Originally Posted by colorcrazie
In ports where a tender is needed, the ship's tour groups get off first. Usually, everyone meets in the show lounge. Those who do not have a tour scheduled will get a number and they allow people to go down to the tenders according to the numbers. But, that is only for the first rush. After that, you just go down to the exit, usually the lowest passenger deck.
It is not really true that the ship's tours get off first. The ship's tours are normally arranged on staggered schedules anyhow so they depart at various times. The very first ship's tours will probably go on the first tender. After that they mix ship's tours and independents as tenders become available so the people who go up to the lounge early and get a low number will usually disembark reasonably quickly. You do NOT have to wait a long time until ALL the ship's tours are tendered first. In our experience it is generally wise to allow an hour after the arrival time to be ashore.