Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Back to Back Cruises and What to Expect on Turn Around Day

We do a lot of Back to Back cruises... the procedure is similar no matter what the port and ship, but it is important to remember a few things may be different so take note of the information provided to you at the end of the first segment of your first cruise.  

Doing back to backs is a great way to enjoy the itinerary and not worry about missing something cause you can do it the next time around.  It is also a great day to do wash in the passenger laundry cause it is quiet.  I also love wandering around the ship on that day when most passengers are off and exploring the ship.  

This is what we received on the last night of our first segment on our last back to back on board the Emerald Princess.

Back to Back Passengers
We hope that you have enjoyed the first segment of your cruise on board ….. Princess and we’re pleased that you’ll be joining us for our next sailing.

As the Consummate Host, we’d like to make your transition to the next voyage as smooth as possible.  Please note that you will be accommodated in the same stateroom*, for the next voyage to Fort Lauderdale. (if we had to change cabins they make it easy - we pack all our stuff in our suitcases, although leave stuff on hangers - and we touch base with new steward and arrange to have our stuff put in the closet of new cabin first thing and then we return to the cabin after they have cleaned it and un pack.  They will help you move your stuff if necessary)

For your convenience, we have enclosed your new cruise card as well as a “Passenger in Transit” card.  Should you wish to go ashore tomorrow in Fort Lauderdale, please bring along these two cards and your current cruise card.  Simply advise gangway security staff that you are a “Transit” passenger and present your cards to avoid delays.

If you do not plan on going ashore in Fort Lauderdale, please meet in Explorers Lounge on Deck 7, Midship at 10 am and bring both your current and new cruise cards as well as your Government Issued Photo ID.  You will be escorted ashore and through immigration.  Once the vessel is cleared you will escorted back on board where your new card will be activated and will then be free to spend your time on board as you wish.  (this doesn't usually take very long, it depends on the number of in transit passengers, but normally no more than an hour tops)

We have also attached some Frequently Asked Questions for transit passengers that you can read at your leisure.  Familiarizing yourself with this document will give you the quickest answers to your questions about transitioning from one segment of the cruise to the next.

Should you have any further questions, or if there is anything we can do to enhance your experience on board, please do not hesitate to contact the Passenger Services Desk.  We hope that you continue to enjoy your time on board the Emerald Princess and escape completely.

* for this case we are staying in the same cabin but there have been times we have had to move.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to settle my shipboard account upon arrival in Fort Lauderdale?
If you have registered a credit card for Express Checkout, your account will be automatically settled on arrival in Fort Lauderdale and re-registered for the next segment of your journey.

Will my present stateroom steward continue to provide service during the next segment of the cruise?
Generally you stateroom steward will remain the same unless you are assigned to move to another stateroom, in which case, the accommodations manager will advise you.  Please speak to your stateroom steward if you have any questions regarding the moving of your belongings to an alternate stateroom and they will be happy to assist.

Will my present dining room waiter and assistant waiter continue to provide service during the next segment of the cruise?
For those who have opted for Traditional Dining, every effort will be made to reserve your same table.  However, there are times when this is not possible due to the waitlist for a particular seating and therefore a table or seating change may be required.  Your table number for the next cruise will be indicated on your new cruise/key card.  Should you have any questions regarding your dining arrangements, please do not hesitate to speak with the Maitre d’Hotel.

Am I required to attend the passenger safety drill in Fort Lauderdale?
No.  It is required by law that you attend the drill in your original port of embarkation.  Although it is not mandatory for you to attend the second drill, we do recommend that you attend. 

As I am travelling on ore than one cruise, will there be any repetition of menus and entertainment?
While the menu cycle will be the same, this gives you the chance to select either the same dish you previously enjoyed, or try another. Similarly with entertainment, this also allows you the flexibility to enjoy the same event or attend another.  Either way, by taking more than one cruise, you will experience even more of our unparalleled dining and diverse entertainment.

What we like to do often on turn around days in Fort Lauderdale is wait for the crowds to get off. We do our wash, we clean up the cabin, we explore the ship and we grab a coffee and meal and relax. Usually we meet up with the other in transit passengers at the set time, but often if it is a large number of in transit we may head ashore just prior. You will need to bring your passport with you to clear customs when you get off. Then we just walk over to 17th street in Fort Lauderdale to have lunch, stock up on supplies (aka wine) and then a coffee at Starbucks and maybe a little sightseeing. We then make our way back to the ship. Sometimes it is quiet at the pier, sometimes it is not. Thankfully we have our In Transit cards and this allows us to by pass lines and just go thru security and then right back on to the ship. Make sure you have your new cruise card with you as you need it for the next leg. 


  1. Thanks Vickie....we are b2b in April on the Star...Calif. Coast / Mexico

  2. Great information, as usual. Thank you, Vickie.

  3. Excellent information, as usual. Thank you, Vickie.

  4. Thank you so much! We are doing our very first back-to-back this December. Here's an obscure question: our first cruise in only 3 days but the second is 15 days. If we bring aboard 2 bottles of wine for the 3 day will whatever is left remain undisturbed in our cabin between cruises? Two bottles is too much for 3 days but 4 bottles are not enough for 18 days!

    1. Hi Logan, you can bring on the two bottles for the first 3 days, and nothing will be disturbed. You can then bring on another two bottles for the 15 day leg. In fact you shouldn't have any trouble with bringing on four bottles in total as long as you can show them you are doing a back to back, which is easy by bringing both boarding passes.

  5. Thanks for explaining b2b so well! Now I know! Would love to try this some time!

  6. thank you for describing the back to back experience. I would love to have that experience sometime in the future.

  7. How do you know what back to back you want to do? what if you have done it before, would you want to go back and do it again?

    1. a good travel agent can help you with back to back itineraries. I don't mind visiting the same place twice in 20 days. Some people spend 2 weeks in one place. I like the luxury of cruising and seeing many places