Without a doubt, the worst day of any cruise is disembarkation day and it's made worse by having to wake up early to be out of your cabin. Having cruised exclusively with P&O in recent years, we were pleased to have an extra 30 minutes in our cabin with Princess. It may seem like a trivial amount of time but it did make a difference. We were a bit late docking on the last morning of our Enchanted Princess cruise so disembarkation was running behind. Laura had to be back home to work that afternoon so we were in a bit of a rush to get off, normally we wouldn't have been bothered but its typical that we ended up with a delay the one time we had something to get home for!
We were pleased to be able to take advantage of another Platinum perk and have access to a disembarkation lounge. This meant that we had somewhere comfortable to wait for our time slot, or so we thought! We arrived at the lounge (which was Take Five) and it was full. Take Five is only a relatively small venue and it doesn't have very much seating so we had to prop our belongings up against a pillar and make ourselves comfortable on the floor for the duration of our wait. However, we thought it was a nice touch to have snacks and drinks available in there. We usually forgo breakfast on the final morning of a cruise and grab something on our way home but it was great to grab a pastry without having to deal with the massive buffet queues. But if we're honest, we'd have probably been better off heading for our standard disembarkation lounge, where we would have been more likely to get a seat.
Disembarkation was running at around 20 minutes behind schedule, our scheduled time was 8.40 and we were in the queue to disembark at around 9am. It was an odd experience for us having to wait to disembark as on our last few P&O cruises we've been directed to get straight off the ship as we were walking through the atrium looking for somewhere to wait. When we did make it off the ship, the luggage was extremely well organised with all of our cases being placed next to each other. Oddly, it seemed as though they were only preparing the luggage for each deck as they disembarked, rather than having the whole ships luggage ready to go. Perhaps this was due to the late docking but we had never seen this before. It meant it was very easy to find your case but did mean that if anybody needed to urgently disembark early their luggage wouldn't be available for them to collect.
We had another slight delay to our journey home because we disembarked from the new Horizon terminal but had embarked at Ocean terminal. We had parked with CPS and unlike what is advertised, our cars weren't moved to meet us at the different terminal. Instead we got coaches back over to Ocean. Not a massive deal and the transfer did work quite smoothly but it was a further inconvenience that we didn't need when we were in a rush! Despite these delays, we were on the road before 10am and headed home.
We had another lovely cruise and are glad that we had the chance to try out Enchanted Princess thanks to some itinerary changes. Our return to Princess after a 10 year absence wasn't quite the experience we'd expected, and there were clearly issues with staffing numbers onboard, but overall we enjoyed ourselves and we may consider Princess again in the right circumstances.