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-   -   How to get off-board early in Grand Cayman? (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/caribbean-port-chat/15480-how-get-off-board-early-grand-cayman.html)

catweazlecat 11-30-2006 03:29 AM

Hi There

have just found out that on December 20, when we will arrive in Grand Cayman with Constellation another 7! Ships are tendering as well and most of the people probably joining tours etc.

Any suggestions how to make sure to get off the ship early morning? Have heard of passengers that did not get off the ship until noon because there was such a long queue of people going off-board.

The same seems to happen on the way back and some passgeners complaint that they had to wait up to 3 hours to get back on the ship with thousands of people waiting to be picked up.

Gives me a shiver to be honest...

Would appreciate any suggestions because this is my first trip in the Caribean on a cruise.

Thanks in advance and best regards

Silke from Germany

SSUS_NJ 11-30-2006 05:42 AM

Greetings Silke:

We were in a similar situation on the Westerdam this month - Grand Cayman with 6 other ships.

I found that the tendering IN was no problem. There's plenty of dock/landing space, and each ship/cruise line has it's "spot" where tenders come and go. When so many ships are arriving on a single day, they tend to "stagger" themselves - e.g. - Coral Princess anchored first in the AM, and her tenders were on the move before the two Carnival ships got anchored. Westerdam was fourth, and I made sure we got a tender before Mariner of the Seas (5th anchored) was dropping its tenders.

Can't guarantee that there won't be a "mad rush" inside the ship to get on the first tenders... hard to control that. Each line has its "crowd control" plans... make sure you know the logistics ahead of time so you can plan.

We had no trouble getting BACK to the ship either, but that's because we left Georgetown relatively early because we didn't like the crowds. We were planning lunch on shore, but the restaurants were packed by noon, so we just got the tender back. There were only 10 people on the tender going back at that time. Friends of ours had to wait a bit when they returned later, but the tenders were running pretty regularly.

To summarize - It's probably a good idea to be "Off early - On early" to avoid craziness.

The town itself was a MADHOUSE the day we were there. As I've posted previously, despite the fact that I'm a born and bred "New Yawker" - Georgetown with 6 cruise ships was worse than NYC on "Black Friday" (the crazy shopping day for Americans after Thanksgiving Thursday).

Unless you're desperate for a "deal" in shopping, I'd avoid spending any time in the town. Do a shore excursion, or arrange a private trip to one of the beaches. (Or just enjoy a peaceful day on the ship, which is what we wound up doing for the most part!)

Good luck and enjoy the Constellation - We've been on her twice, and she's a FINE ship!!

SSUS_NJ 11-30-2006 05:46 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by catweazlecat:
have just found out that on December 20, when we will arrive in Grand Cayman with Constellation another 7!
I missed the date when I first saw your post - December 20th?? Ugggh!! Do you know how many of us "crazy Americans" (and crazies from other countries, I'm sure) will be swarming the stores for last-minute Christmas gift "bargains"???

I'd firmly reiterate - spend as LITTLE time in "downtown" Georgetown as you can!! (just my humble opinion... heck, you want to relax in the Caribbean, no??) http://cruise-chat.com/groupee_commo...icon_smile.gif

wise2u 11-30-2006 06:00 AM

sure fire way to get off before everyone else....go to the lowest deck you can and jump...be sure to do an acrobactic dive for extra points from the judges...

Seriously though they do stagger ships arrivals and it didn't take us more than 20 minutes to disembark from carnival's triumph...getting back on took 45 mins and while it was crowded it was very organized, its not too bad, just go with the flow

If you hate crowds let the first few tenders go and like suggested come back early

Jim C. 11-30-2006 09:33 AM

The crowd issue for Grand Cayman comes into play when the ships arrive when they are not expected. (Like when they change itineraries for a huricane) Grand Cayman provides their own tenders (Princess uses their own tenders too). If the 7 ships are planned on, then the island tenders are able to handle the load if not, then the port will let the ships use their own tenders too.

If you need to be off early, make sure you follow the proceedures called for "those with early tours" You will get on the first tenders.
Even if you booked your own tours, don't listen to them if they say "if you booked a tour on the ship".. just go where they say and tell them you have an early tour and need to get off.

It should not be a real big problem.

catweazlecat 12-01-2006 04:32 AM

Thanks a lot all of you for your informations. Does feel a little bit better now knowing that there should be a way to manage getting off board on time.

Silke


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