I have cruised over 20 times and have been to GC 5 times. I usually cruise RCI and they give out tender tickets in the morning to let you know which group you are in. This being our 1st Carnival cruise I was curious as to how they operate. And as far as booking our own excursion, we always do as I don't pay extra just to go through the cruise line. I do however, feel it isn't fair to the other passengers with private excursions that they allow the people with Carnival booked excursions get off first. I feel you should have to show docs that you have "an excursion booked" whether you booked Carnival or not and be allowed to tender in the first groups.