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Thought I'd have my first moan up.When we entered the check in hall for the E1 on 4th Sept,2 old biddys were herding everyone in the left hand sheep pen so everyone at the back had a 45 min wait.After that they suddenly herded people that came in behind to the right hand sheep pen where they had a 5min wait,because the 3rd old biddy at the front was alternating the 2 sheep pens.This uneven process continued thru the whole of the afternoon.Quite a few people were not happy.Was there a method in their madness or were they just plain mad.I think the latter.

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Unfortunately the 'old biddies' are not employed by Marella, I believe all the terminals have their staff provided by a port owned company? I have seen chaos on occasion when embarking on P&O ships

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25 minutes ago, davecttr said:

Unfortunately the 'old biddies' are not employed by Marella, I believe all the terminals have their staff provided by a port owned company? I have seen chaos on occasion when embarking on P&O ships

They were wearing  TUI outfits though.At the end of the day,it's just common sense.

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If you are nice to them you may be surprised. I once gave a cheery good morning and on being given a 'G' card cheekily asked if I could have an 'A', the 'A' was handed over with a smile and I waited about 5 minutes for check in.

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We were on the same sailing and had a great cruise (weather and sea state to one side!) but I must say the embarkation was the worst we've ever experienced.  We too were in the sheep pen held back whilst new arrivals were allowed through.   Bad enough having to stand for an hour and three quarters to be processed with no seating, but seeing the queue management which allowed some who'd not waited at all just swanning through was galling. There was a large unused seating area (cordoned off) just to the side from where they were registering passengers - it would have been so much better to use the coloured card system, allow people to sit and wait calling them in turn.  One elderly lady fainted and broke her arm.  I'm sure it could be organised better.  I hope they've learned from it.  We have friends who came home today from Explorer leaving from Southampton.  It will be intetesting to hear if the system has been improved!

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5 hours ago, kruzseeka said:

We were on the same sailing and had a great cruise (weather and sea state to one side!) but I must say the embarkation was the worst we've ever experienced.  We too were in the sheep pen held back whilst new arrivals were allowed through.   Bad enough having to stand for an hour and three quarters to be processed with no seating, but seeing the queue management which allowed some who'd not waited at all just swanning through was galling. There was a large unused seating area (cordoned off) just to the side from where they were registering passengers - it would have been so much better to use the coloured card system, allow people to sit and wait calling them in turn.  One elderly lady fainted and broke her arm.  I'm sure it could be organised better.  I hope they've learned from it.  We have friends who came home today from Explorer leaving from Southampton.  It will be intetesting to hear if the system has been improved!

Yey,I knew you was on the same cruise and would come to my rescue.I'm sure some people think I'm exaggerating.

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13 hours ago, davecttr said:

If you are nice to them you may be surprised. I once gave a cheery good morning and on being given a 'G' card cheekily asked if I could have an 'A', the 'A' was handed over with a smile and I waited about 5 minutes for check in.

No such luck with cards I'm afraid, they didn't exist.Everyone just stood there and stewed in silence.It's what we Brits do.lol.

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Maybe Marella used the bargain basement offer from the management company. You get what you pay for

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I'm not even going to answer that.As my mate Boris would say,Humbug.

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1 hour ago, davecttr said:

Maybe Marella used the bargain basement offer from the management company. You get what you pay for

 

Whatever dave, we've done a lot of cruises with a number of cruise lines but half of them have been with Thomson/Marella and a lot from Southampton and this was the worst ever embarkation experience - by a country mile.   

It was a complete shambles in terms of regulating passengers entering the security/check-in area and the expectation that people had to stand in a queue for hours to be processed - we met someone who waited for 2.5 hours - is nothing short of a disgrace.  Many were elderly - a lady in front of me had two walking sticks and given is was a warm day, I could see she was really struggling.  There was a seating area as we got near the registration desk - surely that could have been opened up by judicious moving of barriers.   Even if they'd given us a raffle ticket to impose some structure and fairness to the process it could have been fairly simply improved.  I know they don't have many sailings from Southampton - but that's not typical of my experience at the port so I can only imagine it was a failure of thoughtful planning on the part of Marella. 

We had a great cruise so the memory of the check-in soon faded and didn't spoil our holiday but in the past I have been very complimentary re Thomson's organisation (once your holiday starts) especially fly/cruises where transfers etc have been excellent and on a couple of occasions when the ship had a problem and failed to arrive for departure and another time when planes couldn't land in Corfu, they did an absolutely brilliant job in finding accommodation for everyone.  I was in awe of their organisional skills then - but this was comparatively an easy procedure to organise and I'm afraid they failed miserably.  

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49 minutes ago, kruzseeka said:

 

Whatever dave, we've done a lot of cruises with a number of cruise lines but half of them have been with Thomson/Marella and a lot from Southampton and this was the worst ever embarkation experience - by a country mile.   

It was a complete shambles in terms of regulating passengers entering the security/check-in area and the expectation that people had to stand in a queue for hours to be processed - we met someone who waited for 2.5 hours - is nothing short of a disgrace.  Many were elderly - a lady in front of me had two walking sticks and given is was a warm day, I could see she was really struggling.  There was a seating area as we got near the registration desk - surely that could have been opened up by judicious moving of barriers.   Even if they'd given us a raffle ticket to impose some structure and fairness to the process it could have been fairly simply improved.  I know they don't have many sailings from Southampton - but that's not typical of my experience at the port so I can only imagine it was a failure of thoughtful planning on the part of Marella. 

We had a great cruise so the memory of the check-in soon faded and didn't spoil our holiday but in the past I have been very complimentary re Thomson's organisation (once your holiday starts) especially fly/cruises where transfers etc have been excellent and on a couple of occasions when the ship had a problem and failed to arrive for departure and another time when planes couldn't land in Corfu, they did an absolutely brilliant job in finding accommodation for everyone.  I was in awe of their organisional skills then - but this was comparatively an easy procedure to organise and I'm afraid they failed miserably.  

You took the words right out of my mouth,lol.We arrived early because we were only staying in the HI opposite,sounds like it got a lot worse.

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We were on the same cruise and I agree that the checking in process was an absolute shambles-after travelling for 5 hours the last thing you need is queuing for well over 2 hours.I did hear the ladies on the first desk complaining that there was only one open where normally there's at least two hence the delay.Hopefully Marella have got there act together now that so many people have complained.

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That was the point-hopefully they'll be more organised next Sept.

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1 hour ago, okavango said:

All a bit irelevent now till september next year

No worries,won't be me queuing for ages.I only do 1 itinerary once.Somewhere else will have the benefit of our presence next year,lol.

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46 minutes ago, GFJM said:

That was the point-hopefully they'll be more organised next Sept.

 

I doubt it ,for the sake of about three cruises they will just absorb the flak

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21 minutes ago, okavango said:

 

I doubt it ,for the sake of about three cruises they will just absorb the flak

 

Well shame on them if so!   Embarking in Southampton is well tried and tested by many cruise lines.  If Marella are happy to treat customers with contempt - which would be the case if they don't make better provision next year they deserve all the flak they get. 

I have a better opinion of them and trust they will learn from it after all it's not going to cost them anything/much to simply organise some seating facilities and a system whereby people embark in some sort of order and not holding a large group back for 45 minutes whilst others walk through (random - not linked to any priority or medical issues).  Talk about being penned.  We might well have been sheep for not challenging it at the time!  Time will tell but I hope not to see reports of this nature next year.  .  

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49 minutes ago, kruzseeka said:

 

Well shame on them if so!   Embarking in Southampton is well tried and tested by many cruise lines.  If Marella are happy to treat customers with contempt - which would be the case if they don't make better provision next year they deserve all the flak they get. 

I have a better opinion of them and trust they will learn from it after all it's not going to cost them anything/much to simply organise some seating facilities and a system whereby people embark in some sort of order and not holding a large group back for 45 minutes whilst others walk through (random - not linked to any priority or medical issues).  Talk about being penned.  We might well have been sheep for not challenging it at the time!  Time will tell but I hope not to see reports of this nature next year.  .  

 

 

Kruzseeka i totaliy agree my company Penguin cruise parking took many pax to the city cruise terminal and the mayflower on different sailings and each time it was chaos, the latter being the worst, how embarrassing for every one sailing on MARELLA persons going every were with there trolleys loaded with two to three cases because of the cold climate cruise, long lines of pax queuing for cabin number labels totally out of order, why cant they do the same as P&O  Cunard and royal and get there cabin numbers on line through TA or post, and then simple,s drop straight to the hole in the wall cases gone then go and book in.

 

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24 minutes ago, so,ton saint said:

 

 

Kruzseeka i totaliy agree my company Penguin cruise parking took many pax to the city cruise terminal and the mayflower on different sailings and each time it was chaos, the latter being the worst, how embarrassing for every one sailing on MARELLA persons going every were with there trolleys loaded with two to three cases because of the cold climate cruise, long lines of pax queuing for cabin number labels totally out of order, why cant they do the same as P&O  Cunard and royal and get there cabin numbers on line through TA or post, and then simple,s drop straight to the hole in the wall cases gone then go and book in.

 

 

Very interesting to get your perspective so,ton saint.  I thought you would have some good, first hand intelligence to add to the discussion given your experience of Southampton embarkation.  Like you say, it was chaos just picking up your luggage labels (actually our queue wasn't too bad - It was inside the terminal where we queued for neatly 2 hours)  but thankfully it was a dry day as the label collection queues were outside. How much worse had it been pouring and blowing a hooley.  Who is responsible at Marella for organising the embarkation procedures?  They need a long hard look at their approach at least in Southampton.  It will be so remiss of Marella not to take note of passenger feedback plus that of someone like yourself who is there on the ground week after week and in a an excellent position to draw objective comparisons.

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Sadly Marella dont react too well to feedback ,a few years ago i kept telling them for about two years they had an obsolete phone no on their website ,reaction zero. Until the bean counters notice something is hitting them in the pocket not much changes.

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16 hours ago, so,ton saint said:

 

 

Kruzseeka i totaliy agree my company Penguin cruise parking took many pax to the city cruise terminal and the mayflower on different sailings and each time it was chaos, the latter being the worst, how embarrassing for every one sailing on MARELLA persons going every were with there trolleys loaded with two to three cases because of the cold climate cruise, long lines of pax queuing for cabin number labels totally out of order, why cant they do the same as P&O  Cunard and royal and get there cabin numbers on line through TA or post, and then simple,s drop straight to the hole in the wall cases gone then go and book in.

 

Spot on SS.The 3rd option is Princess's method of printing off labels online.If money is their only criteria,then they could save a fortune doing this and simply reorganising the checkin process,still keeping the existing staff,even reducing the outside staff.

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We had no problem at Southampton departing 26 Sept although we did arrive early as we stayed overnight locally. Taxi dropped us off and we were straight into departure hall, welcomed and given a ticket and sat for a short time before getting called up to be registered.  Went through the cordoned area quite quickly, and the folks from the rear that were being shown through before us were, I believe, premium passengers who  think paid extra for this privilege.  Didn't take long, then security was ok too, and we were in the Market Place around 12 noon.  Maybe we were just lucky with the time we got there, but it was a similar experience as far as I remember when we travelled down on the day so arrived at the port after lunchtime.

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We will be taking our first cruise on Marella in November departing Tenerife.  Does anyone have experience of check in there and, if so, how was it.   Does Marella give various check in times as some other cruise line do.  Was the chaos at Soton aggravated by many people turning up around the same time.  Lack of seating is ridiculous bearing in mind the age of many cruisers.  It will be interesting to see how it all works compared to many other cruise lines.  

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We have done the Tenerife/Canaries and as I recall  it was pretty seamless, Pick up your bags from the carousel at the airport then board your coach to the port, The check in was pretty quick and your cases are delivered to your cabin.

The check in is done as and when the coaches arrive at the port so if there were a couple of flights landing at the same time it could get busy.

 

Enjoy your trip.😉

 

Edited by Brummijam
Why not ?

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