We arrived at Le Havre after, I believe, many passengers had made the afternoon Le Havre ferry crossing so I don’t know who was available at that time. When we arrived about 4:30ish, we were met by several port agents. It was chaos and very tense as it was clear numerous passengers had no clue what had occurred.
We had received an email around 7 a.m. It advised us to make our own travel plans at CDG or go to Le Havre for assistance with ferry reservations. The port agents made the reservations for us and we paid for the tickets at the ferry terminal. We had to book cabins for 4 so it was necessary to group up with strangers. It would have been helpful if the email had listed ferry locations and times. Le Havre has a ferry but we missed that one. We had to go back to Rouen for the overnight ferry to Portsmouth. A bus was arranged, for about 40 of us, to take us to the ferry. However, had we known, we could have gone there directly ourselves as we were traveling in Normandy prior to the cruise.
Upon arrival at Portsmouth, we were met by a Princess Rep for the transfer to Southampton. After getting on the transfer bus, we found that 1 of the passengers was still on board with a medical emergency. We had to wait to find out if they had to go to the hospital. We waited so long that ferry employees were getting off work and going home. Finally, it was determined that the passenger needed hospitalization so we headed out into an absolute nightmare of a traffic jam. We could have walked to Southampton faster. I began to wonder if something was trying to tell me not to take the cruise.
No special arrangements were made for us. It was as if no one at the terminal had any idea that passengers would be arriving outside of the normal embarkation time as they made there way from France to England. As we’d been met, I expected they knew we were coming. First, they couldn’t find anyone to handle our luggage, then we were told to just go sit and wait until boarding began. Eventually, about 10:30 a.m., we were allowed to board early. Except for the initial letter saying Le Havre had to be missed due to weather, we never heard another word about it.
Independent passengers who went to CDG had it much worse. The EZair folks traveled by prop plane to England. I spoke to people who had to arrange flights to other cities like Oslo Norway which had long layovers to finally make it to Heathrow where they had to find their own way to Southampton. Numerous folks did transfer from Paris to take the Chunnel pooling their resources together to hire multiple vans to get Southampton. Princess Reps were at CDG but basically everyone was just going from airline to airline trying to find a flight. One couple thought they had tickets only to find when they got to the gate that the tickets were standby and of no use. They had to start all over again.
Like I said, this had been a learning experience for me. If I had known, I would have been proactive and just researched my own options and acted accordingly. I was under the mistaken assumption that Princess had a responsibility to get me to my embarkation point.