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wanderlust

Allocated embarkation times...

50 posts in this topic

I am familiar with being allocated an embarkation time nearer the time of departure by the relevant cruise operator...I understand it is necessary to stagger these times to prevent delays at the port. However I was just wondering if anyone has ever experienced any problems if they arrive earlier/later than their specific given time?!

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There has already been considerable discussion about this in the forum. I have arrived early for both my cruises and never been turned away. Simple questions -

How can you judge your travel time accurately to ensure you arrive in time for departure?

What happens once CPS have taken your car and bags away as you cannot wander round the docks area?

Why can you not just wait in the terminal. Some passengers must arrive later than planned so the early ones are onlu utilising thise slots.

What was wro g with the old system?

wheels36 likes this

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I dont disagree with any of your points but P&O have it in the heads at the minute that this will improve things in Southampton and sticking to it

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I'm with Captain Kidd on this one, I have never been turned away and am usually early, I am on the Aurora next week and have been allocated 13.00 hours but we will probably be there by 12.15 I do have priority status but understand the priority seating has been removed and I will be shown to a checkout? I will let you know when I return.CG

Captain Kidd II likes this

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We boarded Oriana on the 1st Oct. We had to check out of our overnight hotel by noon so we went straight to the Mayflower terminal & were given a coloured card with a number on it & were aboard & unpacked by 1pm. Our allocated embarkation time was 2pm.

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I had the same experience as 2torts in both May and August at the Mayflower terminal. I think the big problem is if using either Ocean or QE terminals. Probably a case of passenger and commercial traffic not mxing so something has to give. Another reason to use other ports rather than just Southampton.

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I had heard P&O were being stricter with embarkation times but it sounds as though this hasnt been the case with your recent cruises - it makes sense to allow people to embark early if they arrive before their allocated time and to take the slots of someone else who is perhaps running late. I suppose they just hope a large number dont turn up before their given time, as maybe that would mean waiting around in the terminal.

 

How about other operators? Do they too allocate slots?

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We have been allocated a time between 1:15 and 1:45 to board Anthem of the Seas this weekend. Bit disappointed, as we had been told boarding starts at 10:30am. I guess we left it too late to sort our on-line check in. As has been said, it will be a bit tricky to time our arrival within half an hour, travelling down from Sheffield area. Took six hours last time (normally about 4 hours). And then we could be sat on the shuttle bus for half an hour if it is a coach instead of a mini bus, because they don't leave until they have filled it up.

wheels36 likes this

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I'd heard from a friend in Southampton that the Council had asked some companies to look at ways to try to stagger the influx of traffic through surrounding routs & the town centre as they are struggling to cope.  By asking people to stagger embarkation this is just one measure to see if it will stop everyone arriving at similar times?

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a couple of friends of mine were turned away on their cruise last month. they arrived at 12pm as they have done for the past ten years of cruising and were told to return at 4pm as it said on their tickets. I understand that they are trying to stagger it but when they don't allocate them until close to departure how can someone book travel such as taxis/trains etc.

hturtle likes this

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a good point MG16, If you are expected to stick to a time then why not bring this out on the cruise personalizer 100 days out when they introduce the shore excursions that way taxi arrangements could be made or trains booked at sensible prices rather than the overpricing closer to the date

MG16 likes this

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that is the next stage Cruise Chef & MG16, as long as your cabin is allocated then you will be able to choose these on Cruise Personaliser, the plan is not to allow anyone to have travel documents until they have chosen their embark time

wheels36 and MG16 like this

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All this is ok f you live close to Southampton. I travel almost 200 miles on poor roads so trying to say what time I want to arrive is a very different thing to when I actually do. It is easier to arrive in the afternoon if uou live locally than it is when travelling a distance.

This is a very poor plan and should be seen as such by P&O management.

wheels36 and hturtle like this

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Surely the size of ship has a big influence. 10 years ago the biggest pando ships were 1800 passengers, and staffing levels were higher. Embarkation was generally a friendly pleasant experience. Now there are these hideous floating tenament blocks 3000+ passengers and staff: passenger ratios much less favourable. I think pondo may genuinely be trying create the best possible experience for cruisers. That said they are an annoying bunch of prats when you have need to call them.

hturtle and KeithnRita like this

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Considering all the money, and disruption, Southampton Council must have spent on road improvements they serve no purpose within the docks area around QE and Ocean terminals. This seems to have resulted in the need to try and allocate arrival times. Lets hope there are no trains carrying cars etc at anyone's selected time as that can hold the whole site up for a good 20 minutes with delays thereafter. Perhaps it is time for a new cruise port to be built alng the Solent. This woukd benefit us, the passengers, local residents as it coukd be positioned away from the city centre area and would create new jobs and opportunities. Other than that hoe about making a new terminal in Hull or Liverpool?

wheels36 likes this

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Considering all the money, and disruption, Southampton Council must have spent on road improvements they serve no purpose within the docks area around QE and Ocean terminals. This seems to have resulted in the need to try and allocate arrival times. Lets hope there are no trains carrying cars etc at anyone's selected time as that can hold the whole site up for a good 20 minutes with delays thereafter. Perhaps it is time for a new cruise port to be built alng the Solent. This woukd benefit us, the passengers, local residents as it coukd be positioned away from the city centre area and would create new jobs and opportunities. Other than that hoe about making a new terminal in Hull or Liverpool?

Fred Olsen have got some fjords cruises from Newcastle in 2016 saving sea days.

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I know this could be incorrect but I had heard that its mainly Britannia (because of its size) where passengers were being made to wait, as those that are there at the right time were having  to wait, due to others getting there too early.

 

It would make sense if P&O took into account where passengers live or how they are travelling to the port.

The passengers going by coach seems to be an issue. They have to go with the timetable of the coach companies. Obviously all of these passengers will have all the different check in times. And I have been told that this is one of the issues as coach loads of passengers are being told to wait if its too early.

Its out of their control.

 

What Hturtle says sort of makes sense, but guessing that many people will not like this. And many people will go for the early slots yet will live within an hours drive of the port.

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Little Mermaid - I am sure you are correct. This is yet another reason to stop the huge ships being constructed and stick to a size that everyone, ports, crew, etc, can cope with.

Why should we, who prefer smaller ships, be penalised?

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Travelling down from Lancashire via the M6 you cannot be sure of your arrival time.  Recent journeys have varied from a little over 4 hours to as long as 7 hours.  The only way is to set off plenty soon enough and go straight to the ship irrespective of specified embarkation time.  To date we have had no problems - generally 30 minutes from handing the keys over to CPS to having our first glass of Merlot.  Cheers

Captain Kidd II and nick1310 like this

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