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I've seen it mentioned various times here that this a perk of Concierge level and up. I can't seem to find it as a perk on the Oceania's website or their booklets for any of the levels. Anyone have a link to it or know how it works?
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I wish that was the case, but it wasn't on our O cruise last April. At that time, the folks who paid for O's excursions were the first to board tenders. Otherwise, we were given colored tickets to board. The waiting time varied from just a few minutes to over an hour waiting in Marina Lounge for our ticket color to be called.
The wait to board tenders was the only negative we experienced on our cruise; hopefully, they've improved the system since last spring. (After mentioning this to Mr. Del Rio when he was kind enough to stop by our table at Terrace Cafe, we saw him board a tender the next day, seemingly checking things out. The man truly does stay on top of every situation aboard his ships. We were very impressed.)
On our cruise, ship tours had priority on tenders BUT we found that if we were standing there and ready, we could get on the first tender out when the ship arrived a bit early, before the official ship tour was scheduled to depart. Actually got about an hour more time in port than the first scheduled ship tour.
Many times the early tenders leave with empty seats. I don't think the prior poster felt it was "me first"
Maybe not that poster, but in my experience, there are people who very much have a "me first" attitude. In fact, that's the exact language the people involved used.
We were informed that we would be arriving in port an hour or two later than originally scheduled. Certain people lined up outside the lounge on the Marina prior to the time it was posted the lounge would open to distribute tender tickets. As soon as the lounge opened they rushed to the front and began berating the staff that they were first in line and would be on the first tender because they had private tours arranged (like no one else did). They were asked to sit down, they refused. Everyone was asked to have a seat and tickets would be distributed shortly. The people who did not follow instructions, who were loud and demanding and insulting (almost threatening) to the staff were, in the end, given tickets on the first tender. People who may have arrived at the same time but were polite and followed instructions were given later tender tickets.
This situation, arriving late in port, was known days in advance, yet the staff seemed completely ill prepared to deal with the situation. Attempting to set up the area after people were already in the lounge crowding the table and pushing to get in front of the table.
A little pre-planning (setting up the area before the room was opened, establishing an orderly line and being ready to give out tickets right away), would have gone a long way to alleviating any issues. This was back in late August, early September 2011 on the Marina. Maybe they have their routine down better now.
Eventually everyone was given tender tickets, the difference between the first tender and the tender that people who followed instructions were given, was maybe 45 minutes to an hour. Although the staff tried in many different ways not to say it, people on ship tours get tenders first.
Personally, I try to show up an hour after tickets are first distributed and there's usually little or no wait.
That day we showed up on time because we also had a private tour scheduled, but - believe it or not - even though we were not on the first tender, our guide waited for us, and we had a full enjoyable day.
Thinking that an extra hour makes any significant difference is what fosters the "me first" attitude that makes people rush the tenders in the first place.
Relax enjoy your vacation, only fight for the extra hour with the life support technician.
To say that people who want to get on a tender without waiting a long time is a "me first" attitude, is something to which I take great exception. I only book private tours, and our tours leave sometimes prior to when the ship's tour leaves. So we have to be off on the first or second tender in order to meet our guide. As it happens, just recently (last cruise of 35 days ended January 27th) we just went to the lounge where the tender tickets were obtained, told them we needed to be off and we were able to get off the ship very easily. Oceania has accepted the fact that not all of its passengers go with the ship, and many of us to those pesky private tours!! So we are given the same consideration as the passengers who pay all that money!! When I don't have a tour planned and just want to walk around, I'll wait for the third or fourth tender!! Arlene
After 2 cruises on Oceania, both in suites, I can say that there is no such thing as priority tendering, no matter what your room category. If there is any tender priority it goes to passengers who have early morning shore excursions.
Never had a suite so not sure how it works
our experience was if you show up as soon as they anchor to the lounge get a tender ticket as soon as the tenders are available they call the ticket number/colour
Ship's excursions go first (if scheduled at the same time as tenders are ready to go) then regular passengers called
If there is still space (they count passengers) on a tender with the ship's tours then they will call independent passengers tickets
After all ship's tours are ashore they will open the tendering you do not need to get a ticket just go to the gangway/tender platform
The private guides will wait for people but some passenger like to get a full day in so are quite anxious to get off
If you show up early you will not wait that long
That is my experience
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In general that is true. What bothered us on our day in Sorrento was that I asked Destinations when we should be in the lounge if we were to meet our guide at 8:30 and they told me 8:00, so that's when we got there. Actually a few minutes before that.
And then we weren't even called until 8:40, but in the interim one ship's tour after another was called.
If they'd told me 7:45, we'd have been there! And then we probably WOULD have been on time.
Any reference to priority tendering has been removed from the website and the brochures, so it seems that the process is no longer advertised; yet in the sense that ones butler can obtain the required tender tickets in advance, it appears to me that the Suite Passenger does still have an advantage.