Global Entry is one of those handful of things that I consider a “must have” in most travelers’ tool kits. For international travel, the benefits are obvious – access to kiosks to complete your entry requirements when arriving in the USA while avoiding the lines with the masses. As about a once per year international flyer, the biggest benefit of Global Entry for me is having a Known Traveler Number for access to PreCheck. The fact that my Amex Platinum reimburses the $100 fee every 5 years makes it a no-brainer to get and keep Global Entry in my situation. (Feature image credit: Shutterstock)
One of the things I’ve secretly wished to see is a Global Entry kiosk at cruise ports. In truth, I’ve rarely spent a great deal of time in line waiting to clear when disembarking a cruise as the process is usually carefully controlled to prevent huge queues for immigration and customs formalities. That said, lines do happen, and there was a bit of a wait for clearance after disembarking Allure of the Seas at Port Everglades yesterday. It wasn’t horrid considering MrsMJ and I were just 2 of 5,800 or so guests disembarking. After a visual scan of the terminal, I saw a little sign and began to hear angels singing.
Could it be? The person in the long line in front of me saw the sign at about the same time, and went over to ask…..and then he waved us over. MrsMJ and I dutifully presented our Global Entry cards to the attendant and were promptly directed to a customs and immigration agent who processed us. I would estimate it saved us at least 30 minutes of waiting.
It should be noted that there is no kiosk, and you still have to complete your blue entry card, but officials at Port Everglades are offering a Global Entry line that will essentially get you a pass to the front of the line and on your way in short order. As far as I could tell, not very many people were using it. Some fellow cruisers I reached out to who have sailed into Port Everglades recently reported seeing Global Entry signs in other terminals too.
This is an interesting development, but it does not appear to be a published benefit of the program. It may very well be something that does not expand beyond Port Everglades or simply a local initiative, but I was happy to see it. Have any fellow cruisers seen Global Entry “express” lines at other cruise ports?
-MJ, November 7, 2015