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berlingo

Where have all the Porters gone?

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Posted (edited)

My brother has boarded Britannia today.

 

He booked parking with CPS but when he arrived at Ocean Terminal he was surprised to find that the established procedure for dropping off your car and luggage had been changed.

 

He was directed to an area away from the terminal. Here the car was collected by CPS as normal but there were no porters to help with the luggage. Instead he was advised to unload his luggage onto a trolley and take it across to the luggage drop off area himself.

 

Luckily my brother and his family are young and fit so it was not a big issue for him. I also understand that you can have assistance from a porter if you have disabled parking badge.

 

He was told they are currently trialling this new way but that so far it had gone really well. It was also suggested that the change was “necessary because of Iona”.

 

Juliax

 

PS he is sailing to the Med for 14 nights 

 

Edited by berlingo

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If this is how they are going to do it in the future then there are other parking operators at Southampton.  For my next cruise they are working out at 30% cheaper. I will wait and see if this is permanent  

 

If CPS do not want my business then that is a shame. It is another way in which the P&O cruise in experience is not what it was. 

 

Best wishes, Stephen

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If this is going to be the case, it removes for us the benefit of CPS over cheaper alternatives. It’s been like this for mini cruises, but not for longer ones. CPS are expensive and I wouldn’t be impressed if this is the case at Christmas on Ventura. 

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Not happy at all about this.  Parking the car is not the issue, handling the baggage definitely IS.  We are two elderly ladies who don’t pack light!  Why don’t they do what AB Parking do and have a van with porters in the car park who take your luggage as you park then transport it while you walk to the terminal?  CPS will definitely lose our business if this is their attitude!

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There was a shortage of porters when I went on Britannia last month. Some bloke in the car behind go a little "vocal" to the lady booking in our car. She had to point out that they were trying their best, but just due to the volume arriving at that time they were understandably quite busy.

 

Does make me me wonder how they would hande Iona (and her sister). However I don't think suggesting passengers drop off their own luggage is the solution. As others have stated, its not an option for many.

 

Perhaps they'll go down the optional route.. three lines; guests that need assistance (free), self service (free) and guests that would like porter service ....at an additonal cost.

 

I'd hope that wouldn't be the case though.

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Am I missing something?

Can you not drop your bags off at the terminal where there are porters first and then park your car?

Never had to park, so apologies if I am not understanding the procedure.

Andy

 

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We use Parking4Cruises and always just drive in to the Terminal drop our bags and then I drive the car to the Short Stay.  I can't imagine you can't do this.  We can wheel our cases without a trolley to the drop off I guess.

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We have always used CPS for P&O, Princess and Cunard cruises but hubby prefers the Celebrity parking where we park the car ourselves and keep the keys and handover the luggage on the car park where it is loaded on vans and taken to the ship.

 

We have already decided to only use P&O for winter cruises because they are the only ones where we don't need to fly but if this is the way that they are going to go we will have to stop doing any cruises in the winter since health issues prevent us flying or carrying luggage any distance.  We will wait and see what happens in November and then decide whether to cancel our early spring and winter cruises that we have booked for 2020.

 

Perhaps this a way that P&O can reduce the number of older passengers many of whom  tend to spend less on board.

 

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Not sure what you mean about reducing the number of older passengers?!!  We are 80 and 72 and can still manage to wheel our suitcases to the drop off!!

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Who are the porters at the terminals employed by. If they are employed by one of the parking companies then this seems to be a cost cutting exercise. On Aurora in April p4c was £40 cheaper than cps. Quote today for next May approx £5 difference.

Interesting to see further posts how this developes.

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You also get a discount with P4C if you have been with them before.  5% I think.

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CPS also do Princess and there were plenty of porters for us in late June. Strange.

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I’d like to hear something official about this change, or confirmation from other passengers/other embarkations.  Not doubting the OP at all, first hand info from a reliable source, but wondering (hoping) that there are wires crossed somewhere.  Surely this is a retrograde step - those of us who have used CPS love that “holiday starts right this minute” feeling, as we drive into the unloading lane.  

 

I can only only see this as a custom-loser for CPS - it is their Unique Selling Point over other parking companies and is that which they would use to justify their higher prices

 

One thing I’d like the OP to clarify is exactly where passengers were asked to leave their cars and how far they were expected to take luggage?  

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Doesn't sound like it's anything to do with CPS.  The porters will work for the Port Authority surely?  They have always taken our luggage even though we are P4C.

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Dunno

 

I can’t make head nor tail of it tbh.  I think I’ll wait for more clarification 

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Iirc correctly, the porters have no connection with CPS whatsoever.

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4 hours ago, AndyMichelle said:

Am I missing something?

Can you not drop your bags off at the terminal where there are porters first and then park your car?

Never had to park, so apologies if I am not understanding the procedure.

Andy

 

If you are parking with CPS you pull up outside the terminal and the porters who are employed by the port authority and not CPS take away your luggage. CPS then take photos and details of your car and you hand over your car keys and they then have drivers who drive your car away and park it for the duration of your cruise within the port area and then return your car to the terminal car park where you are disembarking from, not always the same one as you departed from, and you pick your keys up from a cabin and load your car and drive away.

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We were chatting to a CPS employee whilst waiting in a queue to board Ventura in July. He was saying it had been a busy few hours with Ventura but not as bad as a Brittania day as that really stretches them to capacity and “it will be a nightmare when Iona comes online next year” There is simply not enough parking. Lets hope P and O are looking at the logistics carefully otherwise offsite parking is going to be the way to go.

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The one downside to Parking4cruises is missing out on these very useful porters.

 

If that one downside’s now gone, there’s no point whatever in paying the premium prices CPS charge, even though the porters aren’t apparently within their control.

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Why was there a downside with P4C.  It's the same as CPS.  You drive in, offload your bags and a porter takes them.  The only difference is you then drive to the short term car park.  It makes no difference.

 

If they are now not having porters it will affect CPS and P4C??

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20 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

Why was there a downside with P4C.  It's the same as CPS.  You drive in, offload your bags and a porter takes them.  The only difference is you then drive to the short term car park.  It makes no difference.

 

If they are now not having porters it will affect CPS and P4C??

Good point - I'd forgotten that!  😉

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3 hours ago, majortom10 said:

If you are parking with CPS you pull up outside the terminal and the porters who are employed by the port authority and not CPS take away your luggage. CPS then take photos and details of your car and you hand over your car keys and they then have drivers who drive your car away and park it for the duration of your cruise within the port area and then return your car to the terminal car park where you are disembarking from, not always the same one as you departed from, and you pick your keys up from a cabin and load your car and drive away.

Thank you for clarifying Major Tom.

So you can still drive to the terminal and get the porters to unload your baggage as usual, you are then directed to a nearby car park.

The only difference seems to be that they do not take your car away from the terminal?

Perhaps they were losing too much business to P4C so have decided to mimic their business plan and make their price more competitive?

Just speculation.

Andy

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3 hours ago, majortom10 said:

If you are parking with CPS you pull up outside the terminal and the porters who are employed by the port authority and not CPS take away your luggage. CPS then take photos and details of your car and you hand over your car keys and they then have drivers who drive your car away and park it for the duration of your cruise within the port area and then return your car to the terminal car park where you are disembarking from, not always the same one as you departed from, and you pick your keys up from a cabin and load your car and drive away.

exactly the same experience we had

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And me.  But that’s not what the OP described, is it?

 

 

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53 minutes ago, eddie11 said:

And me.  But that’s not what the OP described, is it?

 

 

No it isn't.  The OP is suggesting that the Port of Southampton is doing away with the present excellent system of porters taking luggage away from all cars ( P4C as well as CPC) and whisking it off to the terminal.

 

If that's the case ABP will save themselves a lot of money (fewer, or maybe no, porters) and passengers will have to get the luggage onto trolleys.  Possible (but not in all cases) but a lot less convenient and a lot more trouble.

 

I do hope that if this really is being trialled ABP don't just take the simple route to cut costs, regardless of the longer term impact on customers - and probably numbers of port users.

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