Could someone please tell be what it means to be "tendered"? We're sailing on the Sun in December and I've read some references to being tendered with regards to the various ports of call on that itinerary and don't understand what that means.
It means that the ship doesn't come in to the dock. It anchors out away from the port and then you are taken to shore by smaller boats called "tenders". Sometimes it's because there are too many ships in port, sometimes the water is too shallow, sometimes there are coral reefs that need to be protected. You will be given a tender ticket and boat number to get on. Get in line early for the tender tickets so you will get off faster.
A tender is a smaller boat that takes you from the cruise ship to shore. Most of the time the ship's life boats are used. Don't worry, the life boats of today are nothing like what you saw in the movie Titanic. Today's life boats are large, faster, relatively comfortable and seat a large number of people.
As previously stated, tenders are used at ports where a large cruise ship cannot dock at a normal pier. Grand Cayman is a good example of this. It has a shallow reef around the entire island. Cruise ships sit too low in the water and will damage the reef if they try to go over it.
You will be informed once you are onboard on the process for obtaining tender tickets for the various ports. Pay attention to the port talks on your TV and in the daily paper, that will be left in your cabin each evening.
Take care and have a great cruise.
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if someone travels has a wheelchair or diffuculty walking, you might be extra careful about taking the tender..on newer HAL ships that have a "lift" that helps the person with a disability get on/off the tender
don't ever take the last tender back, take the next to the last, the last one is usally packed
Some tender journeys seem more comfortable than others. When we were in Belize we had a very long tender on a quite small boat. Although the seas seemed quite calm further out, the journey into port was really rocky (I am not sure why) and the tender boat kept slamming against the side when people were getting in and out at the port. My elderly father had trouble getting out because of this and the huge step.
many ports have insufficient pier facilities, so they have 'tender' or essentially water taxis, come out and take a hundred or so people at a time back and forth. need to calculate the time schedule to allow for your activities,etc. usually no big problem.the ship casts anchor a mile or so out, they you are ferried back and forth in the tender.