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How does embarkation in Southampton work?

We want your holiday to get off to a great start with quick and easy embarkation. Over the past year, we have been working on ways to improve your experience at the cruise terminal, and get you on-board your ship quicker. Improvements include more security lanes, speedier baggage delivery to your cabin, having your cabin ready earlier and serving lunch on-board all afternoon. 

With regards to check-in, we have been trialling an enhanced system on Britannia recently, which has now been adopted across the fleet.


How can I ensure I get on-board as quickly as possible?

The process is very straightforward. Due to the large number of guests embarking our ships, we have always operated a staggered embarkation process. As you will see, you have been allocated an arrival time on your e-ticket. To ensure you spend less time in the terminal and more time on-board, we kindly ask that you adhere as closely as possible to your allotted arrival time.


If you are unsure of your arrival time, please go to your Cruise Personaliser or My P&O Cruises to print out your e-ticket, or ask your travel agent for assistance.


So, what’s changed?

In the spirit of fairness, we will be giving priority to those who arrive at their allotted time. You are welcome to arrive earlier of course, but if you do we will ask you to make yourself comfortable in the terminal until we are able to check you in. This may well be before your allotted time, we promise we won’t make you wait around unnecessarily. Please note that the earliest possible arrival time is now 12.30pm, which is reserved for our Ligurian Tier and suite guests (please see below).


What if I can’t arrive at the allotted time?

We realise that it’s not always possible to arrive at a scheduled time, especially if you’re travelling a long way, or are checking out from a hotel. So if you do arrive early, please rest assured that we will do our best to get you checked in and on board as soon as possible. There are refreshments available at the terminal and plenty of seating to make you comfortable should you have to wait. Alternatively, feel free to drop off your luggage from 12pm and come back to the cruise terminal at your Arrival Time.


Groups and Coach Connect service (operated by Intercruises)

If you are travelling within a group that has different arrival times but you wish to stay together, please arrive at the latest time within your party to ensure that we can check you all in at the same time. 

If you are travelling by coach connect service, you may notice that your e-ticket arrival time doesn’t match your coach’s arrival time. Don’t worry, in this case your coach’s arrival time will override the time on your e-ticket.


What about my Peninsular Club and suite benefits?

If you are a suite guest or a Ligurian Tier guest, you will still enjoy your early embarkation benefit and will be allocated the first possible Arrival Time of 12.30pm. You will also still have the use of an exclusive hospitality area within the cruise terminal, serving complimentary refreshments and snacks, Mini Suite guests are also permitted entry into the the hospitality area.


In addition, we're delighted to tell you that from now on, all Baltic and Caribbean Tier guests will be given an early Arrival Time of 1pm. You may find that there is a different time on your e-ticket, but feel free to arrive anytime from 1pm. In the meantime, Baltic and Caribbean Tier guests are welcome to arrive at the cruise terminal from 1pm, regardless of the time on your e-ticket, and we will check you in straight away.

Please see the question - Where is the Welcome on Board Reception for top tier and Suite guests? for further details.


There will still be a priority queue for our suite, Ligurian, Baltic and Caribbean guests, but we will operate this slightly differently. Instead of dedicated desks, there will be a Priority Lane to ensure you proceed to the next available desk quicker.


For a full list of benefits, please visit The Peninsular Club page.


We will continue to monitor our arrival and check-in procedures and remain dedicated as ever to giving you a wonderful holiday from start to finish. 


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