Sunday, February 5, 2017

Crown Princess Embarkation

Boarding - Valparaiso, Chile

click images to enlarge
We've been cruising for over thirty years and on more than 50 cruises and we have never seen an embarkation like this before and probably never will again.

As our transfer bus pulled into the pier, we could see Crown Princess further in the distance, no where near where we were being dropped off.  There were porters there to collect any bags that passengers wished to check in.  Since we didn't have anything to check in, we proceeded into the terminal.  It was now 2 PM (we landed shortly after 10 AM in Santiago).  As usual, they checked our boarding passes and passports, gave us the health forms, and we were selected to turn in a control paper which showed the time we entered the building.

There was a long line that stretched the length of the terminal.  At the end of that line there were tables where you could fill out your health form.  The line fed into a maze like you'd find at an amusement park.  We thought we'd never see the front of the line, but after 50 minutes, we had finally gotten to an agent.   We turned in our boarding passes, presented our passports, along with the stamped piece of paper from immigration, completed health forms, and of course the credit card to be used for onboard spending.  Note:  they will keep your passports and give you a receipt.   It is a good idea to always travel with a photo copy of your passports.

So far, this doesn't sound too unique (other than the long wait and most cruises you keep your passport) but the next part is definitely unique.

Boarded a Bus

After completing embarkation paperwork and with cabin key in hand, we were directed to a bus for a short ride to the waiting ship.  We drove through the pier area where we passed by stack after stack of shipping containers and longshoremen working the yard.  We finally arrived at our ship.  I almost forgot ... the cruise line wouldn't miss an opportunity to get you to spend money, so prior to boarding the bus, they took embarkation photos.  Boarding the ship it was time for another photo (for security purposes) taken when we presented our cabin key at the gangway.  Phew, we were finally on the ship.

Hello Cabin

An advantage of getting on board so late in the day, there is no delay in getting to your cabin.  We dropped off our handbags, took a couple pictures of the cabin and headed off for a bite to eat.   We opted for a quick slice of pizza.  Our dinner would be at 5:45 PM as we had early dining for this cruise.

Related Albums:

Crown Princess Embarkation
Transfer to Valparaiso

Note:  we will be adding to these albums as we continue our journey.

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