Princess Bids Adieu to Long Disembarkation Waits

Any cruiser knows that the worst day of a cruise is the last, and not just because it means vacation is over. Princess is seeking to make that last day more tolerable. The cruise line is streamlining the disembarkation process so passengers won't have to contend with the "hurry up and wait" routine.

Typically, on the day of disembarkation, passengers listen for announcements for their luggage tag color to be called, then make their way to the gangway, which can become constricted, like a highway at rush hour. With Princess' plan, passengers are given an assigned time and place to assemble, then escorted to the gangway by a member of the ship's staff. Princess says this will eliminate guesswork as to the actual time passengers will be disembarking. Now passengers will know exactly when it's time for them to leave and can coordinate their morning as to when to wake up, eat breakfast or take a shower.

The new program is in the process of being rolled out fleetwide, and Princess says it's already being met affectionately. "Passengers have told us that they're enjoying their final morning much more since we've started this program," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service. The new program also serves as the bookend to Princess' early-embarkation program, which makes staterooms available to passengers upon boarding. Visit www.princess.com. (DE)

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