We're sailing on the Pride Oct 5th to PV, Mazatlan, Cabo.
I've searched the forums and read as much as I can, but what I can't seem to find in the haystack is....how does it work embarking/disembarking at different ports (and any specific comments about these ports appreciated)!
Do we have to jump off the ship from our balcony and swim to shore? 8)
Are there long lines, do we have to pay to take one of those other boats, etc.? If we have to be back by "X" PM at the latest, what time do you usually make sure you're back to not stand on a dock and watch your vacation sail away?
BF sprung for the Cat 11 and we got one of the wrap around corner balcony suites. That gives us boarding "VIP" but does that do anything for us for the ports we visit?
I figured we might have hoped for an upgrade, but he said hogwash and bought it anyway. What a guy...
VIP gets you nothing when you are at the different ports first of all. In PV they dock the ship at the pier so you can get right off whenever the ship is cleared for debarkation. The same is true in Mazatlan. In Cabo they tender you in from offshore either in smaller boats or even lifeboats. If you have a tour scheduled they let those folks off first. After that everybody else can get off. The lines for tendering can get long so plan accordingly. At all ports they tell you to be back on ship about a half hour prior to sailing. If you tender make sure you know when the last tender is scheduled. People do miss the ship and they will sail without you if you space out and forget about the time. Usually you stay on ships time not the port time so dont rely on port clocks.
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"Do we have to jump off the ship from our balcony and swim to shore?"
No. We have not done these ports yet but....you either tender in or dock along the pier. If you tender, you will have to wait some period of time depending on if you have ship tours or independant tours. You don't have to pay for the tenders ! If you dock at the pier you will wait a short time in line as everyone debarks at the gangway. If everyone bypasses the photographers it goes much faster!
"If we have to be back by "X" PM at the latest, what time do you usually make sure you're back to not stand on a dock and watch your vacation sail away?"
We try to be back within the hour of the must be back onboard time. If the ship sails at 5pm the must be back time is about 4:15pm. We get back to the ship about 4pm so that we can be on the rail or on our balcony with a drink in our hands as we watch the late ones run!
"BF sprung for the Cat 11 and we got one of the wrap around corner balcony suites. That gives us boarding "VIP" but does that do anything for us for the ports we visit?"
We have our first Cat 12 on the Blog2NOLA cruise in Feb 2009 so we can't say for certain what you get, but I believe the priority boarding is the only sure perk. Platinum S&S folks (over 10 cruises) get priority boarding, priority tender, laundry services and a few other perks.
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"....how does it work embarking/disembarking at different ports..."
The ship either docks and you walk off at your leisure, or you tender which means you anchor and ride the tender boats back and forth.
"Are there long lines, do we have to pay to take one of those other boats, etc.?"
No charge. queues can vary greatly. The queue is less when docked than when awaiting a tender. Even when docked, sometimes it's easy sometimes crowed.
" If we have to be back by "X" PM at the latest, what time do you usually make sure you're back to not stand on a dock and watch your vacation sail away? "
I like to show up earlier than the last minute, 1 hour to 30 minutes. At the last moment the queue gets longer obviously.
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Nothing funnier than sitting on your balcony right before sailing and watching the last minute people running back for their lives. Bring your video cameras out for this event. Bob
Especially when a ship docks at Punta Langosta in Cozumel...where CarlosNCharlies is at the end of the pier....and you are watching DRUNK people trying to run back to the ship in time!!!
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Well shoot everyone answered you already. Cabo is your only tender port. Once you get to the pier at cabo you can pay to take a watertaxi directly to the beach. They have a roped off area where you can hang out, waiters come by and bring you Coronas. Here is a picture from the roped off area at Cabo you can see the ship achored in the distance. See the little tender boats on the side.
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