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Old 08-14-2007, 02:22 PM
Hank Hank is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 751
I want to address the tender situation in a seperate post because its worthy of some attention. Celebrity and RCI (their mother company) simply have done a dreadfull job in dealing with this port (perhaps they have heard the complaints and made adjustments by now). It is a long tender ride (15 - 20 min each way) which can be made worse if its a windy choppy day. When we were on the Jewel of Seas (Celebrity had a ship in the port the previous day who followed the same procedures) they used 4 ships tenders plus an additional tender hired from a local marina. Both Celebrity and RCI declined the offer to hire an additional two local tenders (they like to save money). As a result, it took more than 2 hours to get the passengers ashore, but this was the least of the problems. In the afternoon, all the tour buses returned to the tender pier at about the same time (approximately 3:15) so we had more than 1000 folks waiting in line (in the rain). The tour groups who got to the tender pier around 3:30 (last tender was supposed to be at 4) waited about 2 hours to get on a tender. There were few seats and they just stood on line in the open (there actually was one fist fight when somebody tried to cut in line). Our ship was supposed to leave at 4:30 for LeHavre, but we were not able to leave until 6:30 because of all the late tender operations. The locals who volunteered to help with the lines (these folks were very nice but also upset with RCI) told us that this happens only with RCI and Celebrity because they will not hire the additional tenders. The locals were very upset because they felt that their village was getting a bad reputation due to a cruise line that refused to use some common sense. Since we were on our own, we had arrived at the tender pier around 3 pm, so we only had to stand in line for 1 1/2 hours and finally got back on the ship at 5 (the tender ride took 30 minutes due to rough seas). The situation was ugly enough that the Captain and cruise director both made annoucements that evening and offered some appolgies mixed with too many excuses. Needless to say, this was the big topic that evening in the Concierge Lounge.