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Azura - New Improved Embarkation Process

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It would appear that the "trial" being run on Britannia is now being rolled out to the rest of the fleet.

 

Jusr received the following notification regarding our upcoming cruise on Azura:-

 

Important Notification

*Improved Embarkation Process*

We are constantly working to improve your embarkation experience in Southampton. To ensure that you embark your ship as soon as possible, that you adhere to the arrival time on your ticket, which is specific to you and your party. By doing so, you will enjoy the best embarkation experience possible, spending less time in the cruise terminal and more time on board.

If you are travelling on a coach using our partner operator, you may find your arrival time is different to the embarkation time on your ticket. In that case, your coach arrival time will dictate the time you embark.

There are no changes to the existing Peninsular Club benefits in the cruise terminal.

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It's good in principal but nobody takes any notice and turn up when they like. We arrived at ocean terminal at 13:00 which was are time to board brittania just to find the terminal full of passengers.

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It's good in principal but nobody takes any notice and turn up when they like. We arrived at ocean terminal at 13:00 which was are time to board brittania just to find the terminal full of passengers.

 

Except that people who have turned up early on Britannia have been posting they are being kept in the terminal.

Maybe with in a short while passengers will start to realise that if they stick to times given it will be better for them.

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We are on the Azura Transatlantic in October so most people will be arriving by coach from various airports so will be allowed to board on arrival anyway. Can't see why they have bothered to send the email in that case 😕

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I've just received the same for my cruise in October on Aurora, but won't be "obeying" as sticking to my time would result in my having to wander round Southampton for over 2 hours with all my luggage after checking out of my hotel. This is NOT going to happen P and O!

The only way I would stick to my boarding time is if I can choose it. People who have to travel down from the North the night before have to check out at 11am. They need an early boarding time.

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Improved boarding experience? Not if you have to leave your hotel at 12 noon and have a 3.30 boarding time :mad::mad::mad:

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Do caribbean grade still get priority boarding ?

 

 

Yes you do still get priority boarding see below this was also included in our e-mail from P&O.

 

 

Benefits at our homeport

 

Dedicated check-in

 

Your dedicated desk makes for a swift and effortless beginning to each cruise.

 

Priority embarkation

 

Arrive at the terminal at your designated boarding time to enjoy priority boarding.

 

Private embarkation lounge on board

 

Enjoy complimentary selected drinks and a scrumptious warm and cold buffet in a calm oasis until your cabin is ready.

 

*Improved Embarkation Process*

 

We are constantly working to improve your embarkation experience in

Southampton. To ensure that you embark your ship as soon as possible, we askthat you adhere to the arrival time on your ticket, which is specific to you

and your party. By doing so, you will enjoy the best embarkation experience

possible, spending less time in the cruise terminal and more time on board.

If you are travelling on a coach using our partner operator, you may find your

arrival time is different to the embarkation time on your ticket. In that case,

your coach arrival time will dictate the time you embark.

There are no changes to the existing Peninsular Club benefits in the cruise

terminal. For a full list of on board benefits please refer to

http://www.pocruises.com/the-peninsular-club/tiers-and-benefits

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Improved boarding experience? Not if you have to leave your hotel at 12 noon and have a 3.30 boarding time :mad::mad::mad:

 

Most hotels allow you to leave cases somewhere safe , while you wander around. You may have to leave your room by 12 mid day, but you could sit in a hotel lounge until nearer the time.

If you fly and lets say you are taking off at 6pm, do you get there at midday or at 3pm..

There are now large ships , and P and O are trying to make it easier for all, not just the people staying in hotels in Southampton the night before.

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Yes you do still get priority boarding see below this was also included in our e-mail from P&O.

 

 

Benefits at our homeport

 

Dedicated check-in

 

Your dedicated desk makes for a swift and effortless beginning to each cruise.

 

Priority embarkation

 

Arrive at the terminal at your designated boarding time to enjoy priority boarding.

 

Private embarkation lounge on board

 

Enjoy complimentary selected drinks and a scrumptious warm and cold buffet in a calm oasis until your cabin is ready.

 

*Improved Embarkation Process*

 

We are constantly working to improve your embarkation experience in

Southampton. To ensure that you embark your ship as soon as possible, we askthat you adhere to the arrival time on your ticket, which is specific to you

and your party. By doing so, you will enjoy the best embarkation experience

possible, spending less time in the cruise terminal and more time on board.

If you are travelling on a coach using our partner operator, you may find your

arrival time is different to the embarkation time on your ticket. In that case,

your coach arrival time will dictate the time you embark.

There are no changes to the existing Peninsular Club benefits in the cruise

terminal. For a full list of on board benefits please refer to

http://www.pocruises.com/the-peninsular-club/tiers-and-benefits

 

Thanks

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Thanks

 

 

The key expression is "at your allocated time". If you have 15.30 you will be the first of that group o get on board. It does not mean you can board early. Only Ligurian have that perk.

 

Anybody who turns up early will still have to wit in the terminal until their ticket letter is called.

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I've just received the same for my cruise in October on Aurora, but won't be "obeying" as sticking to my time would result in my having to wander round Southampton for over 2 hours with all my luggage after checking out of my hotel. This is NOT going to happen P and O!

The only way I would stick to my boarding time is if I can choose it. People who have to travel down from the North the night before have to check out at 11am. They need an early boarding time.

So you have the choice.

Leave your cases with the hotel and wander.

or

Stay in the hotel lounge until nearer your boarding time then leave ,board ,and have access to your cabin straightaway.

or

Leave your hotel ,get to the terminal hours before your boarding time, and sit there for a couple of hours until your allocated time.

I think I would go for 1 or 2 , rather than 3.

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We had a boarding time of 1.00 when we sailed on azura on 31st Aug, we arrived at the terminal at approx 1.05 we went straight up the escalator were shown to the check in desks, had one couple in front of us, we were on board and in our cabin by 1.45 simple

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Leave your hotel ,get to the terminal hours before your boarding time, and sit there for a couple of hours until your allocated time.

I think I would go for 1 or 2 , rather than 3.

 

In roughly ten cruises, we have twice encountered delayed embarkation, once due to deep cleaning and once caused by baggage conveyor problems. Having got to the terminal early, we got a seat while we waited; others were not so fortunate.

 

So now we always roll up early - many of us can't stand for hours.

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The key expression is "at your allocated time". If you have 15.30 you will be the first of that group o get on board. It does not mean you can board early. Only Ligurian have that perk.

 

Anybody who turns up early will still have to wit in the terminal until their ticket letter is called.

 

 

Not quite true Dai. We turned up to board Britannia about 11:30 (we were in a hotel, so checked out around 11). Boarding started about midday and as a Caribbean member was called immediately after the suites. We were on board around 12:15 and having lunch in the embarkation lounge (actually the main restaurant) five minutes later. Our original tickets said 15:00 and then that was changed to 14:00.

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In roughly ten cruises, we have twice encountered delayed embarkation, once due to deep cleaning and once caused by baggage conveyor problems. Having got to the terminal early, we got a seat while we waited; others were not so fortunate.

 

So now we always roll up early - many of us can't stand for hours.

 

But they are changing the process from what has been posted, so past boarding experiences do not really count.

So why will you still turn up early? If people stick to the times they are given, you should not have to wait very long at all and when you board will be able to go straight to your cabin.

If you do turn up early from what has been posted, unless there are no q'sat all you will be waiting

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Im not a fan of this change. We normally drive down on the day, a journey of approx 5 hours, and aim to get there at around noon normally to allow for delays en route. We would have to kill time somewhere before our allocated time with our wheelchair bound Mum in tow. In reality anyone driving down or using public transport on the day would be mad to plan to arrive at their allocated time slot as any delay could mean a missed departure so most would be forced to arrive earlier and wait in a packed departure hall.

 

The big benefit of a Southampton departure is the ease of boarding and knowing you can be on board for lunch. They have managed just fine boarding Azura/Ventura for the last few years so why change it now? I suppose they will save food consumption in the buffet!

 

We have check in slots on Anthem of the Seas next week but you choose your own slot when doing the online check in. Not allocated a random slot by the cruise line.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I seem to remember P&O posting on their website, sometime in the last 12 months, about some new benefits they were going to introduce and I am sure selecting your boarding time was one of them. Surely that would be the best way to go as Kevin suggests, and do on a first come first serve basis.

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But they are changing the process from what has been posted, so past boarding experiences do not really count.

So why will you still turn up early? If people stick to the times they are given, you should not have to wait very long at all and when you board will be able to go straight to your cabin.

If you do turn up early from what has been posted, unless there are no q'sat all you will be waiting

 

I don't think you've read what I posted...

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Im not a fan of this change. We normally drive down on the day, a journey of approx 5 hours, and aim to get there at around noon normally to allow for delays en route. We would have to kill time somewhere before our allocated time with our wheelchair bound Mum in tow. In reality anyone driving down or using public transport on the day would be mad to plan to arrive at their allocated time slot as any delay could mean a missed departure so most would be forced to arrive earlier and wait in a packed departure hall.

 

The big benefit of a Southampton departure is the ease of boarding and knowing you can be on board for lunch. They have managed just fine boarding Azura/Ventura for the last few years so why change it now? I suppose they will save food consumption in the buffet!

 

We have check in slots on Anthem of the Seas next week but you choose your own slot when doing the online check in. Not allocated a random slot by the cruise line.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

That's precisely the problem. I use public transport and having spent thousands on a cruise I would not risk the tender attentions of our railway system on departure day.

 

Now we need to know exactly how they allocate the boarding times ;)

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The key expression is "at your allocated time". If you have 15.30 you will be the first of that group o get on board. It does not mean you can board early. Only Ligurian have that perk.

 

Anybody who turns up early will still have to wit in the terminal until their ticket letter is called.

 

Thanks Dai, that doesn't seem like priority boarding to me.

 

(anyone guess who is Ligurian) :)

Edited by bee-ess

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Thanks Dai, that doesn't seem like priority booking to me.

 

 

 

(anyone guess who is Ligurian) :)

 

 

I only know one in that exalted position and it's not Me. :(.

 

I am not far off but still a humble Baltic.

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I've just received the same for my cruise in October on Aurora, but won't be "obeying" as sticking to my time would result in my having to wander round Southampton for over 2 hours with all my luggage after checking out of my hotel. This is NOT going to happen P and O!

The only way I would stick to my boarding time is if I can choose it. People who have to travel down from the North the night before have to check out at 11am. They need an early boarding time.

 

Your argument does not stack up, you just want an excuse to jump the queue. Surely your hotel will be able to provide you with a lounge or seating area once you have checked out where you could read or have a coffee. Failing that just ask the hotel if they will store your luggage until you are ready to depart and then you can have some free time without having to trail your luggage around with you. It is common practice for hotels to store guests' luggage safely until they are ready to leave. We have done this on many occasions when we have had to check out of our hotel by noon and have not had a departure time until late evening.

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Thanks Dai, that doesn't seem like priority boarding to me.

 

(anyone guess who is Ligurian) :)

 

 

Actually Caribbean and above have only ever had priority boarding. Meaning they could go through a special checkin and get to the booze and food. One cruise when in the Mayflower the Caribbean queue was long the assisted queue was long but the bog standard queue was non existent. We went through that one in my mobility scooter.

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This idea is great if you live close to Southampton or if you get an early boarding time. If you don't then, to us, it is pretty rubbish.

 

As I've said on a previous thread relating to this change, P&O need to offer this as a perk of a Select Fare.

 

Am not happy to think that I may book 15 months in advance, have to pay for an over night hotel and then wait around until about 4pm to get on the ship. (I know that some people don't get why we want to get on early but we just do and day 1 is our favourite day!)

 

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :mad::mad::mad:

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That's precisely the problem. I use public transport and having spent thousands on a cruise I would not risk the tender attentions of our railway system on departure day.

 

 

 

Now we need to know exactly how they allocate the boarding times ;)

 

 

I agree. Posts from Britannia cruisers seem to suggest its totally random.

 

I dont agree that selection of check in time should be a feature of Select Fare passengers. That makes it pretty awkward for those on saver fares who have more awkward travel arrangements.

 

The US cruise lines sailing from southampton dont take anything away from those that book a late availability deal. You get a choice of cabin, dining and no restriction on check in time. P&O seem intent on treating those on saver deals as second class passengers when the truth is they really need them, to fill the empty cabins. In fact without them they would probably be sailing with empty cabins.

 

Oh and the header saying 'new improved embarkation'.......improved for whom!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Edited by kevinyork

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Just found this on another forum from last year, hope it's ok to repost here.

 

Copied from Face Book...a lady who works on check in went to a new season staff meeting today.....copied with permission of the poster...

QUOTE

 

We had a pre season meeting today at Southampton cruise port to go over what is changing for this season and one of the things that came up was pax checking in earlier than their allocated time. This is being clamped down on this season due to problems with traffic heading into port and with the larger ships being based in Southampton next year things are only going to get worse.

RCI, Celebrity & Princess are now checking in pax by deck no so for example Emerald Princess

12pm deck C & D

1pm deck L & R

2pm deck A & B

2.30pm deck E & R

Priority pax must also stick to allocated check in time but will join the fast track line when they arrive.

This decision has been made jointly by the cruise lines, the port authority & Southampton city council.

We have been told if pax continue to ignore check in times and turn up early then we are to turn them away and ask them to come back at their allocated time. They will be able to drop their luggage and park their car as normal but will then be advised to go to west quay rather than hang around terminal as there is no seating prior to check in except at ocean terminal.

We are led to believe that this will also be the case with P&O.

 

She also goes on to say coaches will be shedules to arrive and a set time so as to,stagger arrivals so those on coaches will board together .

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Just found this on another forum from last year, hope it's ok to repost here.

 

 

 

Copied from Face Book...a lady who works on check in went to a new season staff meeting today.....copied with permission of the poster...

 

QUOTE

 

 

 

We had a pre season meeting today at Southampton cruise port to go over what is changing for this season and one of the things that came up was pax checking in earlier than their allocated time. This is being clamped down on this season due to problems with traffic heading into port and with the larger ships being based in Southampton next year things are only going to get worse.

 

RCI, Celebrity & Princess are now checking in pax by deck no so for example Emerald Princess

 

12pm deck C & D

 

1pm deck L & R

 

2pm deck A & B

 

2.30pm deck E & R

 

Priority pax must also stick to allocated check in time but will join the fast track line when they arrive.

 

This decision has been made jointly by the cruise lines, the port authority & Southampton city council.

 

We have been told if pax continue to ignore check in times and turn up early then we are to turn them away and ask them to come back at their allocated time. They will be able to drop their luggage and park their car as normal but will then be advised to go to west quay rather than hang around terminal as there is no seating prior to check in except at ocean terminal.

 

We are led to believe that this will also be the case with P&O.

 

 

 

She also goes on to say coaches will be shedules to arrive and a set time so as to,stagger arrivals so those on coaches will board together .

 

 

Oh I had to laugh. Coaches travelling from Scotland will have a set time to arrive. Social media gone mad.

 

There really is no way the council would interfere with cruise line arrivals. Its worth millions to them per year and the last thing they would want is cruise lines going elsewhere.

 

Finally I would love to see evidence of passengers being turned away because they were early. In the rain, cold, blistering sun. Wheelchair passengers, the elderley, families with kids?

 

Its not going to happen.

 

If there really is an issue with them coping with check in volumes then employ more check in staff

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Edited by kevinyork

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Oh I had to laugh. Coaches travelling from Scotland will have a set time to arrive. Social media gone mad.

 

There really is no way the council would interfere with cruise line arrivals. Its worth millions to them per year and the last thing they would want is cruise lines going elsewhere.

 

Finally I would love to see evidence of passengers being turned away because they were early. In the rain, cold, blistering sun. Wheelchair passengers, the elderley, families with kids?

 

Its not going to happen.

 

If there really is an issue with them coping with check in volumes then employ more check in staff

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

The terminals will be full of all the people who come across from hotels (cos they have to) those that drive down (but time it so they arrive at 11.30) etc etc....there will not be the room for the extra staff (and remember it would not just be the check in staff-think of the q's for security)

It's really is amazing how one company asking for a change is causing such a fuss.

Does anyone not want to be last to board, no q's ,straight to your cabin, and off to muster, then the ship sails.

As long as all those who HAVE to board at 11.30am do not post moaning about the q's in the car park, q's for checking in, q's for security , q's in the buffet etc etc etc.

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The US cruise lines sailing from southampton dont take anything away from those that book a late availability deal. You get a choice of cabin, dining and no restriction on check in time. P&O seem intent on treating those on saver deals as second class passengers when the truth is they really need them, to fill the empty cabins. In fact without them they would probably be sailing with empty cabins.

 

 

My thoughts exactly Kevin. All cruise lines need to fill cabins with saver fares but P&O seem intent on penalising those customers by removing things like dining option and shuttle buses. I except not getting cabin choice but am finding it hard to except the other two.

Edited by bee-ess

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My thoughts exactly Kevin

 

Not appreciated for those of us who have to book early due to holiday restrictions. Totally brassed off by the whole thread.

 

Ironically on Celebrity from Rome we were able to board at 11am ---- no restrictions at all ....................

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We are sailing on Ventura in 3 weeks and have also had the email. I have a few issues with it as others do. Although they've allocated times in the past they've never stuck to them and people have made arrangements based on that knowledge. To change it this close just seems silly.

 

It does feel as if those being asked to board late are being penalised as they are potentially missing a good chunk of their first day. On a 14 day sailing it's probably not that big a deal but on a 2 or 3 night sailing I would be very unimpressed to the point where I'd now probably not book those with P&O incase I got allocated a 3.30 check in time.

 

If they are insistent on giving people a set time and sticking to it they should at least give people choice. I don't see why they can't do it like the dining. First come first served but when you book you know your boarding time so you can plan. It would also be an advantage they could market for those booking early. It wouldn't really help us as we always have to book late but it would at least be fairer than they way they are doing it now.

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I find this fixed time issue irritating

1) We live 90 mins drive away if and its a big if the M3 is clear, on one occasion it took two and a half hours

2) then the parking queue -on Brittania in July in it for 30 mins

3) Due to my wife's mobility problems she uses the wheelchair service and this can be 5 mins or 45 mins as per July.

 

So in order to meet say a 1pm boarding time do we leave home at 11.30 for the 90 min drive or 10 am to ensure we are on time

 

Another point friends we often cruise with drive down from the north the previous day stay in a hotel who then take them (and any others) to the dock will they have to say to the hotel you have to take us there at 2 pm for example I doubt it

Edited by TOMOGP

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Oh I had to laugh. Coaches travelling from Scotland will have a set time to arrive. Social media gone mad.

 

There really is no way the council would interfere with cruise line arrivals. Its worth millions to them per year and the last thing they would want is cruise lines going elsewhere.

 

Finally I would love to see evidence of passengers being turned away because they were early. In the rain, cold, blistering sun. Wheelchair passengers, the elderley, families with kids?

 

Its not going to happen.

 

If there really is an issue with them coping with check in volumes then employ more check in staff

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

 

Well Kevin it is happening. The last 3/4 sailings of Britannia have been like this. One person has reported that it was a bit crowded but it cleared. Apart from saying that they had to wait until there allocated time there has been very little comment. No one is turned away just asked to sit and wait. People in wheelchairs have priority anyway but there are not enough assistance staff to get them all on at the same time so they have to wait as they always have.

 

People in coaches have been told that the time they have been allocated is superseded by the coach arrival time and they can embark when they arrive. I think that the pickup times have been changed as well.

 

As far as I can see the time you get is not related to the type of fare you have paid although if you book very late you are not going to get 13.00.

 

P&O tell us that the main reason they are doing this is that passengers have asked to have the cabins ready when they board. Clearly a case of be careful what you ask for.

 

I have been telling people if they do not like it then put it in writing. Not as just a complaint but as a suggestion. Clearly those on cruises should do this at he end of cruise questionnaire. If many people do this then it may change back.

 

If this works for P&O then the other lines will follow suit, that is quite clear. The letter above is over a year old. The way the other companies did it did not work it was abandoned. I thought this may happen with Britannia but it looks at the moment that they are getting it to work.

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Oh this thread makes me laugh. There have been several like it and the consensus is, people will turn up when they like no matter what P & O say/do.

 

My argument with that and I've been absolutely slated because of it. Everyone thinks they're a priority...

 

We have the I've got children under 5 brigade, I've got an elderly parent, I've got a wheelchair, I've to travel a long way and my favourite is the hotel one where that 'have' to book out at 11 and will be out in cold.

 

Now how do P & O prioritise if everyone turns up at the same time? Who is more important than who? If I go by the book and arrive at my allocated time and all of the above are waiting. I'm not in any of the above categories but should I have to wait because you decided your need/excuse is greater than mine.

 

How do P&O take on everyone's travel arrangements prior to arriving at the ship? I think basically everyone is out for themselves with this one. They 'want' to get onboard first and don't give a monkeys about you or I having to wait, even though we abided by the rules.

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Oh this thread makes me laugh. There have been several like it and the consensus is, people will turn up when they like no matter what P & O say/do.

 

 

 

My argument with that and I've been absolutely slated because of it. Everyone thinks they're a priority...

 

 

 

We have the I've got children under 5 brigade, I've got an elderly parent, I've got a wheelchair, I've to travel a long way and my favourite is the hotel one where that 'have' to book out at 11 and will be out in cold.

 

 

 

Now how do P & O prioritise if everyone turns up at the same time? Who is more important than who? If I go by the book and arrive at my allocated time and all of the above are waiting. I'm not in any of the above categories but should I have to wait because you decided your need/excuse is greater than mine.

 

 

 

How do P&O take on everyone's travel arrangements prior to arriving at the ship? I think basically everyone is out for themselves with this one. They 'want' to get onboard first and don't give a monkeys about you or I having to wait, even though we abided by the rules.

 

 

They may want to be on first but they will not get on until there allocated time. They know their time. If you turn up at the time on you ticket and there is a full room of people with later times you will get on before them. That is how Britannia has been working.

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They may want to be on first but they will not get on until there allocated time. They know their time. If you turn up at the time on you ticket and there is a full room of people with later times you will get on before them. That is how Britannia has been working.

 

Sorry, not true in late July ------- people turned up and got a card with a letter whatever time they were given. You may shoot us down in flames but we boarded at 1.30pm but had been given 4pm. When we booked last March there were no such restrictions so were not happy about the last minute changes to boarding times. Seemed like a change in contract...

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Sorry, not true in late July ------- people turned up and got a card with a letter whatever time they were given. You may shoot us down in flames but we boarded at 1.30pm but had been given 4pm. When we booked last March there were no such restrictions so were not happy about the last minute changes to boarding times. Seemed like a change in contract...

 

My point exactly. People turn up when they want and selfishly don't care about anyone else.

 

Does it not state in the terms & conditions that they reserve the right to 'change' such things.

 

I'm on Azura in December and the whole first weeks itinery has changed and I cannot do a thing about it.

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