Originally posted by fruby:
Visited FRalmouth about four years ago and it is a truly wonderful travel experience. We did not tender in (if someone doesn't like tenders then maybe they shouldn't go on cruises). Tenders are part of the cruise experience.
I do not normally respond to this type of negative quote, but its too hard to let this go by without an comment. We have been blessed to have cruised on more than 50 different ships (11 cruise lines) and spent more than 20 months cruising around the world. Yes, I am quite aware that tendering is a part of cruising. But bad tender operations are a very bad part of cruising, and in most cases (not all) simply reflect the cruise line's greed. In Falmouth, the locals did a great job explaining the situation, and since they volunteer their time whenever any cruise ship calls, they are in the best positon to understand the reality. When I see elderly passengers standing in line (in the rain) for 2 hours to wait for a tender I start to steam! These folks were mostly those who had booked cruise line tours (we tend to avoid these tours) and were all brought back to the tender pier at about the same time. The fact that the cruise line made a decision not to hire additional tenders (they were available) was an awful decision driven by profit. Since we had returned to the tender pier by 3 pm (and only had to wait until nearly 4:30 to get on a tender) we were the lucky ones! We did sit on our cabin balcony until after 6 pm (the ship should have left the port by 4:30) and watched the tender continue to arrive at the ship until after 6 pm...about 2 hours past the scheduled last tender. This is not part of normal cruising. This is part of darn bad cruising and totally avoidable. The most anger I saw was from the local volunteer leader who was fuming and told us that he knew that the bad tender operations would leave "a sour taste in the visitors' mouths." As I previously explained, the math of the tender operation (time and distance vs number of spaces on the tenders) made this operation an inevitable mess. As is usual, the major problem was with the cruise line sponsored tours (we seldom take these tours) and the expectation of the tour groups that they would not be stuck standing in the rain for nearly 2 hours to complete their tours. In nearly 35 years of cruising this was the worst tender fiasco we have seen. We have heard of similar problems with some lines at Villefranche....but never personally witnessed anything like what we saw in Falmouth.