Wednesday, January 11, 2023
As I have mentioned, I completed all the embarkation information online in several different apps as requested by Holland America prior to the cruise. When you get to check-in, they should be able to pull up your name and/or cabin number and see that all your information is complete, and you go aboard.
Not today. Oh no, not today – the embarkation from Hell. Today, when we reached the desk, I had to pull out our paper copies of our boarding passes, answer the health questions again, get our pictures taken, and passport scanned. I’m surprised they didn’t make us take another COVID test.
Then, they throw in a new wrinkle and say that they must keep our passports. Wait, what? Why? “The ship needs them for the different countries you’ll be entering. Here are your passport receipts – don’t lose them. You will need them to get your passports back.” At this point, who knows if we’ll see them again or not.
We were then directed to the security section so our bags and bodies could be scanned. Since we were not allowed to walk around in the industrial port, we were directed to board yet another bus to be taken just around the corner to the ship.
As we were getting on the bus, we looked over to the sidewalk and saw a long line of people who were waiting to enter the warehouse terminal. Apparently, our bus was not the last bus. I felt sorry for them as the sun was out in force and their line was not moving. They looked as exhausted as I felt.
Once off the bus, we had to show a ship’s officer our paper boarding passes and were finally allowed to walk up the gangway to the ship. Our boarding pass was then scanned one more time, and we were in! – the Embarkation debacle over.
When we made it to our cabin, the first item we found was the program for the fun activities planned for today. Sigh.