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sarepear83 01-22-2007 01:22 PM

We have booked the stingray city tour through a private company on shore. We are due to arrive at the port of Grand Caymsn at 7am, and our "meeting time" is at 8:45 although the tour doesn't officially begin until 9:30. Since we are not booked through Princess, we will have to wait to be tendered off after the people who DID book through the ship. I am just worried that this could take a while and we will miss our tour - nonrefundable at that point. Has anyone had experiences with this?

f-mattox 01-22-2007 05:29 PM

I would think if you go to the tender boarding area and show them your tickets they would let you on--maybe not the first few as Elite Captain's Circle members have priority; but they are not going to make you wait until ALL the other tours are off.

BJS 01-22-2007 06:31 PM

Do not count on getting off before the Princess tours. On our last 18 Princess cruises those with private tours were not allowed to board tenders before the Princess tours. The only exception to that has been those with Elite tender tickets. These tickets must be shown.

F-mattox is correct you will not have to wait until all the tours are off because some tours might be for the afternoon.

They usually make an announcement when tender tickets are not required but that is after those with tender tickets are off and there is no longer a large group waiting to tender.

I would advise that you and your party go to the lounge where they are handing out tender tickets and be the first ones there. If need be get in a line before they are even there to hand out the tickets. You most likely will not be the only ones there that early. If you have the first set of tender tickets and there is a break in the Princess tours your number will be called.

Many feel this is an unfair practice to let Princess tours tender first but they usually have a large number of passangers to get off in a short period of time for their tours.

Hope this helps.

RichC 01-23-2007 01:10 PM

As an Elite member on the Island Princess in December, I wasn't allowed off prior to the Princess tours either. That was the first time it's ever happened- I suppose they must have had a large number of their tour passengers that had to be on shore early.

BJS 01-23-2007 06:26 PM

Rich C - Are you saying that the Island Princess gave you priority tender tickets and then denied you using them?

If so how was that done? An announcement? When you got down to the tender they sent you back? They did not give Elite tender tickets to you when you boarded?

We will be on the Island 3/27 and it would be nice to know what to expect.


RichC 01-24-2007 02:42 AM

We were issued priority boarding tender tickets (total of 4 tickets) on the Island Princess in our cabin upon arrival. On the day we went to use them (we did not have a booked Princess tour on that day) we just proceeded to go to the tender boarding area on the 4 th. deck & were stopped by a crew member at the stairs leading down to the tenders. She informed us that the priority tickets only allowed us to board after all the Princess tours were finished and before they called any regular tender numbers. (the tour groups were walking down the stairs in line) I tried to explained that we had Elite boarding passes but it didn't seem to make any difference to her. We've used the priority tickets on the Sun Princess & Star Princess before but this was the first time it has ever happened & thought it was strange. I'm not sure if this is a new Princess rule, just particular to the Island Princess or possibly she was just new on the job & didn't know how the priority tickets worked. I'll be on the Caribbean Princess & check out the system when we stop at Princess Cays in Feb. I can't really comment on how long it took to get everyone off the ship using the tenders although I didn't hear anyone complaining about it later on in the day. After we did manage to get in line for boarding (which didn't take all that long) they just glanced at out boarding tickets & didn't bother to collect them. They really didn't seem to be checking boarding numbers at all-it appeared to be an honor system.

f-mattox 01-24-2007 11:39 AM

Sounds to me like a poorly trained employee;
BJS, I'll be interested to hear your experience as I am on the same cruise on April 26.

BJS 02-14-2007 07:14 PM

I will post how it works for us in March.

Don't know if you've been reading post on another cruise message board but there had been an interesting live thread during the last Island Princess cruise.

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