Have read a couple of things in chat rooms about how NCL gives out tickets with numbers on them and when your number is called thats when your allowed off the ship in ports, some ppl stated has taken up to a few hours to get off the ship, thinking if this is the case its really going to cut into the time a person has in each port, not counting how they want you on ship a hour before it leaves the port! Anybody have any idea how this really works? Thanks Wendy oh yea 6 days left for my curise YEA
That's only for ports that you have to tender to. Tendering means, they use small boats to ferry you from ship to shore and back. If you are in a port where you dock, you walk off the ship once it has cleared the government agencies, whenever you are ready. You will be required to be back on board, usually 30 minutes before departure.
Yes, I am the one who has been writing about the tender tickets. I'm sorry if that has caused you stress or confusion. If you booked an excursion through the ship, you will not have to worry about getting a tender ticket. I must admit it was a slow process, and I would rather just have it first come first served, but that is not how they did it. I think it is meant to be more relaxing, since you can wait in a lounge, at the pool, or your room until your number is called, but you still have to wait in line.
RCI Radiance of the Seas Sep 2009
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This does apply only to tender ports. Those with shore excursions will be gathered to wait, usually in the theatre, and it can be long wait since these people are usually scheduled off first and the ship might not be able to take passengers ashore right away
If you are going ashore on your own, you will go to one of the lounges and collect a tender ticket only when you are ready to go ashore. Then you will wait there until your number is called, usually just a few minutes unless everyone wants off at the same time. But you are asked not to go collect a ticket ahead of time since that just mucks up the whole system if people aren't ready to get on the tender as soon as their number is called.
Even with tender tickets, it really doesn't take that long to get off the ship....most of the tenders take up to 150 passengers each trip and if the Ship is using their own lifeboats, they run 5 or 6 of them....remember you are on the cruise to relax...so just relax and go when called....Happy sailing...
I've taken the early train and had no problems getting on at that time....the train does take a lot of time to load...there are usually 3 or more ships in port and the train has many many cars...they will wait until all the ships are unloaded...the train does come right down to the ships, but I've always booked thru NCL so I don't know if you have to walk to the station or not....it's not that far anyway...I've done the White Pass twice now and will do it again..It's one of my very favorite excursions. Make sure you have lots of film or fresh batteries in your digital camera...Lots and Lots of picture taking....Have a wonderful time in Alaska..It's almost a relgious experience..
Unless the ship docking is delayed because of weather, there should be no problems disembarking by 8 am. And the train will likely wait for a little while since many of the passengers will be off the ship.
Just to add to what Jill SC has said, we have been to Skagway twice and the Norwegian ship we were on both times docked very close to where you get on the train. We did book an 8 a.m. trip and the train waits until the passengers get on. It's only a short little walk to get on the train and people with signs are on the dock to show you where to go.