Disembarkation Fun

As Jim mentioned, getting off the ship was far from smooth. We waited 2 and a half years wondering if we would ever get on the Epic, and most of Thursday afternoon wondering if we would ever get off! After docking at around 10am, the first calls for independent passengers to disembark went out at 11am. It was just before 12 when the first luggage colour (yellow) was called. Since we had out luggage (despite having left it outside our room 1 hour before the deadline) we went down at noon, expecting to walk off. There was a line of people all with their luggage stretching the entire length of deck 5. At this point we heard that US Customs had stopped any more passengers getting off due to congestion in the terminal. we bumped into Phil (Insidecabin) so we went to wait in the Courtyard. It was a LONG time (after 2pm) before any other luggage colours were called. We decided to walk off just before 3 and there was still many 100s of people blocking deck 5. Many more had decided to extend their holiday and enjoy the sun on the pool deck. The Garden Cafe had started to provide some small snacks.

All 3 hotel directors were doing everything they could to help the situation, but it was all fully down to the US Customs and immigration simply not being able to cope with the number of passengers. Bear in mind the ship had 3,452 passengers on board and could have around 5,200 when full. I expect the large number of non-US passengers was the issue.

We got through immigration and customs and out of pier 88 at around 4pm right at rush hour and joined a huge taxi queue. Trouble was no cabs were stopping. After 30 minutes we headed off to try our luck on another avenue and managed to grab one and reach out hotel around 5pm.

Currently sitting in the Oasis and JFK waiting to board our flight. Will post some final thoughts when we get home.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear you had such a rough time. we on the other hand, had a wonderful debarkatin experience. We had priority lugagge tags (thanks to our villa sailing colleagues). We met and waited patiently in the courtyard lounge, we were then escorted down by Ashuman in very congested elevators :-)
    The 4 of us got a porter for our lugagge and were queued for security in a *porter express line* ! Our porter dropped us off across the street in the line for a taxi and within 20 minutes we were on our way to our hotel at Embassy Suites. The most amazing debarkation experience I have ever had. It is nice to be spoiled by NCL :-)