So does this happen on certain cruises or will we probably experience this no matter what cruise we are on? Sorry, but as I stated, I'm a newbie, as in 1st time cruiser and am just learning the ropes! Thanks!
It depends on several things. First, are you sailing into a port where the docking facilities are deep enough for yur ship? If not, your ship will anchor in the harbor and you will tender in. Sometimes the dock is so full of cruiseships (first come, first serve) you will need to anchor out and tender in. On some cruises you won't need to tender at all and on some you will have to. I've never been on a cruise where you tendered at all ports. Then, I've never been to Antarctica either (where docks don't exist).
Ok, here is our trip info.Flying to San Juan to board the NCL Majesty then heading to Aruba, Curacao, Tortola, St. Thomas, then back to San Juan. If you do have to tender, how easy is it to go back and forth during the time you are docked there. For example.If we wanted to go into port to visit a beach, then would maybe want to return to the ship to get cleaned up to go do some shopping? Or is that not a good plan and we should be prepared to be gone the whole day, not returning to the ship if we have to tender? I may be making a bigger issue out of this than I need to, but that is why I'm asking. We are only in Aruba from 8-1, Curcaco from 8-5:30, Tortola from 8-5:30 and St. Thomas from 7-5:30 so maybe there isn't time to really run back and forth and still do any shopping or sightseeing. Thanks!
Deb, check on your Aruba 8 - 1. That could be 1 a.m. the next day! Royal Caribbeans' schedule, too. Just 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. is not much time for Aruba. In Aruba, just walk straight out to the main street, cross it and go to the bus depot area to take a bus to Palm beach. Get off at the Holiday Inn and enjoy a beautiful beach. Besure to get the bus back on time and if the ship is not leaving until after midnight, return to the ship for lunch then walk into town for shopping and some casino stops. Again, if there in the evening, besure to go to Carlos & Charlies, Senior Frogs, or Iaguana Joes for fun. As far as I can see (I don't know about Tortola) you will most likely dock in all ports. At Curaco take a taxi to Aquarium beach (admittance fee) upon return mid-day, have the taxi drop you off in town to tour and shop. Stop at the hotel at the edge of the canal for a cool drink as it is a lovely spot outside by the pool. Walk back to your ship (good exercise unless you are docked at the new port- too far!) In St. Thomas, take a taxi to Maegen's Bay and return to town mid-day for shopping. Because it is very warm sometimes in the Caribbean, it is best to plan your tours or beach visits for the morning leaving you time to explore or shop to the afternoon. Do check on that Aruba time frame. Curacao is not very far (15 miles) from Aruba and I can't see why the ship would leave so soon after arriving in Aruba which is a great port.
Well, well, you are so right about that departure time, IT IS 1:00 A.M.!!!!!!! Ok well thanks for all the great suggestions for things to do and places to go. That is so helpful. I have heard people refer to their "documents" on this and other message boards. We have not yet received ours, I am assuming that means more information about the cruise itself. The times that I had listed for the port destinations were in the travel agency booklet so that is where I found those times out. Thanks again!
You will tender in Tortola and probably in Curacao (I'm really not sure about that one).
Tenders are not hard to deal with at all. There are deck personnel waiting to help you on an doff the boats. The worst times are first thing going off and last thing going back, although I bet that by 1 am there will be very little tender traffic.
It is very possible to go back and forth to the ship on th tenders. The ride tends to take from 5 to 10 minutes.
You'll get the hang of it and learn to enjoy the adventure (I hope).
You did not say exactly when your cruise leaves but I am guessing it's April sometime knowing the Majesty comes to Boston for the Bermuda run in May. Final payment is due and payable 60 days before a Caribbean cruise. Tickets and documents are usually issued 30 days or less before you set sail. If you booked airline transportation with the Cruise Line you document package could be even later. If after 2 weeks before your cruise date you have not heard from your travel agent or received a "packet", do give them a call. Document's consist of a Cruise Line formal packet with the itinerary, boarding card, transfer ticket, sign & sail card to be signed and given at embarkation, and other informative information about your sailing and rules & policies. In addition there would be your airline tickets if the cruise line booked those or if your TA did them separately, she will put them in the packet. Probably a shore excursion booklet iwill be enclosed f your cruise line does not send that in advance. A list of gifts you can pre-order. A tux order form. A question and answer booklet, etc. Doc's make the cruise seem real. Oh, your confirmation of your cabin number & dining room assignment too will be included.