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docco

Southampton parking - CPS or Parking4cruises?

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Always used CPS up to now - it's a slick, efficient service. 

 

But it's also extremely expensive, and Parking4cruises seems to offer something very similar indeed for considerably less money.  Almost as convenient (not quite) and with vehicles parked in "our secure parking site, which is less than three miles away from all Southampton cruise terminals."

 

Obviously not quite up to the standards of CPS (parking within the port and no need to phone or text to get the car brought back) but it is a lot cheaper.

 

Anybody with experience of both care to share recent experiences to help people (and me) decide between the two?

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I have noticed that CPS on my last two cruises involved a considerable wait sitting in my car before being marshalled to the booking in area and subsequent boarding.  I conclude that it is much quicker to board the ship when you turn up in a taxi or transfer mini bus. This waiting has become my bugbear

 

I have used a similar service to parking4cruises called Penguin Parking which is a parking service other side of the water.  You drive there and they have a portacabin with toilets and mineral water, transfer you in a mini bus to the relevant ship.  On return you locate the personnel wearing the pink high viz jackets and they summon a series of mini buses to transfer you back to the remote car park.

 

If you can afford £179 you can generally get cruise parking with overnight at Holiday Inn Herbert Walker Avenue including transfers both ways. Park your own car at back of hotel car park, keep your keys. They use West Quay Cars and the transfers are included in the tariff but you need to pay for meals.  There is a free swimming pool and some sort of gym.

 

Prices and exact details all given in good faith but may have changed.

 

Regards John

 

 

Edited by john watson

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I have used Parking4Cruises many times and have never phoned or text to get the car brought back to me as long as you do not self disembark the car is always available in short stay car park on disembarkation. If you are leaving the ship before 8-30am you have to tell them when booking.

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5 minutes ago, john watson said:

I have noticed that CPS on my last two cruises involved a considerable wait sitting in my car before being marshalled to the booking in area and subsequent boarding.  I conclude that it is much quicker to board the ship when you turn up in a taxi or transfer mini bus. This waiting has become my bugbear

 

I have used a similar service to parking4cruises called Penguin Parking which is a parking service other side of the water.  You drive there and they have a portacabin with toilets and mineral water, transfer you in a mini bus to the relevant ship.  On return you locate the personnel wearing the pink high viz jackets and they summon a series of mini buses to transfer you back to the remote car park.

 

If you can afford £179 you can generally get cruise parking with overnight at Holiday Inn Herbert Walker Avenue including transfers both ways. They use West Quay Cars and the transfers are included in the tariff but you need to pay for meals.  There is a free swimming pool and some sort of gym.

 

Prices and exact details all given in good faith but may have changed.

 

Regards John

 

Parking4cruises is much similar to CPS where as you pull up outside terminal and unload suitcases which are then taken away by porters and then you drive across road to short stay car park and meet the Parking4cruises rep there. Never been interested in leaving my car in hotel car park even though we stay pre cruise in hotel do not like the idea of car being left in insecure open to the public hotel car park for duration of cruise. Also on disembarkation short walk to short stay and load car we are on our way home within minutes without having to wait for mini bus to take you to off port parking away from the port.

 

Edited by majortom10

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We always use Parking4Cruises and we always self-disembark.  You pull up outside the terminal, offload your bags, then drive as person above said.  So simple and so much cheaper.

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We changed tp P4C from CPS 3 cruises ago and find the system almost the same as CPS, but for our longer cruises it is much cheaper.  You do need to drive to the short stay car park after unloading your cases, but this does cut out any long waits on arrival and is only a few hundred yards away, and collection is very similar, except its from the short stay car park and the keys will be collected from the P4C van.

We did have a bit of a scare recently when we received a parking charge for exceeding the 2 hours in the Mayflowers short stay on the day of collection, but a quick exchange of e-mails and phone calls quickly resolved this problem.

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Tempted by P4C - though the risks of anything happening to the car are increased by its longer journey outside the perimeter of the port. 

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7 minutes ago, docco said:

Tempted by P4C - though the risks of anything happening to the car are increased by its longer journey outside the perimeter of the port. 

Do consider that the port confines cover a large area and I have had 4 miles on the speedo with CPS, which is a little more than I have had with P4C, and the traffic on Herbert Walker ave can be very heavy indeed.

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11 hours ago, majortom10 said:

 

 

I am a big believer in the policy of horses for courses and always use my incognito car when leaving a car for an extended period of time or in a particularly contentious situation.

 

Regards John

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ABP do not do parking for P&O, Cunard and Princess. 

Brian

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Just to expand on my post #11 above, extract from ABP website........

quote.....

 

ABParking is the only company with cruise car parking facilities within the Southampton port estate for passengers of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Fred. Olsen, NCL, MSC & Saga Cruises

 

Parking for all other cruise lines that operate from the port cannot be booked through ABParking and further information should be obtained from the booking agent or the cruise line

 

ABParking do not offer cruise car parking for P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises, their cruise car parking provider is Cruise & Passenger Services - please contact them directly on 0345 071 3939

 

Brian

 

 

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1 hour ago, BrianI said:

Just to expand on my post #11 above, extract from ABP website........

quote.....

 

ABParking is the only company with cruise car parking facilities within the Southampton port estate for passengers of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Fred. Olsen, NCL, MSC & Saga Cruises

 

Parking for all other cruise lines that operate from the port cannot be booked through ABParking and further information should be obtained from the booking agent or the cruise line

 

ABParking do not offer cruise car parking for P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises, their cruise car parking provider is Cruise & Passenger Services - please contact them directly on 0345 071 3939

 

Brian

 

 

In addition ABP only provide parking for cruises from City terminal and the above mentioned cruise lines mainly use this terminal.

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12 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

In addition ABP only provide parking for cruises from City terminal and the above mentioned cruise lines mainly use this terminal.

It is normally the case but we were on a Celebrity cruise that departed from the City terminal but returned to the QEII terminal. ABP operated a shuttle bus to get us back to the City terminal where our car was parked. I would assume the same arrangement would operate on the rare occasion when the City terminal is unable to be used.

Brian

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13 minutes ago, BrianI said:

It is normally the case but we were on a Celebrity cruise that departed from the City terminal but returned to the QEII terminal. ABP operated a shuttle bus to get us back to the City terminal where our car was parked. I would assume the same arrangement would operate on the rare occasion when the City terminal is unable to be used.

Brian

On a P&O cruise we once had to dock at City terminal on our return, and P&O/CPS provided shuttle buses to take us to the car park at Ocean terminal to collect our cars; but this is unusual and caused on this occasion by high winds that prevented Britannia getting in to the tight Ocean terminal dock.

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Last minute terminal changes have happened a few times with Ocean terminal presumably due to the angle of the dock which makes the prevailing wind side on to the ship. In this situation CPS don't have time to move the cars to the new dock so shuttle buses are the solution. If a cruise is planned to return to a different dock, then CPS will move the cars. 

Brian

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Yes same for Parking4Cruises.  We came back to a different terminal and they were there waiting for us.

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We use Parking4Cruises for cruises over about 10 days, or the train. Less than that CPS seem to be cheaper.  Never had any problems with P4C.  

 

On one occasion Oceana was late in and disembarkation and embarkation delayed by about 2 hours.  Pando txted advising to arrive 2 hours later than embarkation time.  We just wanted to get on the road and arrived about 1300. 

 

P4C took the car off us straight away but were still waiting for all their disembarking pax to collect their vehicles.  CPS weren't allowing their customers to drop their cars off.  We were checked in and onboard by about 1400.  Straight into the Welcome on Board Reception.  Due to the delayed embarkation some CPS parkers missed the reception even though it had been extended. 

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We used CPS 18 times but were also getting fed up with having to queue in a "holding" place before actually being allowed to park in the terminal (the worst example had us waiting nearly an hour). We therefore tried P4C this year and found the whole process very simple (as well as much cheaper).

They have given us a discount code for next year and we will definitely use them again. 

Edited by DamianG

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Unfortunately I have already booked with CPS for our cruise in a few weeks time. I am concerned to read that you had to queue in a "holding" place. Why was this? I normally cruise with Celebrity or RC and normally book parking with ABP, and have never had a problem.

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2 hours ago, DamianG said:

We used CPS 18 times but were also getting fed up with having to queue in a "holding" place before actually being allowed to park in the terminal (the worst example had us waiting nearly an hour). We therefore tried P4C this year and found the whole process very simple (as well as much cheaper).

They have given us a discount code for next year and we will definitely use them again. 

Thanks to you and all the others who’ve replied.  I don’t think I’ve seen a single serious criticism of P4C so far, unless I’ve not noticed it.

 

Talking of discounts, does anyone know of any generally available ones please?

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20 hours ago, Threeleggedtoad said:

Unfortunately I have already booked with CPS for our cruise in a few weeks time. I am concerned to read that you had to queue in a "holding" place. Why was this? I normally cruise with Celebrity or RC and normally book parking with ABP, and have never had a problem.

The first time we went on Britannia we arrived approximately 2:30pm in line with our designated boarding time. CPS were way behind so they had us loop round the short stay car park where we waited an hour before it was our turn to drive into the unloading area.

On our next 2 cruises we arrived earlier but experienced the same thing though the hold up was more like 15-20 minutes hence we decided to try C4P.

Previously we’ve not had any problems with CPS so I hope that we were just unlucky and everything runs smoothly for you.

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Thanks for explaining. I have several future cruises booked 2019 & 2020, I have not booked the parking for those cruises yet. So I will wait and see what happens in three weeks. Must admit I feel quite anxious as our boarding time is 2:30.

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3 hours ago, Threeleggedtoad said:

Thanks for explaining. I have several future cruises booked 2019 & 2020, I have not booked the parking for those cruises yet. So I will wait and see what happens in three weeks. Must admit I feel quite anxious as our boarding time is 2:30.

 

The CPS "queue" has lengthened over the years, in my opinion, because they were so convenient.  You just drove directly to the terminal and the luggage guys took your cases and the CPS people more or less just got in your car and drove off giving you a receipt while you simply got out.  As more people booked the system could not work as smoothly.  Too many passengers turned up early creating a "peak demand" period.  In addition with people complaining about damage, irrespective of whether it was justified or not they seem to have introduced a photographic element and other arrangements which take more time for each car.  The "car jockeys" (do not know what they are technically known as)  all return in mini buses from where they park the cars to collect the next wave.  This creates a situation where you might be a bit unlucky and have to wait for the next group to return.

 

If you turn up a bit later I suspect you will be processed more quickly.  Personally, I am happy with a hotel parking pre-cruise stay and taxi transfer at the Holiday Inn Herbert Walker Avenue.  You park in their car park in a space of your choosing at the rear of the hotel and keep your keys.  As in all longer term parking scenarios you would not want to be turning up with an extremely expensive car.

 

Regards John

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It';s hardly difficult with P4C!  Drop other passengers off with the baggage, drive 100 yards to the short term.  Book the car in and walk back - 2 minutes.  No queues.

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9 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

It';s hardly difficult with P4C!  Drop other passengers off with the baggage, drive 100 yards to the short term.  Book the car in and walk back - 2 minutes.  No queues.

Sounds simple. Does someone take all the suitcases away there and then, or do you have to get them somewhere yourself?

 

One of the big pluses with CPS for me has always been getting rid of the cases so easily.

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Just now, docco said:

Sounds simple. Does someone take all the suitcases away there and then, or do you have to get them somewhere yourself?

 

One of the big pluses with CPS for me has always been getting rid of the cases so easily.

Its exactly the same system, you will be directed to a lane for non CPS parking and the porters will take your luggage.

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On 11/12/2018 at 10:55 PM, docco said:

Tempted by P4C - though the risks of anything happening to the car are increased by its longer journey outside the perimeter of the port. 

 

Has one considered the proportion of "longer journey outside the perimeter of the port" which has been very competently completed by the wife?

 

Lol John

Edited by john watson
grandma

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30 minutes ago, john watson said:

 

Has one considered the proportion of "longer journey outside the perimeter of the port" which has been very competently completed by the wife?

 

Lol John

Well, yes John.  But my wife doesn't drive like a maniac - drivers paid to shift as many cars as possible in a limited amount of time do tend to, though.  🙂

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Just now, docco said:

Well, yes John.  But my wife doesn't drive like a maniac - drivers paid to shift as many cars as possible in a limited amount of time do tend to, though.  🙂

The same comment could also apply to CPS, and they handle far more cars than P4C.

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6 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

The same comment could also apply to CPS, and they handle far more cars than P4C.

It certainly does.  I just feel (perhaps wrongly) that the CPS journey carries fewer traffic risks than the P4C one.

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16 minutes ago, docco said:

It certainly does.  I just feel (perhaps wrongly) that the CPS journey carries fewer traffic risks than the P4C one.

Have you ever driven on Herbert Walker ave. towards dock gate 20?

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The reason there are queues with CPS and they sometimes have to use holding areas could largely be due to the fact that ships are much larger now with more passengers arriving at the port. We have never had a problem and have always driven straight to the terminal. However, we never cruise on the large ships.

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1 hour ago, TangoYork said:

The reason there are queues with CPS and they sometimes have to use holding areas could largely be due to the fact that ships are much larger now with more passengers arriving at the port. We have never had a problem and have always driven straight to the terminal. However, we never cruise on the large ships.

RCI ships are bigger still, but you rarely queue for more a minute or two.

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