Do Ships Normally Dock Facing Same Direction In Certain Ports?

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#1
COW-lumbus, Ohio
2,138 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Have a deposit on Freedom of the Seas. Both 1298 and 1598 were available and I took 1298. After more research I discovered a thread from Crusinmama06 who is a very knowledgeable poster on the boards. She cruised in 1298 and said she woke up seeing water instead of the port. Said she would choose 1598 in the future as that side of the ship faces the ports.

My question, do ships dock facing the same way when in certain ports? I guess I always thought it was a 'crap shoot' whether you would be facing port or water.
Here is a link to the thread I am referring to, scroll down to post #9:


http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=1598
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#3
Charlotte, NC
2,102 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
We have cruise the same ship into the same ports and have been docked different ways. It depends on weather, other ships in port or maybe they are training someone on the bridge and have them back in. You never really know. The only port we have been to that we have always pulled straight in was St Thomas. We try to stay in Aft cabins (Stern) so it doesn't matter.
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#4
Melbourne Fl, Originally Cambridgeshire UK
6,640 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Yes the normally dock facing the same way each cruise, however, things like weather and other ships in port can also make a difference, but for instance, in Labadee the Freedom normally docks starboard to the pier, and in Cozumel she normally docks port to the pier
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#5
COW-lumbus, Ohio
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Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by FLACRUISER99
Yes or no Depends on port.
Yikes...guess I should have specified the ports. They are Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Labadee. The other is Falmouth Jamaica which is still being built so I know that will be anyones guess.
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#6
The Big Easy
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Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by jeleja
Yikes...guess I should have specified the ports. They are Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Labadee. The other is Falmouth Jamaica which is still being built so I know that will be anyones guess.
Port (left) side almost always faces land in Cozumel. In GC, the ships tend to face the island, so you'll see land from either side. In Labadee, you will likely tie up stern-in, so port side will be facing land.

Edited.....Labadee was just a guess based on pictures I have seen. I have not been there since the pier was built.
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#7
Pittsburgh, PA
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Joined Jul 2008
The ships dock on the side they are told to by the Harbor Master. This could vary port call to port call. Oasis is the only ship that has a feature that makes starboard (right) sided docking preferable, that being an escolator for disembarking. They will dock port side when they have to lower the starboard lifeboats for their required drill. So, in summation, it's either side. You can always go to a public deck for the view you want.
#8
Orlando, FL.
741 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I say just get a room on both sides. Then you're 100% sure to have a good view. Yes, your Welcome for my GREAT idea!!!!!! Thank You, I'm have all week. I just hope my port side room is facing land when I go.
#9
Jensen Beach, FL
11,717 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by MedicKen
The ships dock on the side they are told to by the Harbor Master. This could vary port call to port call. Oasis is the only ship that has a feature that makes starboard (right) sided docking preferable, that being an escolator for disembarking. They will dock port side when they have to lower the starboard lifeboats for their required drill. So, in summation, it's either side. You can always go to a public deck for the view you want.
Almost correct, actually its the pilot that brings detailed drawings with the maneuvering required for docking at each port. These drawings also show where each line is attached to the dock. Of course the Captain can over rule the Pilot if he desires.
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#10
26,235 Posts
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It can change from cruise to cruise in some ports. Of course no ships dock in Grand Cayman, so it isn't an issue there.
#11
Up North and Down South, UK
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In Skagway both Radiance and Rhapsody appear to dock port side on. I was lurking on the webcam for weeks before our cruise..... I'm now wracking my brains to think what on earth was I doing at sailaway barely 2 weeks ago..... we had an aft cabin so Rhapsody should have been almost in touching distance!
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#12
Washington State
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I have seen the Mariner of the Seas docked in both directions in Mazatlan, Mexico.
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#13
709 Posts
Joined May 2010
The direction the ship docks depends on a huge number of factors including: weather, winds, the Harbor Master's mood that day, other ships in port and maintenance that needs to be done while in port. It really is luck of the draw.
#14
Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,009 Posts
Joined May 2001
The view from both sides is wonderful....at least, much better than looking at your office back home!
It really won't matter. The side AWAY from the dock is more private...you won't have dock workers and other passengers staring up at you! Sometimes, you'll be docked right beside another ship, and you'll practically be "nose to nose" with that ship's occupants!
#15
New Jersey
1,884 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by jeleja
Yikes...guess I should have specified the ports. They are Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Labadee. The other is Falmouth Jamaica which is still being built so I know that will be anyones guess.
From what CC posters have said and news reports they are so far behind in Falmouth with everything that the odds are you will be going to
a different port, never mind docking, for at least the next six months if not much much longer.

You can Google Map and do a Satellite view and see what is going on.
#16
6,249 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
It all depends on the conditions. Except for Oasis, which is only set up for starboard side boarding, all other ships will dock based on the conditions.
#17
Atlanta/Palm Springs
23,162 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by Aquahound
Port (left) side almost always faces land in Cozumel. In GC, the ships tend to face the island, so you'll see land from either side. In Labadee, you will likely tie up stern-in, so port side will be facing land.

Edited.....Labadee was just a guess based on pictures I have seen. I have not been there since the pier was built.
That is the way that we docked a few weeks ago Paul.
#18
Melbourne, FL
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Of course the Captain can over rule the Pilot if he desires.

ummmm .... the captain can decide not to moor ..... Pilot has the authority in the port and the captain has the authority for the ship

I WAS a ship captain and dealt with these issues
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#19
Florida
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Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by Capt_BJ
Of course the Captain can over rule the Pilot if he desires.

ummmm .... the captain can decide not to moor ..... Pilot has the authority in the port and the captain has the authority for the ship

I WAS a ship captain and dealt with these issues
I was a Captain also, but I never got to make mooring decisions for the ships.

However, that would not be unusual for an airline Captain.


As for docking in Labadee, the three times I have been there, the ship docked on the inside berth at the pier, bow forward, and starboard side facing shore.
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#20
Melbourne Fl, Originally Cambridgeshire UK
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Originally posted by EVALUATOR
I was a Captain also, but I never got to make mooring decisions for the ships.

However, that would not be unusual for an airline Captain.


As for docking in Labadee, the three times I have been there, the ship docked on the inside berth at the pier, bow forward, and starboard side facing shore.
Strange because the 4 times I have docked at Labadee, 1 oasis, 3 Freedom, the have docked on the outside of the pier with the starboard side tied up
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