My experience with HAL is that embarkation begins at about 1:30 P.M. I usually arrive at the pier around noon and complete the check in process in about 30 minutes. Passengers awaiting boarding are directed to a waiting area with ample chairs in which to sit. There is also an observation deck that one can use to view all of the supplies being loaded onto the ship. I believe it is HAL's policy not to allow boarding until all cabins have been completely cleaned and prepared for newly arriving passengers. Handicapped and those booked in suites are always allowed to board first, followed by us common folk. Actually the time passes by rapidly and the entire process is smooth.
Thanks for the info. My brother-in-law is booked in a mini-suite Zuiderdam cat. ss. Will that qualify him for priority boarding while "us common folk", my husband and i wait to board? Just a shot you may know the answer.
Currently only category "S" Suites get priority boarding.
The "ss" mini-suites are a new category to HAL ships but, I do not think they will get priorty boarding. Category "A" and "B" mini-suites on current ships do not get priority boarding, so I would imagine the same will hold true for Zuiderdam.
Once boarding begins, HAL does a great job of getting one on the ships very quickly.
HAL hasn't really done much for their most loyal repeaters other than award medallions. I'd rather have some of the amenities that other lines are offering - early boarding and disembarkation should really be a given.
I suppose that might be something they could consider. Have you ever suggested it on comment sheets? I imagine they would have to include some sort of "pass" or something in your documents that could be presented at check in ..then they could give a priority boarding number. The shore staff, otherwise, would be wasting a ton of time and holding up the lines trying to verify who qualified.
But, on some cruises, we've seen as many as forty/fifty bronze medallion holders
.....less so, of course, with silver, gold, and platinum. (On our last cruise, there actually were three couples with platinum and another lady who received hers on the cruise).
Hehehehe....I can see the arguments already.....folks who have an "S"Suite and have a silver medallion as well.......do they get to board on a "double priority" basis??? :grin
Maybe they can board immediately upon arrival at the pier....before general embarkation even begins??? Sorry...just getting a little carried away here, I guess
For the Maasdam last week, you want to be there by 11:15 to 11:30 AM. They start check in at noon and boarding at 1:30 PM. The key is at the noon check in you get your boarding number. We were in group 4 and were on by 1:45 PM