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It’s that time of the cruise – the disembarkation instructions have been issued, even though it’s still 3 or 4 days before we actually disembark.

Broadly speaking, they seem to be more or less as expected:

  • Bags out of the cabin before midnight at the latest (“…in the afternoon is fine”);
  • Vacate the cabin by 8am;
  • Then “remain in the comfort of the public rooms…”
  • No announcements – passengers have to meet in the Adriatic restaurant at the time specified for their flight.
  • Passengers will have to collect their bags from the baggage area in the cruise terminal, and presumably then take it to the coach. There’s no comment on whether or not passengers will have to recover their bags from the bag and take them through check in themselves, or whether P&O will handle that. I’ll seek some clarification on that point. (Update: I’ve learned that passengers will indeed have to take their luggage from the coach and through checkin themselves.)
  • The meeting times (and flight numbers) are published on the information sheet for both disembarkation days, Tuesday (E904) and Wednesday (E904A). He times range from 8am to 10:45am on Tuesday and 8am to 10:50am on Wednesday, and in fact that last time is for those passengers not actually flying out that day, but going on to a hotel. The last meeting for a flight is 10:30 (Tuesday) and 10:40 (Wednesday), so passengers won’t be hanging around the ship for too long.
  • Then there’s some information to be gleaned from the flight details. On Tuesday, flights seem to be as follows:
    • Virgin Atlantic to Manchester, and passengers for this flight will be handled in three groups;
      Emirates to Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow & Birmingham;
      And there’s a BA flight to Heathrow as well.
  • The position for Wednesday is a bit more confusing:
    • There are no less than four groups for Heathrow, on flights with Virgin Atlantic and BA, and two separate Emirates flights;
      Then there are also Emirates flights to Gatwick (split into two groups for the same flight), Manchester, Glasgow, and Birmingham.
  • Looking at the meeting times and comparing them with the actual flight times (which I can get because the information sheet gives the flight number), it look as as if P&O are allowing 4 hours or a bit more from the meeting time on board to the scheduled flight departure time. For example, there are some passengers on Emirates flight EK019 on both days, which leaves at 2:40 pm, and the meeting time on board is either 10:15 (Tuesday) or 10 o’clock (Wednesday). That would be about right – allowing time to shepherd passengers off the ship, recover their bags from the baggage hall at the cruise terminal, get the bags and passengers loaded onto the coach and finally drive to the airport would take about an hour, I would think.
  • Me? Well, I’m an ‘Independent Guest’ (I made my own travel arrangements because I had a short holiday in Bangkok before the cruise), and I’m invited to “disembark the ship…. any time after 8am”. I will still have to collect my bags at the cruise terminal, and then I’ll get t taxi to the airport. I’ll probably do all that as soon after 8am as I can – I hate hanging around a ship, or a hotel, just killing time before leaving.
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