How long have you had to wait for a tender to take you to your excursions? On our last cruise, we had to wait almost an hour just for the tender to return to the ship to pick us up. I think they could have used more than one that day.
We had to walk for a good 30 minutes to get to the tender and then waited another hour for it to leave. It seemed the tender was waiting for any last passenger they could get aboard before leaving. By the time we arrived at the island a good 2 hours of the excursion were gone.
Are there any tenders actually owned and operated by the cruise lines or are they mostly contracted?
Sharisoda: What ship were you on? We've had an experience like yours, but only on the NCL Norway. As even many of the Norway's most ardent fans will admit, the tendering process in that ship is not one of its high points, to say the least. Otherwise, our experience has been the smaller the ship (in terms of number of guests) the quicker and smoother the tendering process. In contrast, we alos were on the 320 guest Paul Gauguin, and the tendering process was seamless.
We've tendered on two of our cruises -- a Hawaii cruise at Maui, and a Caribbean cruise at Grand Cayman. In Maui, during the day, there were always 4 tenders in the water. One coming, one going, one at the shore dock, and one at the ship. In both cases we were on RCCL Vision-class ships.
At Grand Cayman, there were 3 tenders in the water, but the service was just about as swift as in Maui -- generally about a 5 minute wait to catch a tender at either end.
Perhaps one factor is the size of the ship. Larger ships carry more tenders, and can have more of them in the water at the same time.
There are now two reports of slow tender service on this fairly short thread (one of them mine) that mention slow tenders on a single line, NCL. Other ships, big and small, seem to be doing fine. Has anyone had slow tender problems on any line other than NCL?
Re: Re: Is this a problem of just a few cruise lines?
Generally I've found tender service to be pretty good. We've encountered the occassional long lineups when its getting close to the time for the last tender. Lots of people trying to get the very last bit out of their port visit.
On the Summit, when we overnighted in Maui, the tender lines got pretty long when the Luaus ended, and pax returned to the ship. If you spent a bit of time in town afterwards, then the lines were gone.
Only time we've ever had a tender problem was at Grand Cayman but that was mainly due to the customs officials delaying things for almost 1 1/2 hours and people were ready to stampede off the ship by then. This was also the only time we have ever experienced "Rent A Tenders" being used. To the credit of Celebrity (we were on the Zenith), they got a couple local tenders to bring people ashore as soon as the ship cleared customs - greatly speeding up what could have been a much more ugly situation for those going on excursions.
It was probably clearing Immigration rather than Customs. And that's kind of surprising but you were there and saw it. The entire ship should be cleared as a whole. I don't think the Caymans collect taxes for day visitors.
I watched a disabled person being carried down a stair gangway on Grand Cayman ... took SEVEN minutes. People were NOT pleased. It was SOME kind of hot.
Usually the ship is cleared very early in the morning.
Actually it wasn't a bad experience - just for some of those who had negative brainwaves that morning...lol.
That was the only ship excursion we had scheduled on the cruise so I wasn't worrying about being late getting off. I stand corrected - it was Immigration and not Customs that delayed us. My brain knew that but it forgot to tell the fingers. Lousy excuse but it's all I can come up with at the moment
My brain was still in a fog yesterday after a weekend state political convention...lol. At about 3:30 am the term "raucous caucus" fit perfectly and the following celebration didn't help my mental condition for the next few days...lol.
Just got back from Carnival Pride. When we were at Half Moon Cay, we were there from 10-4:30. They were using their lifeboats as tenders. Someone said they had 5 going at one time, but we still didn't get to the island until almost 1:00 (waiting for them to call our number) I felt really bad for the people with numbers after us. We were number 11 and I saw as high up as number 28. Almost 3 hours of waiting to get off the boat! They were diffinately having problems that day!