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Capt Bill

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  1. New news item item about Changed Boarding Times & Reasons for them. We are Holland American Lines cruisers, & HAL has started these too. It occurs to me that there are multiple factors at play here. Desk Spots 1. There is a labor shortage everywhere right now. Last boarding for us, there were fewer people "in the terminal" welcoming & advising arrivals where to go, what to fill out, & even fewer spots to check in. Is Labor Cost a factor or simply hard to find people willing to work part-time on Saturday or Sunday? 2. Everyone has a "carry on" (or more) in line. Medicine, medical equipment (we both use CPAP units), & even wine, soft drinks, or even animals to process. There were only three (3) X-Ray units in operation with two sitting unused. Labor? Mechanical issues? Lots to process ... 3. Most everyone wants to board as Early as possible. To start that cruise experience sooner rather than later. HAL assigns earliest spots to those who fly in using HAL arranged flights. Unfair to "other" arrivals? 4. That first ("free") meal onboard is an issue for people who have traveled far. HAL used to have coffee, lemonade and pastries available for those waiting. No more. The MDR closes it's doors at 1300, leaving fewer choices, including the always swamped LIDO (Buffet). I'd like that time pushed back to 1400. Comments? 5. Is getting in stateroom instantly upon boarding a "nice to" or a "must" to most people. We like to, if only to drop bags, even if room isn't serviced 100%. Often gives us a chance to meet cabin stewart's too; give them our usual 'advance' gratuity. Let them know what we'd like in room. 6. Can you occupy yourself on board without getting in cabin until sailing time? We can, but know others say they can't. What say you?
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