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Just got our embarkation time and luggage labels for Bolette.  It's 1400.  Can anyone tell me what happens if we are an hour early   Can you sit in the terminal, or do they make you wait outside like P&O do?

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1 hour ago, jeanlyon said:

Just got our embarkation time and luggage labels for Bolette.  It's 1400.  Can anyone tell me what happens if we are an hour early   Can you sit in the terminal, or do they make you wait outside like P&O do?

 

Have always been able to stay in the terminal if we have arrived early in Southampton.  I think it is just P&O limiting entry to the terminal, probably because they cannot accommodate enough people for the bigger ships and decided to use the same rules for all cruises.  

 

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1 hour ago, tring said:

 

Have always been able to stay in the terminal if we have arrived early in Southampton.  I think it is just P&O limiting entry to the terminal, probably because they cannot accommodate enough people for the bigger ships and decided to use the same rules for all cruises.  

 

Thanks.  Even on Aurora, although we had priority boarding and were fine, there was a huge queue outside of quite fed up people!!

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As Tring says Fred allow you to sit comfortably indoors and wait.
 

To be honest with a time of 2pm it’s likely that if you are a bit early you may just get checked in and get onboard if embarkation is going well.

 

IMO what P&O do is disgraceful.

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7 hours ago, jeanlyon said:

Quite happy to be in the terminal with a coffee and wait - or as you say, board early 🙂

 

Us too, though we also have priority now with P&O. 

 

Our favourite port for embarkation is Liverpool, not just because of it being local for us, but because we can turn up about midday and hand over our cases, them wander off into town to have a drink, bite to eat or just a bit of shopping for things we want, such as water and diet cola.  The terminal is at the Pier Head, right in the centre if the city, so very easy to do that and can then just head back at our embarkation time and walk straight onto the ship.  Hence no sitting around at all, unless we choose to do that on a bar somewhere, so more like flying when we always use airport lounges.

 

They do not accept cases in Liverpool until the ship is accepting them though.  That is usually about midday, but if there is any delay it could be later.

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32 minutes ago, July morning said:

Yes, we always do self-disembark

We do on P&O, but on Fred, do you really have to be off by 7.15.  What would happen if you were later?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, jeanlyon said:

We do on P&O, but on Fred, do you really have to be off by 7.15.  What would happen if you were later?

 

Fred disembarks very early and normally has everyone off by 9.00am, or very soon after.  I am pretty sure general disembarkation starts about 7.30am, (I just looked up a random top deck cabin for a cruise we have booked for this summer and the disembarkation time for that is 7.35am). 

 

I suspect if they know you still have your luggage, they will want to chase you up if late, but if not you would presumably find yourself trying to disembark with a lot of other people who do not have cases, so perhaps have problems getting a lift etc.  If you do not want to leave early, why not just pop your cases out the night before and go with the flow? You do not have a particularly late embarkation time, so probably will not be off that late either.  it will give an approximate disembarkation time on the link which you use to look up your embarkation time. 

 

You could always speak with the reception staff once on the ship about how disembarkation normally works, (and approximate timings), if you are still uncertain what to do.  Both embarkation and disembarkation is done according to deck, with the upper decks first.

 

 

Edited by tring
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35 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

Thanks Tring.   Makes sense.  Although I have just looked at my predicted disembarkation time and it's 10.00 am?

 

Ahh, well 10am does sound very strange indeed, especially as you had an embarkation time of 14.00!  Normally embarkation times can be as late as 3.30pm and I would expect people embarking after you to disembark after you.  I am wondering which cruise you are on, is there anything that may affect that?  I cannot think what would possibly make it that late though, but sometimes Fred disembarks very early as he then takes the ship on to another port to embark for the next cruise.  Unless it is something to do with the port you are disembarking at starting late, or if there are loads of ships in port that day disembarking - that is purely speculation on my part though.  

 

May be worth ringing head office to ask about that and check if t is correct.  

 

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10 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

Tring, it's Southampton.  The Eclipse and the Azores.  April 4th.

 

I may have found the reason.  Only two ships in Southampton when you return, but the other is Borealis, which is returning from the world cruise that day.  Fred uses a different agent than the Carnival cruise lines do, so perhaps they will not have enough port staff to deal with the unloading, considering Borealis will have a lot of luggage on board.

 

I see you are in adjacent terminals, 101 and 102.  I wonder if he is giving priority to Borealis which will presumably have a lot of luggage on board.  In which case, I wonder if they will allow self disembarkations later than usual for Bolette.  May still be worth ringing head office to clarify the reason though.  Fred's staff are usually very helpful, as are reception staff once you are on the ship.

  

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1 hour ago, tring said:

 

I may have found the reason.  Only two ships in Southampton when you return, but the other is Borealis, which is returning from the world cruise that day.  Fred uses a different agent than the Carnival cruise lines do, so perhaps they will not have enough port staff to deal with the unloading, considering Borealis will have a lot of luggage on board.

 

I see you are in adjacent terminals, 101 and 102.  I wonder if he is giving priority to Borealis which will presumably have a lot of luggage on board.  In which case, I wonder if they will allow self disembarkations later than usual for Bolette.  May still be worth ringing head office to clarify the reason though.  Fred's staff are usually very helpful, as are reception staff once you are on the ship.

  

Thank you for your help. will wait until we are on board.  Interesting.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jeanlyon said:

Thank you for your help. will wait until we are on board.  Interesting.

 

We were on a round trip  Caribbean before Christmas and during the disembarkation  procedure, most of on hour's delay had built up before we disembarked (because of luggage levels) and and we were in a deck 3 cabin for that cruise.  So could stil be extra delays eve after approximate times are given on the ship.  May be worth jumping through any hoops you need to for a self disembarkation if you want an early start.

As you say though, probably best to leave it until on the ship now.  Hope the cruise goes well and you see the eclipse. 

 

Sounds like a bit of a gaffe by Fred's planners there.  They have form from a couple of cruises we have been on.  Fred normally has you off you early though.

 

 

Edited by tring
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On 3/14/2024 at 10:47 AM, jeanlyon said:

Just got our embarkation time and luggage labels for Bolette.  It's 1400.  Can anyone tell me what happens if we are an hour early   Can you sit in the terminal, or do they make you wait outside like P&O do?

 

We've never had to wait outside the terminal in the course of 25-30 cruises with FOCL. Can't remember a time that there wasn't drinks and snacks available, enough seating for everybody and facilities on hand. On most occasions there's been a chance to have a photo taken, book spa treatments and even book white-glove afternoon teas.

 

Probably worth noting that FOCL disembarks all members of groups and people travelling home on the same coach at the same time... regardless of where individuals had been accommodated on the ship... folks from suites and lower deck insides will be called at the same time... if they're travelling home in the same group... so that complicates things just a little.

 

Also these group disembarkations are usually scheduled throughout the disembarkation procedure so as to mitigate problems of overcrowding in the ship's foyer and shore side.

 

Friends who travelled as part of a group a few months ago found that they were some of the first to disembark. FOCL has been doing it this way for well over a decade before the pandemic.

 

Hope that you enjoy the cruise... it would be interesting to see a review once you're back.

 

 

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