I have read that if you do not do your excursion with Carnival that you will be last to get off the boat. Is there a way to get around this? We will be on the carnival conquest Sept.3 Anyone have any "secrets" here? We plan on going to Sunset beach in Jamaica, Snorkling at Stingray city with possibly Captain marvins, possibly the submarine tour in Cozumel. Any suggestions on excursions at these ports? Do we need to book our excursions later in the day etc. We will not be using Carnival for excursions after reading the boards. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks and Happy cruising!
Grand Cayman would probably be the only port you will tender in. Depending on how many tenders they run, it should not take you more than 30 minutes to get on board a tender. If you have an excursion that is early morning, you will need to be downstairs at least 30 minutes before the posted arrival time. The cruise line will make sure that all passengers booked for early excursions through them will make the excursion on time. They are in radio contact with the tour group, the tour will not leave without all the booked guests. I would imagine Captain Marvin will do the same and not leave until all booked guests have arrived. Best wishes!
Regret to say that Cozumel's pier at Puerto Maya is still under repair from hurricane Wilma. That modern "mall" and concrete peir was demolished. 98% of the shooping area survived. If you don't take an excursion, no worries, just line up for "tender tickets" and hang out for that water taxi to be announced over the PA.
Swimming with the stingrays is probably on list of the top 5 coolest things I've ever done. Have fun!
We just got back from Cozumel and indeed, while the piers are being feverishly repaired, it is still a long row to hoe. Word was the International Pier - which can now dock one vessel of medium size - will soon be able to handle Voyager and Freedom class ships from RCCL. Perhaps by the end of July. But this won't help Carnival ships very much.
A positive note is that the ships at Cozumel were anchored very close to shore and the tender ride was no more than 5 minutes.
Just got off Valor. I thought tendering was going to be a Huge Deal but found it easy. The first day I was up at 6am roaming the ship trying to find the way out. I realized that the tendering was at the bow,port 1st floor. I went down with family and NO tickets about 1/2 hour after port arrival (before the cruise excursion folks came down) and hopped directly on a tender. I even would say that I have an excursion but not with Carnival and they would say come on. They just want to fill those tenders and start getting people off ASAP. Anyway it really wasn't a big deal.
We tendered off Conquest in January. Just show up in the Toulouse Latrec lounge about 15 minutes before they tell you to be down there. 1st floor close to the stage. They will pass out the tender tickets. Your group will need to be together. We did Captain Marvin's in Cayman's and were on about the 2nd tender that left. We got there in time to be the 1st ones in line at Marvin's place for good seat on their bus. Their string ray trip was awesome!
As I recall when we were in Cayman the tender tickets were given out at 8 am in the morning. the tour we booked off ship and we were on land at 9 am, we booked Capt Marvin for the first morning excursion I thik it was 10:15 or so. by the way Capt marvin is only a block from the ship to your left when you get off the pier area it is a little square mini shopping building it is pale yellow and there is a camera store first and he is next door, it is a litle nick/knack shop you would never think it to be a tour shop we walked past it twice there are very small letters on the door refering to capt. marvins, we even looked in the windows as we walked by and did not relize it was his place, great tour we enjoyed it and it was 30.00 less p/p then on the ship
We just came back from Conquest in May of this year. In Jamaica, you will not need tender since the pier is working perfectly. Grand Cayman and Cozumel, you will be tendered off the ship. Carnival will pass tender tickets @ lido deck next to pool starting @ 8:00 (if I remember correctly) and I would advise you to go there early. Listen to the PA system for details and get there as soon as possible.
I am also curious and in learning mode with this discussion. The last time tender was required for me was a few years ago and was a first come basis for those without tender specific shore excursions. They formed 2 lines for the different tenders. Have never needed a ticket of any sort to get off the ship in a tender port. It's obvious you are on the ship and want to go to port. Maybe the tickets are some sort of crowd control measure for the ports that are now using tender because of hurricane damage and the passenger capacity of the new big ships. Will be interesting to follow here and see what other recent Cruisers contribute.
I think crowd control is just what it is... The Holiday in Cozumel wasn't bad at all, there were 3 water taxi's zooming back and forth, and since Holiday is a small ship (relatively), she "parks" much closer than her larger cousins (shorter taxi ride). If Conquest, with 3000 passengers let a mob loose on so few tenders the lines would be horrible. The wait for tenders in Grand Cayman (on Conquest) was nice and orderly, even with so many people wanting to hit the beach at the same time.