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Old 01-18-2005, 07:15 PM
mip mip is offline
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We will be on Royal Caribbean (Rhapsody of the Seas)during spring break (early March)we are considering an excursion through a private company. How long will it take us to disembark the ship if we are not taking an excursion through the cruise line?
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Old 01-18-2005, 07:15 PM
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We will be on Royal Caribbean (Rhapsody of the Seas)during spring break (early March)we are considering an excursion through a private company. How long will it take us to disembark the ship if we are not taking an excursion through the cruise line?
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:17 AM
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That depends on a number of factors, but first what tender port are you asking about?
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Old 01-19-2005, 01:38 PM
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On the cruises that I have been on the passengers that have booked a tour thru the cruise line get off first. Then all others get off. Sometimes you wait for an hour and others times we have waited only 10 minutes. As Nancy said it depends on a number of factors.
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Old 01-19-2005, 06:34 PM
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We don't know what port we will tender. We are traveling on the Rhapsody of the Seas and will port at Key West, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Are these ports normally tendered or do we dock?
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:56 PM
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I looked at the March 6th sailing of the Rhapsody (at royalcaribbean.com) and it looks like you will be tendering in Grand Cayman and docked in the other ports.

When we went to Grand Cayman through Princess, we booked the Snorkel with the Stingrays (AMAZING!) through Princess and we were tendered. The way Princess does it, is everyone that wants to get on the tender in the morning (or needs to, due to a morning excursion), shows up in the theater at a certain time (like 7:30 AM or something).

The ship's shore excursions get first priority, so they are the first ones on the tenders. Then, its people that want to go to port early (such as yourself, because as far as the ship is concerned, you don't have a shore excursion). Each tender holds about 100 people, so depending on how many they have running will determine how long it takes to let you on.

There were a lot of people in the theater that had shore excursions through Princess, so you may be in line behind 1 or 2 tenders worth of people.

I would recommend doing morning excursions through the ship at tendered ports.
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Old 01-20-2005, 06:30 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. Snickerd, after viewing your response I am a little concern. Nancy suggested to check with Captain Bryan in Grand Cayman if we were interested on going on our own for the stringray excursion. Captain Bryan sounds great!! I am waiting to hear back from them to make a reservation. However, we have to meet at his office at 8:45 am and our ship is scheduled to dock at 7:00 am. Do you see a problem making the 8:45 am meeting with Captain Bryan? His tour will leave his office at 9:30 am. Any suggestions ??????
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Old 01-20-2005, 06:49 PM
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You're welcome! I honestly can't tell you for sure if you would make it in time to his office. How far from the pier is his office? Just because the boat docks at 7:00 does not mean that is when you will be able to get off of the boat (even if you weren't tendering). They have to anchor (won't be at the dock - will be anchored out in the ocean) and do other things before anyone can get off. They will probably start tendering about 7:30. It might be too tight - it would be for my comfort. Be sure to get to the tender location early, so you can be one of the first groups on the tenders after the cruise's shore excursion folks. You will most likely lose the cost of the excursion if you do not show up in time. What about doing the afternoon excursion or doing the tour through the cruise ship?
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Old 01-20-2005, 08:06 PM
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Boy Snickerd you are fast!!! The office is two blocks away from the pier. We have not checked an afternoon tour time but I will. As far as going through the cruise line we are highly considering booking, except we have read the boats to stringray city were extremely packed with cruise line passengers. We were told that there will be 4 other royal caribbean ships docking that day. Our trip will be taken during Spring Break ... do you think the stringray city excursion through the criuse line would be packed?
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Old 01-21-2005, 08:00 AM
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This might be a long shot, but if you are a Diamond member (10 or more cruises on Royal Caribbean) you will get priority tender passes that allow you to go whenever you want.

I suspect that you will have a difficult time making the appointed time. First, the ship will have to clear immigration and then start tendering. The tender wharf in Grand Cayman can only handle limited tender activity, so it is possible that it will take longer than normal with that many ships in port.

I would either go with the ship's excursion or book a later departure time with one of the excellent companies offering a sting ray city excursion. The ship's sting ray city excursion will undoubtedly sell out and it will be crowded, guaranteed. If you go with no advance reservations, and try to book it at the tender pier (there are always local operaters there to book you) you run the risk of having everything sold out for the day. I have been there when this has happened.

Best of luck with it.

Tom
 
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