I will be on the Freedom arriving at Grand Cayman the first week of June. We have an excursion scheduled for 9 a.m., but transport will pick us up at 8:30. Ship is due to arrive at 8 a.m. We will be riding waverunners to stingray island. Anyway, my question is this. How early do I need to be ready in order to catch the first tender off the ship? Thanks!
Tendering will begin shortly (1/2 hour to 45 minutes) after you drop anchor. I would be ready "before" you drop anchor and get an early tender. Remember, ship's excursions and suites will have priority and usually go first.
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Thanks Mike, only problem I can see is that this excursion is not booked through CCL. But I'm sure the excursion company is used to dealing with cruise passengers. They had many good reviews on tripadvisor.
I hate to say this, but I don't think there's any way you'll be at the pier by 8:30. As Mike said, they'll call for Suite passengers and cruise line excursions first. That could take up at least the first two tenders, and maybe more.
I hope you're right about your excursion operator, and they'll wait for you:-) !
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The independent tour operators deal with it every day. They know you won't be there that early and they will wait!
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I think they generally say allow 45 minutes if not on a ship tour. It is only about a 5 minute ride, however.
It is trivial for an individual to "sneak" onto an early tender - they don't check that closely and stickers are always falling off. As long as you aren't a large group stuck to each other, that is always an option.
There will be a procedure for non-ship tour people to follow - stand in line for tender stickers and such. Not everyone has to wait in line, but everyone has to be together and ready to go once your tender number is called. While one is waiting in line, another can go fetch breakfast from Lido and bring back to the person waiting.
Anyway, the procedure will be published in the daily paper which you will receive the night before.
Before I was Platinum, I might have printed my own tender stickers at home before the cruises. :evil: