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Embarkation and disembarkation

Embarkation

Unlike most of the British passengers, we joined the Coral at Genoa instead of Marseilles. We were the only Brits to join the ship there, although there was a small group of Canadian passengers who also embarked in Genoa.

Baggage being taken off at Marseilles

Baggage being taken off at Marseilles

The British holiday companies seem only to offer Marseilles as the point of embarkation for the Coral. It was only by visiting the Louis Cruises website that we discovered we could join the ship at other ports, subject to cabin availability. At the time of booking, the cruise was fully booked from Marseilles, however there was availability at Genoa.

At Genoa, embarkation started at 12 noon. Because fewer people were embarking from this port, the wait was short. Luggage was left with the port’s porters for delivery to the Coral. Be prepared to tip the porters – they made it very clear we had no alternative!

The embarkation process was smooth. We were asked to complete a short health questionnaire and were issued with our boarding swipe cards. All documentation and printed information was available in a selection of different languages.

Once onboard, we were escorted to our cabins by a crew member. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin door within the allotted two hour period.

Registering credit cards

The MV Coral operates a cashless system. Credit cards are registered with the Purser’s crew at the reception desk, and purchases are made onboard with your personal boarding cards. Passengers who prefer to use cash can deposit money with the Purser’s office. This is debited each time a purchase is made, so having a credit card is not essential.

Registering our credit card was quick and easy and there were no queues or delays. Halfway through the cruise, a printed statement was delivered to our cabin. The final statement was delivered prior to our disembarking. Each purchase, including drinks, excursions and purchases made in the ship’s shop was itemised on the bill. Because we had bought an inclusive drinks package, checking our bill was straight forward and there were no errors on the account.

Disembarkation

Because we had registered a credit card, we didn’t have to settle our account before leaving the ship. This happened automatically. Luggage, apart from hand baggage, is left outside the cabin door by midnight the night before you disembark. When ashore, your luggage is waiting for you in the port building.
To avoid congestion, passengers are disembarked according to their deck number. The disembarkation process was smooth and there were no delays.