Regal Princess

Day 1

Fort Lauderdale - Embarkation

We check in for our flights (Wilmington to Charlotte to Fort Lauderdale). No connection problems but no time for breakfast. Pretzels on the second plane.
As instructed we pick up our bags in Fort Lauderdale and eventually spot the Princess line cruise folks who direct us off to sit with our bags in a specified area of the airport until further notice. No clue as to how long we must wait.
After one and a half hours we realize we should have taken this opportunity to get something to eat.... too late! Are instructed to take bags to curbside where eventually a bus arrives to take us to the port.
Bus unloads us at the port. Ship is in sight! Long line is also in sight. Stand in line one and a half hours - line moves briefly then stops. Weather pleasant. Feet hurt. Priority passengers permitted to by-pass the line.

Finally let into the terminal building. Told to sit down.

Initially no clue as to what the delay is. Eventually told that the US Coast Guard has interrupted the loading process for an additional inspection of the ship. Rumor has it that this is because of (a) the recent fire on a Princess Line ship, or (b) suspected drugs aboard from South America from whence the ship just came.

Long wait. Crowd restless. Are told some had been cleared to board before the Coast Guard shut boarding down.

Movement starts. Orderly lines nonexistent. Rush for the screener gates. Progress halts again... standing again.

Three and a half hours at the terminal. Our plan to eat lunch aboard is blown. No refreshments available. Gotta believe Princess could have an action plan for unforeseen delays such as this to get things off to a better start! Other delays must sometimes occur. The delay was forgiven but this poor hospitality by Princess was a recurrent theme in shipboard chatter throughout the cruise.

Progress! Through the screeners, Short line to pick up ship-board papers and surrender passport.

Stand in line for the boarding photo to be taken? Forget it, buster!

Aboard. Drop carry-on bag in stateroom and go to find our breakfast/mid-morning snack/lunch/afternoon snack. Bags delivered later; no problem. Yes, we later went to dinner too.

Regal Princess

Continue to Day 2

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