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What time are cabins ready?

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1 hour ago, Selbourne said:

 

There may be an element of truth in what you are saying when people arrive some time after boarding has started, but the OP referred to 12.30pm boarding, which is the very first boarding slot. From my experience, this slot is never a free for all and is strictly controlled (for example, passengers entitled to the 12.30pm boarding are contained in a specific roped off area, with complimentary refreshments, and is managed by dedicated staff). Once the ship gives clearance for boarding to commence, passengers in that area (who have had to show evidence of 12.30pm boarding - suite or Ligurian - to enter) are directed to security screening and are first to board. A similar process (less refreshments) is then used for Caribbean and Baltic passengers at 1pm. Only when these two groups have boarded does general (timed) boarding commence. If these first two priority groups were not boarded before general boarding then these passengers would be rightfully upset, as priority boarding has either been earned through doing over 200 nights with P&O or, in the case of suite passengers, paid for as part of their fare. That being said, I have managed to get our daughters to board with us at 12.30pm even though they weren’t in a suite, but this is at the discretion of the staff and P&O will not authorise this in advance (I have asked). Equally, I have known others to be refused, some of whom have reported so on this forum. For info, whilst porters are not employed by P&O, the staff managing the priority boarding are. They are either head office employees or part time staff retained for this purpose. 

You do make it sound far too regimented Selbourne, whilst I suspect that some "idiots" in the P&O organisation would like it to run like army recruitment, it is much more of a disorganised free for all on the bigger ships.  

As you know we are also wheelchair users but never use the wheelchair assistance, we go through the normal channels and, prior to being Caribbean level, were given a coloured card.  However my wife (SWMBO) never let me go to to the seats, we always went straight to the wheelchair check in and joined what was generally a small queue.  We were never refused entry, and once we had our key cards and going through security, she used to say, "see I told you so".

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We always arrive between 12.30-1 o clock, regardless of what time we are given and always seem to be boarded almost straight away.

We go with the attitude of being happy to wait until our allocated time but never have to.

A member of staff said they try to get everyone on board before the coaches start arriving from about 2.30, so have no issue with early arrivers.

It wouldn't matter if our cabin wasn't ready as we have minimum hand luggage, but again, it always has been ready.

Andy

 

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Last cruise we were in a suite and Caribbean level. We were shown to the lunch first. While we were sat there it was announced that cabins were ready. Maybe our cabin would have been ready earlier, but as it hadn't been announced we did not go there.

As an aside we were on a popular cruise last year with relatives. They were first time with Pando .We were Caribbean. As they stayed with us the night before we all went over together. The priority q was longer than the normal one, and they boarded before us.  We had the lunch ,they had the buffet.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, stephen@stoneyard.co.uk said:

 

In my experience, on a good day (with the smaller ships) the preferential boarding will have started at 12pm and finished by 12.30. General boarding will begin by arrival order immediately afterwards. That back log of that will be over by 1pm.  After that it is board immediately until the coaches and people (who keep to the schedule time arrive) from about 1.30. From then in it is back to waiting even if you turn up at you alocated time. 

 

Cabins are declared open by about 1.30pm. I try and carry as little in hand luggage as possible. Just my passport, wallet and phone. That way it is less of a hassle. On my last cruise I got my hair cut while waiting for my cabin. 

 

Best wishes, Stephen. 

 

Yes, I should have made it clear that, although I stated the order of priority boarding and the stated times, boarding often commences early. On two occasions when we had 1230pm boarding we were on board at 1145am. Interestingly, one of the times was on Ventura and the other time was Britannia. In spite of this, those entitled to 1230 and 1pm boarding were still first to board, so I think the order still applies. 

Edited by Selbourne

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, terrierjohn said:

You do make it sound far too regimented Selbourne, whilst I suspect that some "idiots" in the P&O organisation would like it to run like army recruitment, it is much more of a disorganised free for all on the bigger ships.  

As you know we are also wheelchair users but never use the wheelchair assistance, we go through the normal channels and, prior to being Caribbean level, were given a coloured card.  However my wife (SWMBO) never let me go to to the seats, we always went straight to the wheelchair check in and joined what was generally a small queue.  We were never refused entry, and once we had our key cards and going through security, she used to say, "see I told you so".

 

Better prepare for incoming John, just as you and I did when we shared our disembarkation tactics on another thread! We tend to use wheelchair assistance for boarding (where we have more hand luggage, so it’s easier) but not for disembarkation. The exception is when our daughters come with us as then we usually have a suite and they are with us to assist. The assistance team board passengers in loyalty tier order so, having just made Caribbean tier we look forward to slightly quicker boarding, other than the fact that we tend to pick cruises that appeal to hundreds of Baltic and Ligurian passengers a good number of whom, being generally older, tend to use assistance. 

Edited by Selbourne

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55 minutes ago, Selbourne said:

 

Better prepare for incoming John, just as you and I did when we shared our disembarkation tactics on another thread! We tend to use wheelchair assistance for boarding (where we have more hand luggage, so it’s easier) but not for disembarkation. The exception is when our daughters come with us as then we usually have a suite and they are with us to assist. The assistance team board passengers in loyalty tier order so, having just made Caribbean tier we look forward to slightly quicker boarding, other than the fact that we tend to pick cruises that appeal to hundreds of Baltic and Ligurian passengers a good number of whom, being generally older, tend to use assistance. 

I don't think anyone would mind if you use the services offered to your advantage, most of us would do the same.

Recent experience and other feedback seem to suggest that boarding at Southampton has become relatively easy, opinions may have differed if we were all stuck in long queues while you saunter through pretending to limp...😀

Credit to the port staff for making the start to our recent cruises an absolute doddle.

Andy

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11 minutes ago, AndyMichelle said:

I don't think anyone would mind if you use the services offered to your advantage, most of us would do the same.

Recent experience and other feedback seem to suggest that boarding at Southampton has become relatively easy, opinions may have differed if we were all stuck in long queues while you saunter through pretending to limp...😀

Credit to the port staff for making the start to our recent cruises an absolute doddle.

Andy

 

Yes, I think the staff do a pretty good job, all things considered. Like you, we arrive early expecting a long wait and are often pleasantly surprised. On our last cruise, we were patiently waiting in the assistance area whilst all the Caribbean, Baltic and Ligurian passengers were boarded and an elderly chap next to us (with wife and friend) kept on and on complaining about the fact that they had been first to arrive and couldn’t understand why they were not first to board. The assistance staff member asked to see their boarding passes and they had a boarding time of 2.30pm and they were not in a high loyalty tier. It was 12.45pm and he had been sounding off long before anyone at all had boarded. The procedure was explained to him but he still wasn’t having any of it. Whether he was extremely thick or just belligerent I couldn’t work out, but either way I really felt for the staff - and told them so. 

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I travelled down on the coach, and completely by chance, was sat near a lady whom I noticed from her luggage labels, was going to be my next door neighbour. We, got chatting and entered the embarkation hall together. We hadn't been given cards on the coach and she was Caribbean tier so had priority boarding. We were both given priority boarding, when I protested that I wasn't entitled I was just waved through. 

 

On my next cruise my coach tickets state an arrival time of 1pm, not 2.30pm as usual! 

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47 minutes ago, FangedRose said:

I travelled down on the coach, and completely by chance, was sat near a lady whom I noticed from her luggage labels, was going to be my next door neighbour. We, got chatting and entered the embarkation hall together. We hadn't been given cards on the coach and she was Caribbean tier so had priority boarding. We were both given priority boarding, when I protested that I wasn't entitled I was just waved through. 

 

On my next cruise my coach tickets state an arrival time of 1pm, not 2.30pm as usual! 

 

It is my understanding that coach passengers are usually fast tracked through upon arrival, which is somewhat different to priority boarding which is usually done and dusted by 1pm. Your neighbour would have missed her Caribbean slot by quite some time anyway and therefore I would assume that all coach passengers are always treated as one group rather than by loyalty tier. I’ve never used the coach transfer though, so am prepared to be corrected.  

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Just now, Selbourne said:

 

It is my understanding that coach passengers are usually fast tracked through upon arrival, which is somewhat different to priority boarding which is usually done and dusted by 1pm. Your neighbour would have missed her Caribbean slot by quite some time anyway and therefore I would assume that all coach passengers are always treated as one group rather than by loyalty tier. I’ve never used the coach transfer though, so am prepared to be corrected.  

You are right in that coach passengers are fast tracked as a group. And the coach arrival time trumps the time on your ticket. I always travel by coach. 

However, we were given different cards to the rest of the coach passengers and directed to the  priority desk. 

Fast tracking is different from priority boarding. 

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3 minutes ago, stephen@stoneyard.co.uk said:

Please does  anybody know what the colour of boarding cards mean. I think we always have green but I could be wrong. 

 

Thank you, Stephen. 

 

 

They don't mean anything in particular.

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What I think you have not noticed is that this thread as been brought back to life from Aug 2015. Things have changed since then.

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36 minutes ago, stephen@stoneyard.co.uk said:

Please does  anybody know what the colour of boarding cards mean. I think we always have green but I could be wrong. 

 

Thank you, Stephen. 

 

 

In general, if you arrive on time, you will get a green card and called first.

If you arrive early, you get a red card and as soon as the greens have caught up, reds will be called.

This is based on recent visits to Mayflower terminal.

Its a system that works really well in my opinion.

I have had blue at Ocean terminal but think we had priority boarding, we were on by 12.30.

Andy

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4 minutes ago, AndyMichelle said:

In general, if you arrive on time, you will get a green card and called first.

If you arrive early, you get a red card and as soon as the greens have caught up, reds will be called.

This is based on recent visits to Mayflower terminal.

Its a system that works really well in my opinion.

I have had blue at Ocean terminal but think we had priority boarding, we were on by 12.30.

Andy

RCI group must save a fortune in little cards!  You spend so little time  checking in at City terminal that you scarcely have time to breathe never mind sitting down twiddling your little green or red card.  On our recent Independence OTS cruise we were on board less than 10 minutes after parking the car at 12:30 and the ship  was already fairly crowded as boarding commenced at 10:30.

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It is interesting how other lines do it. One line I cruised with allowed you to pick your own time in advance. This favours early bookers and the computer literate of course. Another line gave the equivalent of Select booking the early times. 

 

We could print out our own boarding cards, the health form has gone, we could register our credit cards before or after boarding, we could upload our photograph from home and cruise cards could be inside cabins. All that needs checking is our passports.  Even security scanning for all passengers is not required. It could be made a very quick process. 

 

Best wishes, Stephen. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, AndyMichelle said:

In general, if you arrive on time, you will get a green card and called first.

If you arrive early, you get a red card and as soon as the greens have caught up, reds will be called.

This is based on recent visits to Mayflower terminal.

Its a system that works really well in my opinion.

I have had blue at Ocean terminal but think we had priority boarding, we were on by 12.30.

Andy

 

 

Thank you.  That explains it.

 

Best wishes, Stephen. 

Edited by stephen@stoneyard.co.uk

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15 minutes ago, stephen@stoneyard.co.uk said:

 

 

Thank you.  That explains it.

 

Best wishes, Stephen. 

No it doesn't. I've had grey cards, blue cards, red cards and green cards. In fact all colours under the sun. 

 

I always arrive by cruise connect coach which trumps the time allocated on the ticket. Sometimes we get cards on the coach, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we get waved straight through, sometimes we have to wait. The colour of the card makes no difference.

 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, FangedRose said:

No it doesn't. I've had grey cards, blue cards, red cards and green cards. In fact all colours under the sun. 

 

I always arrive by cruise connect coach which trumps the time allocated on the ticket. Sometimes we get cards on the coach, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we get waved straight through, sometimes we have to wait. The colour of the card makes no difference.

 

 

 

 

The red and green cards are definitely used as explained earlier in Mayflower terminal on our last 3 recent cruises.

I have never arrived by coach so perhaps there is a different system in place.

Andy

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Just now, AndyMichelle said:

The red and green cards are definitely used as explained earlier in Mayflower terminal on our last 3 recent cruises.

I have never arrived by coach so perhaps there is a different system in place.

Andy

Maybe the system is different according to terminal and the ship. 

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7 minutes ago, FangedRose said:

Maybe the system is different according to terminal and the ship. 

I think so.

As I said, we did have a blue ticket in Ocean terminal last year, but the red and green system that is in place in Mayflower seems to work a treat.

Andy

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6 minutes ago, FangedRose said:

Maybe the system is different according to terminal and the ship. 

 

The process is different for coach passengers, as they usually arrive long after all priority boarding has concluded. Official commencement of priority boarding is 1230pm but can often commence as early as 1130am. Coach passengers are usually boarded as soon as they arrive as most people who arrived earlier are already on the ship. 

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You make it sound like the titanic ' Stephen' first class and then the lower classes 🥴

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On 8/26/2019 at 3:41 PM, terrierjohn said:

RCI group must save a fortune in little cards!  You spend so little time  checking in at City terminal that you scarcely have time to breathe never mind sitting down twiddling your little green or red card.  On our recent Independence OTS cruise we were on board less than 10 minutes after parking the car at 12:30 and the ship  was already fairly crowded as boarding commenced at 10:30.

But for boarding to commence at 10.30am, and for all the cabins to be serviced by then, what time was the previous cruise kicked off. I know one person will pipe up and say I sauntered off at 10am, no problem..but what time were the majority kicked off by. As an aside if you get onboard then , but cannot get into your cabins until much later, do you not have the situation of lots of 2 people in the buffet taking up tables for 4..as there was them and all their hand luggage, just waiting for the cabins ready announcement.

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3 minutes ago, the english lady said:

But for boarding to commence at 10.30am, and for all the cabins to be serviced by then, what time was the previous cruise kicked off. I know one person will pipe up and say I sauntered off at 10am, no problem..but what time were the majority kicked off by. As an aside if you get onboard then , but cannot get into your cabins until much later, do you not have the situation of lots of 2 people in the buffet taking up tables for 4..as there was them and all their hand luggage, just waiting for the cabins ready announcement.

You are allowed to send as many bags as you like on board, so if you plan carefully you can limit your hand luggage to one tiny carry on. RCI ships dock around the same time as P&O and you are  not  "kicked off" any earlier, it just seems that RCI are able to manage disembarcation far better. Yes your cabin will not be ready until about 1:00 pm, but that in no way detracts from the quick and speedy way they get you on board to begin to enjoy your  cruise holiday.

P&O really could learn a lot from RCI, if they wanted to.

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