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Allocated embarkation times...


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Just returned from 14 days on Azura. We had a boarding time of 3pm at Southampton. We arrived at 12.30pm and the booking hall at Ocean Terminal was standing room only. We collected our boarding cards which were priority and were called about 20 minutes later. They announced that after priority they would be boarding in alphabetical order which they did. This would intimate that the boarding time on the documentation means very little simply because if you get there early enough you will receive a boarding card that has nothing to do with your stated boarding time. To sum it up, 'The theory is good but flawed by the reality'.

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Guest Solent Richard

Surely it stands that if passengers did follow their allocated times then their would be no waiting and queuing. 

 

It's only natural that the cruise company will 'trickle' through those arriving early if their is sufficient slack in the system at any given time.

 

The worst boarding I have  ever experienced is with Fred Olsen. Sure you can check-in but then there is a further wait in the 'inner' terminal waiting area.

 

Probably no one complains because Fred doesn't do a proper lunch on embarkation day - unless that has changed recently.

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Good morning Richard,

To address your comment on boarding I would say that there was no trickle but rather you attended, collected your alphabetical card and then when called boarded on mass with that 'letter'. Indeed had you attended at the stated time you would have been at the back of the queue. As I said 'The theory is good but flawed by reality'.

Regarding Fred Olsen it depends on your loyalty level. Only had a problem with boarding once at Southampton but it was only once out of 7 cruises. 

OWT​

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  • 3 months later...

The follow up to the boarding saga at the terminal is that the departure time has now gone from 16.30 to18.00

This now means that hundreds of passengers who go to the Pool Deck for the Sail Away celebrations all leave

at the same later time say 19.30 and then there is the calamity of a large majority of them all turning up at the

same time for Freedom Dining. On my last cruise on Britania passengers where still waiting to dine at 22.00

a crazy situation.

It is obvious that if you sail at 16.30 and you leave the Sail Away at say 18.00 this gives you a much bigger

window time to stagger the arrival times to Dine.

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  • 4 months later...

Does anyone know if Cunard are enforcing the allocated embarkation times. We normally travel with P&O and have not had a problem when we arrive ahead of the allocated time.

 

Hi Bob, my parents were given an allocated slot on their Cunard cruise in May so think its the same as P&O now

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We have now used the new system twice.As you arrive you are given a boarding card the colour for your allocated boarding time and letter being a group within that time.Both times light grey cards were for priority 1pm and they started with grey 'a' who were the first to arrive. After all the grey groups were called they went onto the next colour. Both times we arrived just before our allocated times and the terminals were full, we were called close to our times the first time a little early the second time a little late. But in both cases they didn't call any of the other colours until all passengers with the previous time slot had been called.The first time they moved quickly and passengers who arrived early with 3.30pm slots were on-board by 2.30pm the second time there were so many passengers arrived early and blocking the aisles the 3.30pm passengers did not get on until 3.30pm , many were complaining they had been there since 11am and had to wait.

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It's a never ending puzzlement and no mistake. Everyone seems to have their own view of what will work.

 

One of the main common themes is that too many people arrive too early then complain that they are made to wait regardless of their allocated times. If they are let onboard early then later arriving passengers complain that they stuck to the rules but are still denied boarding at their time.

 

Everyone seems to think that they are an exception to whatever system is put in place, myself included: I get taken to the docks when my daughter can take me and not when the cruise line says I should be there.

 

I believe it would be much too complicated for a cruise line to put into practice the suggestions about passengers locations, method of transport etc.

 

As nothing seems to work when a system is put in place then perhaps it's time to let anarchy reign and have no system at all. Why are the complaints usually about P&O. Do Royal Caribbean have these problems with their bigger than Britannia ships? I don't recall Princess having much of a system and there don't seem to be many complaints about them.

 

As a final point I don't believe the QEII terminal is up to the job these days and should be redesigned, rebuilt, whatever.

 

This problem never seems to go away.

 

RayO

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Hey ho! Must just be lucky then. Only problem we had was at the City terminal a few years ago when P&O used it, there was only one scanner staffed and working. Security staff said P&O hadn't paid for more scanners, P&O said there weren't more security staff available as there were lots of cruise ships in that day. Who to believe!

 

I just accept that it's all going to be a pain in the mango whatever system is used. As long as the cruise line has enough staff and is behaving efficiently then I don't mind, the end result will be me onboard with a cruise ahead of me.

 

RayO

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We sailed from the Ocean Terminal on April 10th onboard Britannia.  As we usually travel to Southampton by Eavesway coaches we have never had an allocated time to board the ship before.  This time we travelled by car and was given the allocated slot of 3.30pm.  We arrived at the terminal at this time and it was full to capacity.  People were standing and sitting on the floor as there were no seats available. We boarded the ship at 4.50pm.  I really though that having a time slot would make things quicker but it was the worse wait we have ever had and was so much better before.  Apparently P & O are aware of this and are "looking into it"

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Arrived at Mayflower termnal at the end of May, early, have stayed overnight in Southampton. By early I mean about 10:50. Waited 5 mins to hand the car over and release my cases them went into the departure hall. I had an embarkation time of 14:30 but by 12:30 was onboard with cabin ready - obviously no problems.

It seems to be the problem comes with the larger ships, of P&O, in port. So many people and bags that the system struggles to cope. I have noticed the waiting gets worse when the coaches are rolling in and you get 40 people entering the departure hall at a time.

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