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Lizcourt

Disembarkation procedures on Caribbean Princess

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Just got off the Caribbean Princess yesterday, and submitted a review to member reviews which hopefully will be up on the site in a day or two. The bottom line was that we had a wonderful cruise, probably the best ever.

 

However, the disembarkation procedures were awful, and could be fixed in one respect very simply. Knowing that cruise ships sometimes monitor the boards, I was hoping to suggest a very simple change that would make a huge difference.

 

For some reason, Princess does not use the shipwide intercom in the disembarkation process. Instead, you have to be at your designated lounge, and eventually a crew member will come and call your color; if you're not in the right lounge, you never get the word to disembark. That's great if you know where your lounge is and its not too crowded to get a seat. But on our cruise, information for where suite passengers were supposed to gather was misprinted on letters sent to the cabins, and in several of the lounges there were not sufficient seats for everyone assigned to the lounge, with the result that I saw several senior citizens (and I do mean SENIOR citizens) squatting on the floor amid their carry ons.

 

On other cruise lines I've sailed, you are simply asked to wait in any public area of your choice, and announcements are made shipwide as each color tag is ready for disembarkation. You never get caught in the "wrong" lounge or in a lounge that doesn't accomodate everyone with a given tag color. It seems to me that's a much more sensible system, and certainly avoids the confusion and chaos that we went through trying to disembark yesterday.

 

Don't get me wrong -- we had an absolutely wonderful cruise, and my full length review is glowing. But this seems such an easy fix to what (yesterday at least) was an unfortunate end to an otherwise excellent cruise that I thought it was worth a mention in the hopes that someone at Princess is listening.

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This new disembarkation process Princess is using is a gods send compared to the old way IMHO. I have been tripped trying to get down the stairs in the past and went flying, until my hubby caught me, caused from those sitting on stairways even after being told not to, those that don't listen to the announcements but wait as close as they can to the exit are a pain the the behind. Passengers crowded in the atrium area, even though they were also told not to. It was a real mess previously.

 

I commend Princess on this new procedure they are using and hope it stays in place forever. We have seen it used, first hand, the last several cruises and found absolutely no fault at all with it. In fact, just the opposite, it has been the most organized disembarkation I have ever seen on any ship with any line.

Hopefully they will put in a few extra chairs in some places, but arriving more than a couple of minutes early would be the answer for those that can not stand. Waiting until the last minute may be a problem with this process if they feel they need to sit down to wait.

 

Sorry you didn't find it that way though.

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We were on the CB in January - the disembarkation process was flawless and efficient. We were told to go to dining room at 8:15 and were there at 8:10 and were escorted off of the ship right after sitting down.

 

We were on the CB again in April (the first 4 nighter) and had quite the opposite experience. This was in part due to - later disembarkation time (supposed to be started at 9 am), and the ship cleared Immigration and Customs later than expected. We were on one of the first groups for disembarkation due to an early flight (and it wound up being earlier as the flight was moved up by 1/2 hour and we were never notified - they told us the schedules changed that very day). However, it seemed like the crew had no control over the other they groups, as even though we were the first group supposed to be off, the others were filing into the atrium to the gangway and it was a big mess - many. many people funneling into a small gangway area.

 

People with the walk off were also not selfing managing their luggage very well and this contributed to the massive confusion, IMO.

 

Two very different experiences. I really liked how the first one went - no announcements, no straining to hear your group as in the past ship we were on and very personable = the cruise staff member personally escorted us off in January as it was a very controlled disembarkation in comparison with April.

 

We are again sailing in Octiber on the CB and since we will be staying in San Juan for a few nights, there will be no rush to get off of the ship and therefore hopefully we'll have a great experience. In fact, we don't pick up our rental care until 10 AM and we will milk every last minute on teh ship/atrium to hopefully avoid any bottlenecks on the way out.

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Need to agree with the OP to a point.

 

We were told to vacate our staterooms by 8:00 am. We were cream color and were to meet in the Explorers Lounge for our 9:45 disembark. Well, when we got there at 8:00 the lounge was full, as well as the area outside the lounge. We stood against a wall and eventually sat on the floor along with everyone else. A short time later a crew member in the front of the lounge called out red and green. Well, since no microphone was used and most of the people at the rear of the lounge and the area outside of the lounge could not hear, a lot of people thought they called out cream instead of green and went down. Well, soon they were back and needless to say there were some very angry passengers. From cursing to I'll never sail this line again to almost fist fights. Thank goodness we waited and the crew person came to the rear of the lounge and spelled out the work green!! It was really starting to turn ugly!!

 

Well, our 9:45 disembark, turned into a 10:45 disembark....not a lot of happy passengers after a wonderful cruise. Other lines let you wait in your stateroom for disembark which is very nice, but you can't get into your cabin until around 2:00 PM. If you arrive early, you need to sit around and wait.

 

So, don't know what the solution is, but yesterday was a very long hurry up and wait for us. We did have a town car picking us up and thank goodness we told him not to be there until 10:30-11:00 am. Otherwise, they do charge for wait time. Not sure what the perfect solution is...:confused:

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The disembarkation from our cruise on the Caribbean Princess in January this year went very smooth. Everyone waited in their assigned area and were walked off at the appointed time, which occured like clock work.

 

The dismbarkation from our cruise on the Caribbean Princess in May this year was not so smooth. Many people crowded into areas and just started walking off when they felt like going. They were not stopped which just created more people doing the same. One of the main problems was that they did not try to group people into the different color tag areas within the dining room as they did in January. Then when they would make an anouncement you could not hear what they were saying.

 

Somehow the crew forgot how to handle disembarkation between January and May. I hope they get this problem resolved before our next cruise on the Caribbean Princess in September.

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