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JennieCods

Time to get off the ship in port

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I am going on my first ever cruise in two weeks and I was wondering how long it takes to disembark at a port when docked and when tendered.  Do you just walk off or is there a queue.

Most of our ports will not require visa checks because they are within the EU.  But we are thinking of doing some shore excursions outside of the on board options and I need to understand how long it will take to get off the ship so we can be certain we won't miss a tour.

 

Thanks

 

Jennie

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5 minutes ago, JennieCods said:

I am going on my first ever cruise in two weeks and I was wondering how long it takes to disembark at a port when docked and when tendered.  Do you just walk off or is there a queue.

Most of our ports will not require visa checks because they are within the EU.  But we are thinking of doing some shore excursions outside of the on board options and I need to understand how long it will take to get off the ship so we can be certain we won't miss a tour.

 

Thanks

 

Jennie

Depends on a lot of factors not the least of which is the size of ship and passenger population. This matters when either docked or tendering, though the tender operation is further complicated by distance from shore and sea conditions. 

 

With tendering, do realize that most cruise lines give first priority to folks taking the ship's tours in the current port. So, it can be quite some time before you get off the ship. We cruise on ships with no more than 700 or 1200 passengers. And even when we do ship's tours, the tender ride alone can be 30+\- minutes in some locations.

 

That said, reputable private tour operators in tender ports should know the ship's schedule and the normal tendering time spans. If they don't, find a different tour.

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Posted (edited)

As per the Flyer's post it's difficult to generalise.

 

When at a berth, usually a queue forms from the disembarkation point mebbe 20 mins before the advertised time, and it's mebbe 20 minutes after the advertised time that the bedlam dies down & you can simply walk off. So if you're in no desperate rush, let the others jostle & push while you enjoy another coffee in the buffet.

 

When tendering it's a whole different ball-game. 

Those on ship-sponsored excursions get priority for the first tenders

Most cruise lines then use one of these two systems.......

System 1.  

You are told, in previous day's news-sheet, where (a bar, theatre or wherever) and when (usually 30-60 minutes before the first general tender) you can collect tender tickets. These tickets are numbered and given out  in numerical order- either very low numbers indicating the tender number, or 3-4 digit numbers indicating the passenger's number. If you want an early tender you need to get to the distribution point mebbe 30 minutes before the advertised time (you still won't be the first) and try to figure where in the room they'll be given out. One person can usually collect all tender tickets for their party. With tender tickets in-hand, then go somewhere comfortable & listen out for your numbers (eg "Tenders 3 and 4" or "passngers 250 to 300") to be called out on the speaker system. You then make your way to the disembarkation point.

System 2.

You go to a large venue (theatre or dining room) when you're ready to go ashore. You're given a number when you get there, and you remain there until your number is called & then make your way (often in a crocodile) to the disembarkation point. That sounds like a long and boring wait, but it's surprisingly quick.

 

Tenders ply back & forth all day, when the rush has died down the crew will call "open tenders" - no need for tender tickets, just  go to the disembarkation point.

 

If your tour operator is used to dealing with cruise passengers they'll know the timescales.

 

BTW, for the return to the ship by tender, there are no priorities that I'm aware of.

At berthed ports, "back-on-board time" is usually 30 minutes before the published ship departure time.

For tendered ports "last tender time" is usually 60 mins before ship departure time. "Last tender time" is when you need to be back at the tender pier, not when you have to be on the ship. There's usually a line for tenders, don't worry if it's clear that those in the line won't be on a tender by last-tender time - the tenders will continue to run until the line is mopped-up. I've even seen folk sheepishly join the end of the line after last-tender time.

Do make a note of when you have to be back - it'll be in the news-sheet and displayed at the disembarkation point.

 

I manage to make everything sound complicated :classic_rolleyes:, but it all fits into place when you're on your cruise. 

 

All first cruises are great - have a good one 

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

Edited by John Bull

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Not EVERYONE wants to leave the ship as soon as the doors are opened.  If you give it a few minutes, it's basically "walk off" at docked ports.

 

Same with tenders....let the 1st couple tenders go...then hop on the next one.  The wait isn't as long as you might imagine.  Of course, the length of the tender trip will dictate some of the wait.....most tender trips are less than 10 mins.....those that are further from shore will carry longer wait times.

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On 5/15/2019 at 5:37 AM, John Bull said:

If your tour operator is used to dealing with cruise passengers they'll know the timescales.

 

 

X2.  They will be waiting for you.  

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