Thursday, November 20, 2014

Nov 19 – Disembarking the Grand

Amazingly we slept in… well if 7 am is sleeping in.  I wake cause I can hear the thrusters positioning us into the harbor and then berth.

There is another ship in port but a smaller one.

We shower and then pack up the last few items into our carry on roller bag (why is it so darn heavy).  We decide to head up to the Horizon Court for our breakfast.  It is busy there at 8 am – considering disembarkation seemed to start on schedule just after 7 am.  We get a table in the aft area with another couple who are from Washington.  They too love to travel and we talk travelling and advice and we exchange information so we can keep in touch.  Their experience in Europe could be very handy for us next  year.

After breakfast we are trying to decide where we can go and hide out until they call our disembarkation color which is yellow 1 (10 am).  We at first head to deck 15 aft to the cushioned lounge area but after about 15 minutes the aroma of smoke coming from the port side is just too much.  Normally this is not an issue cause when the ship is moving the air flows but I guess cause we are docked it is annoying.

I decide I need a latte and Bernie heads to the Vista Lounge (Platinum/Elite/Suite Disembarkation Lounge).  I sit in the International Café and sip my drink and relax.  But boy can’t believe the crowds and a lot of people don’t seem to know where to go or want to get off now even though it is not their time.  My thought is that there are many new cruisers who just are not aware of the procedure.
In fact they made an announcement that people should head to a public area and then proceed to their disembarkation lounge just prior to their time.  Also that they need to be in their appropriate lounge to know when to get off.

When I arrive in the Vista Lounge at around 9:40 it is still busy but really it is only crazy packed right near the entrance.  I see Bernie off to the right side with lots of empty space around him. We sit and wait and we are called off at just before 10 am.

We exit via the aft gangway on deck 7 to the port building where we are directed to the Non US citizen line.  We found that it moves rather quickly.  We are surprised at how many questions the customs agent has for us.  Certainly a lot more than we normally get.  Wants to know why we cruise so much, where are we going, why are we getting on another ship.   Wants to know why we don’t have a stamp in our passports for when we entered the US on Nov 5.  We tell him we used our Nexus Card not our passports to enter.  Oh… so you shop a lot in the US then cause you have a Nexus Card.  No we like to travel and having a Nexus Card expedites this.  Anyways he stamps our passports and we are on our way.

We have a room booked at the Crowne Plaza San Pedro for the night that we booked thru Hot Wire for $90.  We have stayed here numerous times and like its location.
We decide to walk to the hotel (note they have a shuttle but for us it is not far and we can easily manage our bags).  When we arrive at around 11 am we figure we will have to store our bags but no the front desk has a room for us.  Nice!

We drop off our bags and then we head downstairs to rent our car from Enterprise.  

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