew what the score was, and that I was being properly directed. Now I know that there is, in fact, a special Nexus line--and I'll insist on getting to it. FWIW, I have no idea whether there is any expedited Global Entry line. The sign at the line we finally got to referenced only Nexus and crew, with no mention of other trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, DougK said:

My experience in May was not particularly pleasant,  .........I have no idea whether there is any expedited Global Entry line. The sign at the line we finally got to referenced only Nexus and crew, with no mention of other trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry.

 

 

 

DougK, thank you so much for this detailed account including the issue of whether the NEXUS line is also one for Global Entry. I have GE, but does anyone know if US citizens can also have Nexus? It clearly would be useful for anyone who goes to Canada much. GE is indispensable for us US folks who travel internationally at all imho and would be happy to get Nexus too!

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3 minutes ago, zentraveler said:

 

DougK, thank you so much for this detailed account including the issue of whether the NEXUS line is also one for Global Entry. I have GE, but does anyone know if US citizens can also have Nexus? It clearly would be useful for anyone who goes to Canada much. GE is indispensable for us US folks who travel internationally at all imho and would be happy to get Nexus too!

 

Yes, Nexus is available to both Canadian and US citizens (I'm a US citizen). Nexus includes Global Entry, and costs less, so it is almost always more advantageous to have Nexus than just Global Entry. The only reasons not to go for Nexus are:

 

1) It's available in far fewer places than GE--pretty much limited to locations close to the US-Canada border. Which makes sense, because it requires an interview with both US and Canadian officials. I live less than half an hour from an intake center, so it was a no-brainer for me. But if you're not close to the border, it can be seriously inconvenient to get a Nexus card.

2) If you have a credit card that pays for the GE fee, it almost certainly doesn't pay for the Nexus fee. That makes no logical sense, since Nexus would actually cost the credit card company less than GE, but that's still the rule as far as I know.

3) Eligibility is slightly more limited for Nexus than GE, probably because you have to satisfy Canada as well as the US. I don't remember what the exact differences are; if you're a US citizen with a clean background history, you should qualify for Nexus.

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We did this two years ago, and we too found they didn’t understand nexus until farther in the lineup.   Not sure for US citizens,  about Nexus vs Global,   but  IIRC you are clearing US customs to board as the ship is going to Alaska. On the way back you are clearing Canadian customs to reenter Canada .   

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12 minutes ago, DougK said:

 

Yes, Nexus is available to both Canadian and US citizens (I'm a US citizen). Nexus includes Global Entry, and costs less, so it is almost always more advantageous to have Nexus than just Global Entry. The only reasons not to go for Nexus are:

 

1) It's available in far fewer places than GE--pretty much limited to locations close to the US-Canada border. Which makes sense, because it requires an interview with both US and Canadian officials. I live less than half an hour from an intake center, so it was a no-brainer for me. But if you're not close to the border, it can be seriously inconvenient to get a Nexus card.

2) If you have a credit card that pays for the GE fee, it almost certainly doesn't pay for the Nexus fee. That makes no logical sense, since Nexus would actually cost the credit card company less than GE, but that's still the rule as far as I know.

3) Eligibility is slightly more limited for Nexus than GE, probably because you have to satisfy Canada as well as the US. I don't remember what the exact differences are; if you're a US citizen with a clean background history, you should qualify for Nexus.

 

I am sure I would qualify easily and would not care about the credit card issue, but I live no where near a boarder and don't travel that much to Canada, so would not be worth it. But thanks for the clear info. 

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On our May 11th NA cruise, we dropped our bags off around 11am, returned to the ship at 1pm and it took almost 2 1/2 hours to checkin, go through security and customs.  Most of that time was spent waiting in lines and musical chairs. The Royal Princess was also embarking as well. The worst embarkation we've ever experienced but the rest of our trip was marvelous.

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31 minutes ago, RoyalVisit said:

On our May 11th NA cruise, we dropped our bags off around 11am, returned to the ship at 1pm and it took almost 2 1/2 hours to checkin, go through security and customs.  Most of that time was spent waiting in lines and musical chairs. The Royal Princess was also embarking as well. The worst embarkation we've ever experienced but the rest of our trip was marvelous.

 

So we can drop off bags (with HAL I assume??) and come back later?  Would love to know if that is any option. 

 

Although from what I am reading on this thread, May is especially slow since the crew are not up to speed yet. 

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3 minutes ago, zentraveler said:

 

So we can drop off bags (with HAL I assume??) and come back later?  Would love to know if that is any option. 

 

Although from what I am reading on this thread, May is especially slow since the crew are not up to speed yet. 

Absolutely. We dropped the bags off on the ground floor with HAL (put your HAL tags on first) then we walked to Robson Street to see the Tesla showroom (we don't have a Tesla showroom in our city), went to the liquor store and dollar store near the ship and then we went back onboard. We used the SkyTrain from the airport (easy!!) and it's only a about a 5 minute walk from the Waterfront station to Canada Place where the ships are docked.

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On the Nieuw Amsterdam now and boarding for us this past Saturday was not too bad. Getting to Canada Place was another story. We drove from the U.S. and the border crossing at 9:30 a.m. was 1.5 hours and 1 hour even in the nexus line. Ugh. 

 Then it took us 45 minutes to go the last 2 blocks into Canada Place for gridlock I still haven't figured out as I haven't experienced traffic like that in the past .  Boarding itself moved smoothly.  Hoping the drive home is smoother lol. I will post a review with pics. Weather has been fantastic and the ship was even better! 

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14 hours ago, zentraveler said:

 

I am sure I would qualify easily and would not care about the credit card issue, but I live no where near a boarder and don't travel that much to Canada, so would not be worth it. But thanks for the clear info. 

There are Nexus Lines within the U.S. as well, when we disembarked in Port Everglades, we all had to go through US customs, long lines to see agents, we had our Nexus cards and a couple of people in that line we were in and out in two minutes.

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