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Old 07-29-2010, 04:43 PM
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Hi everyone.. I'm new to this so bear with me. I need to know if, when you wish to go ashore, you have to purchase an "excursion", or if you can just get off the ship and spend the day as you please? My son lives on Grand Cayman, and that is what we want to do when we port there.
Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:54 PM
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Welcome to cruise-chat.

You do not have to be on an excursion to leave the ship at any port. In Grand Cayman you will have to take a tender from the ship to the pier. A tender is a smaller vessel or often a lifeboat they use to move passengers ashore when there is no pier for the cruise ship. They will have tender tickets to control initial loading. Just do what you have to do to get an early tender ticket and have your son meet you at the pier. Tender tickets do not cost anything. It is just a way for the ship to manage the number of people going ashore on a given tender as the tenders go back and forth. After the initial movement of people, they will stop using tender tickets and they will go back and forth to the ship every 20 minutes or so. Just don't lose track of time and miss the last tender. They will list the time for the last tender and when you need to be back aboard in the Cruise Compass (your daily newsletter for the cruise).

Have a nice visit with your son!
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:14 PM
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Thanks! If the ship ports at 8am, how soon do the "tenders" start running? Thanks again.. this is a big help!
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:30 PM
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Grand Cayman is efficient at clearing cruise ships and it is typical for tenders to start running within 30 minutes of the ship arriving at anchor. Thus if you arrive at 8am people will start moving ashore by 8:30am. I don't often recommend that people attend the port lectures they will give on the ship, but in your case it might be a good idea so you get first hand information about the tendering process. They will do this for Grand Cayman on the day prior to your visit.

Which cruise ship are you on, and what is the date for your visit? I'll be glad to do more research and see if I have any more info to provide you. Plus, our experienced members will have more details and can respond.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:18 PM
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If you use this link and click on ship schedule you can enter the date you'll be in port and see which ships are there.
Just be patient, you'll get there!
Just a word of caution...due to unforseen weather and mechanical conditions, ships sometimes don't make it to a port. Not to be a downer, it's uncommon, but it does happen. Just make sure you have some way to contact him in the unlikely event that you have a change of plans.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:56 AM
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Good advice poormom, it can happen and it did happen to us. Only thing is that we were on Grand Cayman and needing to get on the ship. After a missed connection because of a snow storm, we had to fly to Miami then Grand Cayman to meet the ship. The ship couldn't anchor for the day but they sent a tender for us and some luggage I think. We almost missed that as well because our cab was supposed to also pick up some performers and they wearn't ready so the driver waited and waited, they never did show up and we almost missed the tender. That whole trip was a comedy of errors which we laugh about now but it wasn't much fun at the time. We did however meet some wonderful people who were in the same "boat" so to speak. We call it our trip from hell. haha

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