At tender ports, cruise ships drop anchor offshore and passengers are ferried to land by smaller boats called tenders.
Here are 10 helpful tips for your next tender port on a cruise!
1. Know which ports are tender ports before you sail. Cruise lines note if a port requires tenders right in the itinerary.
2. Make sure you get a tender ticket for the time you'd like to go ashore. Tickets are free, and are usually distributed the day before.
3. If you book a shore excursion with the cruise line, you'll usually have priority tendering. You won't need a ticket!
4. Guests with elite loyalty status with the cruise line often have priority tendering as well.
5. Some cruise lines, like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, offer paid packages that include priority tendering.
6. If you don't have priority tendering, avoid booking an independent excursion with an early start. You might not get an early tender!
8. If you miss out on tender tickets, you can get a boat later during Open Tender.
7. Cruisers who use a mobility device may want to avoid cruises with tender ports. Most tender boats aren't wheelchair accessible.
9. If you tend to get seasick on small boats, take some medication at least an hour before your tender time.
10. To avoid the longest lines, plan to take a tender back to the ship well before the final boat is scheduled to depart.