Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
terrierjohn

P&O Accessibility disembarkation assistance.

Recommended Posts

For those who have ever used this facility, how far into the terminal do they take you?  I assume that they won't wait for your AB carer to find your luggage and then push the wheelchair user out of the luggage hall and into the terminal arrival hall?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They take you to the luggage hall to collect your cases then out to the car park and help you put your luggage in the car. Really good and friendly service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, they will help you find your luggage and then take the wheelchair user to the car whilst you push the luggage. Agree that they are very helpful and friendly.

 

Word of warning though. The assistance facility is widely abused. Many people who we have seen walking around the ship and ashore  throughout the entire cruise, without any difficulty whatsoever, suddenly decide that, come disembarkation, they need a wheelchair, in a misguided belief that they will short circuit the disembarkation queues and get off quicker. As a result, an awful lot of people turn up for it and it can take longer!

 

As this irritates me, I have found a way to get around this that works every time. We vacate our cabin and go for a leisurely breakfast in the main dining room. When we have finished, we go to the assisted disembarkation lounge (getting there is the biggest challenge, as the wait for the lifts can be an age as everyone tends to use them with their hand luggage) but, instead of joining the long queue (and wait) for a pusher, I say to the P&O staff member organising it that I don't need a pusher but will follow the next one off. They are happy to do this as it makes their life easier (I think they even have a name for it - 'self assist'), so we leave the lounge immediately, not even having sat down and join the next pusher (and their wheelchair passenger) in their dedicated lift and are off the ship within minutes. As we enter the terminal, I bid the pusher farewell and grab a porter, who helps us find our luggage and then he pushes the luggage to the car whilst I push my wife in the wheelchair.

 

The only downside is that my wife has to have our hand luggage piled on her lap until we grab a porter, which doesn't sit terribly comfortably when she is genuinely disabled, but we have witnessed some appalling abuse of the system and now prefer that not to be our final memory of an enjoyable cruise.

Edited by Selbourne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

For those who have ever used this facility, how far into the terminal do they take you?  I assume that they won't wait for your AB carer to find your luggage and then push the wheelchair user out of the luggage hall and into the terminal arrival hall?

They take you all the way to your Car, taxi or coach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Selbourne said:

Yes, they will help you find your luggage and then take the wheelchair user to the car whilst you push the luggage. Agree that they are very helpful and friendly.

 

Word of warning though. The assistance facility is widely abused. Many people who we have seen walking around the ship and ashore  throughout the entire cruise, without any difficulty whatsoever, suddenly decide that, come disembarkation, they need a wheelchair, in a misguided belief that they will short circuit the disembarkation queues and get off quicker. As a result, an awful lot of people turn up for it and it can take longer!

 

As this irritates me, I have found a way to get around this that works every time. We vacate our cabin and go for a leisurely breakfast in the main dining room. When we have finished, we go to the assisted disembarkation lounge (getting there is the biggest challenge, as the wait for the lifts can be an age as everyone tends to use them with their hand luggage) but, instead of joining the long queue (and wait) for a pusher, I say to the P&O staff member organising it that I don't need a pusher but will follow the next one off. They are happy to do this as it makes their life easier (I think they even have a name for it - 'self assist'), so we leave the lounge immediately, not even having sat down and join the next pusher (and their wheelchair passenger) in their dedicated lift and are off the ship within minutes. As we enter the terminal, I bid the pusher farewell and grab a porter, who helps us find our luggage and then he pushes the luggage to the car whilst I push my wife in the wheelchair.

 

The only downside is that my wife has to have our hand luggage piled on her lap until we grab a porter, which doesn't sit terribly comfortably when she is genuinely disabled, but we have witnessed some appalling abuse of the system and now prefer that not to be our final memory of an enjoyable cruise.

As I do with my scooter. That way you guarantee a lift.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

For those who have ever used this facility, how far into the terminal do they take you?  I assume that they won't wait for your AB carer to find your luggage and then push the wheelchair user out of the luggage hall and into the terminal arrival hall?

 

It is well worth finding a porter with a sack barrow for suitcases as well, usually at the bottom of the stairs/lift in yellow jackets.  Then you have two guys sorting things out and they will take you to your car, taxi rank or whatever. Tip £3-£5 is reasonable.

 

Regards John

Edited by john watson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

For those who have ever used this facility, how far into the terminal do they take you?  I assume that they won't wait for your AB carer to find your luggage and then push the wheelchair user out of the luggage hall and into the terminal arrival hall?

Yes they do, as far as the pick-up area for certain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your very detailed replies, the service sounds as though it would be superb if the waiting time was limited. However I have no problem with self disembarkation,  and tend to go straight to the gangway rather than wait in the lounges, and when possible I always use a porter,  but last time in Mayflower after a 28 night cruise the luggage hall was a shambles with all porters busy trying to find luggage and I had to handle both the luggage trolley and the wheelchair, which is not easy. So I was checking out the alternatives, but it seems that P&O prefer totally disorganised chaos to a slick operation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Host Sharon said:

Yes they do, as far as the pick-up area for certain.

 

They have even taken my luggage to the far side of the car park in the rain.  I have had no problems with the service at all but I regularly use them and have tipped as much as twenty euros to get rid of the notes.

 

Regards John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

Thank you all for your very detailed replies, the service sounds as though it would be superb if the waiting time was limited. However I have no problem with self disembarkation,  and tend to go straight to the gangway rather than wait in the lounges, and when possible I always use a porter,  but last time in Mayflower after a 28 night cruise the luggage hall was a shambles with all porters busy trying to find luggage and I had to handle both the luggage trolley and the wheelchair, which is not easy. So I was checking out the alternatives, but it seems that P&O prefer totally disorganised chaos to a slick operation.

 

Interesting that you usually just go straight to the gangway John. I have often said to my wife that I felt that it would be possible to do just that and that P&O play on the British traits of being very compliant and liking a queue in order to maintain the timed disembarkation & waiting around in lounges rituals that make the end of a cruise a chore. I don't believe that I've ever seen anyone getting off being asked to show proof of their disembarkation time slot and, after all, the staff just want everyone off the ship as soon as possible in order that they can get on with turnaround.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Selbourne said:

 

Interesting that you usually just go straight to the gangway John. I have often said to my wife that I felt that it would be possible to do just that and that P&O play on the British traits of being very compliant and liking a queue in order to maintain the timed disembarkation & waiting around in lounges rituals that make the end of a cruise a chore. I don't believe that I've ever seen anyone getting off being asked to show proof of their disembarkation time slot and, after all, the staff just want everyone off the ship as soon as possible in order that they can get on with turnaround.

 

I think what TJ is saying is that he self-disembarks and therefore does not have a disembarkation slot.  These slots are co-ordinated with luggage unloading, when the red 7 suitcases arrive in the luggage hall the red 7 passengers are released. Self-disembarkers are free to leave as soon as it is announced that the first passengers are allowed off. This is because they are a self-contained complete unit of passengers with cases in hand.  There is no advantage to leaving the ship prior to your colour group being released.  If you did you would end up in the luggage hall with forklifts unloading in a roped off area with guys lining up suitcases into the various piles.  You cases will still be on the ship! If you get off at 9.0am on a 10.0am slot your wait in the luggage hall will be around an hour in a relatively bleak environment in comparison to waiting in a comfy cruise ship lounge area.

 

Regards John

Edited by john watson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has always been my understanding that the main disembarkation does not start until ALL the luggage is in the baggage hall. Usually this is between 0830 and 0900.  I have never seen forklifts operating when people are collecting luggage.

 

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, BrianI said:

It has always been my understanding that the main disembarkation does not start until ALL the luggage is in the baggage hall. Usually this is between 0830 and 0900.  I have never seen forklifts operating when people are collecting luggage.

 

Brian

 

Last cruise I went on I was with my daughter in a wheelchair.  We had the earliest disembarkation slot and were happily waiting for it.  We waited in a convenient place in anticipation of moving to the official waiting place ten minutes before the published time.  On the way to the second location we passed an atrium area where staff were supervising passengers leaving the ship.  There were very few passengers there but the crew member ushered us off and down the gangway.  So we complied despite being a bit confused.  We seemed to be mixed up with self-disembarkers so did not look out of place with a wheelchair.  The luggage hall was roped off and a few pallets of cases had arrived.  Forklifts were bringing more in so we waited a bit for our colour group.  It was only ten minutes but I now know not to do what the crew says if your group has not been called as you will be heading for trouble. The staff did not like us waiting down there and if you go past a certain point you are not allowed to return.  

 

Regards John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, john watson said:

 

I think what TJ is saying is that he self-disembarks and therefore does not have a disembarkation slot.  These slots are co-ordinated with luggage unloading, when the red 7 suitcases arrive in the luggage hall the red 7 passengers are released. Self-disembarkers are free to leave as soon as it is announced that the first passengers are allowed off. This is because they are a self-contained complete unit of passengers with cases in hand.  There is no advantage to leaving the ship prior to your colour group being released.  If you did you would end up in the luggage hall with forklifts unloading in a roped off area with guys lining up suitcases into the various piles.  You cases will still be on the ship! If you get off at 9.0am on a 10.0am slot your wait in the luggage hall will be around an hour in a relatively bleak environment in comparison to waiting in a comfy cruise ship lounge area.

 

Regards John

This appears to be the practice with Princess as we Forno out to our cost as there were no porters available.

 

in all our disembarkations with P&O and generally very early but not in the self disembark group we have never even in the hall when the cases were still coming off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, john watson said:

 

I think what TJ is saying is that he self-disembarks and therefore does not have a disembarkation slot.  These slots are co-ordinated with luggage unloading, when the red 7 suitcases arrive in the luggage hall the red 7 passengers are released. Self-disembarkers are free to leave as soon as it is announced that the first passengers are allowed off. This is because they are a self-contained complete unit of passengers with cases in hand.  There is no advantage to leaving the ship prior to your colour group being released.  If you did you would end up in the luggage hall with forklifts unloading in a roped off area with guys lining up suitcases into the various piles.  You cases will still be on the ship! If you get off at 9.0am on a 10.0am slot your wait in the luggage hall will be around an hour in a relatively bleak environment in comparison to waiting in a comfy cruise ship lounge area.

 

Regards John

No I don't self disembark because it would be difficult with a wheelchair to carry off the suitcases as well, but I do try to secure an early slot if possible. However  I do try to avoid having to wait in one of the lounges, so I try to time my departure after normal disembarcation has started, maybe it's  must the rebel in me that hates having to meekly follow all the sheep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

No I don't self disembark because it would be difficult with a wheelchair to carry off the suitcases as well, but I do try to secure an early slot if possible. However  I do try to avoid having to wait in one of the lounges, so I try to time my departure after normal disembarcation has started, maybe it's  must the rebel in me that hates having to meekly follow all the sheep.

 

I had assumed that you weren’t referring to self disembarkation, and neither was I. Can’t see the point of it unless you have an early flight to get or live somewhere like Scotland. We have a leisurely breakfast and let P&O take care of the luggage. I would be very interested to know if anyone who has completely ignored their allocated disembarkation  time slot and just gone to the gangway whenever it suits them (once general disembarkation has started, but not going via a lounge) has ever been turned back. I suspect not. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Selbourne said:

 

I had assumed that you weren’t referring to self disembarkation, and neither was I. Can’t see the point of it unless you have an early flight to get or live somewhere like Scotland. We have a leisurely breakfast and let P&O take care of the luggage. I would be very interested to know if anyone who has completely ignored their allocated disembarkation  time slot and just gone to the gangway whenever it suits them (once general disembarkation has started, but not going via a lounge) has ever been turned back. I suspect not. 

Well certainly not us, although with the chaotic Mayflower luggage hall I do wonder if it would be better if we waited until much later, it should then be easier to find our luggage and the heaving scrum would be over.  Unfortunately we have a long drive so like to start early, and her who must be obeyed prefers to disembark ASAP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

Well certainly not us, although with the chaotic Mayflower luggage hall I do wonder if it would be better if we waited until much later, it should then be easier to find our luggage and the heaving scrum would be over.  Unfortunately we have a long drive so like to start early, and her who must be obeyed prefers to disembark ASAP.

 

I've sometimes thought that leaving it until much later would be a good idea, but then I start to worry that someone might have mistakenly made off in haste with one of our suitcases! Regardless of whether we have had the assistance of a P&O assisted disembarkation staff member, or a land side porter, they have always helped me to find the suitcases - and usually spot them before I do! They are all incredibly helpful and on the occasions when we've had to hire a wheelchair (due to bringing our daughters and not having the boot space), they will even take that back from the car to the terminal. This thread has been interesting in exposing that several of us who cruise regularly with P&O and are either disabled, or have a partner who is, find that it is quicker to circumvent the assisted disembarkation process than to join the queues with those who feel that use of this facility is going to get them off quicker!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Selbourne said:

 

I've sometimes thought that leaving it until much later would be a good idea, but then I start to worry that someone might have mistakenly made off in haste with one of our suitcases! Regardless of whether we have had the assistance of a P&O assisted disembarkation staff member, or a land side porter, they have always helped me to find the suitcases - and usually spot them before I do! They are all incredibly helpful and on the occasions when we've had to hire a wheelchair (due to bringing our daughters and not having the boot space), they will even take that back from the car to the terminal. This thread has been interesting in exposing that several of us who cruise regularly with P&O and are either disabled, or have a partner who is, find that it is quicker to circumvent the assisted disembarkation process than to join the queues with those who feel that use of this facility is going to get them off quicker!

As we generally have a suite and therefore can disembark when we like. I will still go to the assistance lounge and check in. I am then told to follow the first of the wheelchairs to leave. This gets me straight to a lift. We rarely bother with breakfast as we are increasing the lift use we need and possible stress level.

 

The best way to avoid all of this at the end of the cruise is to do the next one. :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...