Staying at the Crown Plaza L.A. Harbor was a great jump-off point to this cruise. I think it took maybe five minutes to get to the port in the free shuttle that the hotel provided. I will say that there was quite a bit of confusion over who was driving us and the discussion looked to get quite heated among staff members. They should know better than to let that play out in front of the guests, but nevertheless, we got on our way.
The cruise terminal is set up a bit differently than the others that we've been on. You hand your baggage over to the porters, period. On other lines and cruises, you can always carry your own luggage inside and drop off, but that's not an option here. Don't be weirded out by that (our bags were to our room before we were somehow). The inside of the terminal was pretty nice, if not standard. You were broken down into groups by deck, which is a really smart idea, I think. The only confusing part was that they don't tell you the floor number, only the name of the deck. People were unsure of where to go and I think some of that could've been avoided by also listing the deck number. Getting checked in was a breeze, as was security.
Now for the negative. After they take your picture (which is done on a handheld device, rather than a bulky terminal) they lead you outside. There was a gentleman directing the hoards of people towards the Crown that was incredibly rude. He was yelling at people to get into one of the four lines. Not wanting to budge into those lines in front of people, others were cautious due to what those in front of them were doing (which I thought was polite, to be honest). This guy just wouldn't shut his trap. "Why do you think we have all of these lines, people?" Either today was his last day or he clearly missed Customer Service 101. On all of our cruises this was the rudest employee that I have ever come across. It really set things off on a bad tone. Also, let me rewind a little here. There is an abnormally large (compared to our other cruises) group of senior citizens here. I don't even mean those spry 80 year olds running amok, but wheelchairs and walkers were everywhere. For this guy to be reprimanding anyone, let alone this group of people is/was completely unacceptable. I'm not sure that he heard me, but I remarked that I hope the customer service is leaps and bounds ahead of this onboard.