On arrival at Dublin vehicle drivers and their passengers were called first as is usual practice. However, given the large number of foot passengers with baggage, foot passengers appeared to be held back whilst the luggage was off loaded from the baggage trolleys.
When foot passenger disembarking commenced, passengers were allowed off in batches. Not much fun if you end up having to wait in the company of those who are rowdy and drunk to much. Being a bank holiday weekend there was a few of this sort around! However, those in the know realise that there is a way to get to the top of the stairs in front of the rest of the foot passengers!
The reason for this became apparent when entering the baggage reclaim area. There were bags laid out everywhere. The small luggage carousel in the south side terminal which was provided for Sea Containers services in June last year is woefully inadequate to cope with large numbers of foot passengers. This was never a problem with the vastly superior facilities which that are offered at the main Dublin Passenger Terminal at berth 49 and which Sea Containers were forced to quit with the introduction of the Dublin Swift.
With only one sailing per day operating at present, perhaps a slight adjustment of the timetable could allow the berth 49 terminal to be used. Irish Ferries JONATHAN SWIFT departs shortly after the SUPERSEACAT arrives. Though slotting in the Douglas to Dublin sailings at berth 49 might be a little more difficult.
With so many bags laid out one had to wonder about the security of passenger's baggage. Whilst the carousel arrangement is not fool proof in this respect passengers usually gather round en-masse and concentrate on grabbing just their bags. However, in this case, with groups of passengers being let through in batches I could imagine there would be some scope for the dishonest to take advantage of the situation.
Proceeding round to the check in it was obvious that the terminal was rather busy to say the least. There was a long queue of passengers still waiting to buy tickets as well as a long queue to check in. Having checked in it was obvious that the departure lounge was rather full. Many people just standing around as virtually all the seats were occupied.
Since Sea Containers services were forced to vacate the main terminal at berth 49 last year the new facilities provided on the south side of the river appear poor by comparison. Though built of more substantial material than a "portakabin" these prefab buildings are not as well fitted internally, and appear to get much more congested that the Liverpool "portakabin"
By 12:40 an announcement was made that no further ticket sales would be made for the 13:00 sailing. Looking back there still appeared to be a queue at the counter, so presumably there were some disappointed latecomers. However, to ensure a prompt departure such action is un doubtedly necessary.
A few minutes later boarding commenced.