Tendering a Tender Subject in Juneau on Solstice

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 04:54 AM.
#1
New York
81 Posts
Joined May 2008
Just off the Solstice Alaska cruise and buy & large a top-notch cruise, however anyone sailing in the subsequent weeks might want to think hard on planning an independent excursion while in Juneau.

The tendering process was a nightmare to say the least. 1st offense was having everyone stand on queue for a tender ticket. People lined up 1/2 hour before the designated time and then proceeded to pick-up 20 tickets (I assume for there buddies) at a time.

The excursions booked through the cruise line had priority, as it should be since they are paying top dollar, along with Elite class & those in suites. By the time they started calling for the "ticketed tender #'s" they had an angry bunch of people who had again waited for hours (no exaggeration) and were going to miss their excursions.

Part of the problem lies with Juneau only having room for 2 tenders at a time.
At the Captains Club party we learned that if they had room at the tender dock to accommodate more tenders it would make a difference and the late arrival in port added to the difficulties.

I wouldn't be surprised if Juneau does something quickly to alleviate the problems encountered during this past weeks cruise by allowing Solstice to drop anchor earlier and get clearence faster as I am sure the local businesses lost money.

As we offered suggestions on how better to make it work the Officers said they have looked at it every-which-way & heard it all. If we could come up with a better suggestion they hadn't already thought of they would love to hear it.
My husband had the the best suggestion they actually hadn't thought of: ZIPLINE straight into the pier!!! That got a hearty chuckle from them.

So, the point to my story is to really think about your options for Juneau. Do you want to spend vacation time waiting in lines? Possibly miss a pre-booked excursion? Maybe just wait and get the later tenders once all the craziness has subsided? It was much easier by 4 pm. Your choice. Good Luck.
#3
Tampa Bay
41 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
We will be on the Solstice on the June 28th sailing. This will be our third time in Juneau. On each of the two previous cruises (Carnival & Princess) we were docked in Juneau. Were there other ships in port that day? Is tendering in Juneau a new procedure?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Big Daddy

Past:
Tropicale-10/1995 Imagination-11/1999 Regal Empress-12/2001 Fantasy-1/2002 Carnival Victory-10/2002 Carnival Pride-5/2003 Carnival Glory-7/2003 Carnival Pride-2/2004 Carnival Spirit-7/2004 Carnival Miracle-11/2004 Adventure of the Seas-1/2005 Carnival Legend-4/2005 Inspiration-12/2005 Mariner of the Seas-2/2006 Jewel of the Seas-11/2006 Jewel of the Seas-2/07 Voyager of the Seas-8/07 Carnival Legend-11/07 Carnival Legend-2/08 Diamond Princess-6/08 Caribbean Princess-3/09 Enchantment of the Seas-6/09 Oasis of the Seas-12/5/09 Freedom of the Seas 2/10 Allure of the Seas-12/5/10 Jewel of the Seas-10/1/11 Jewel of the Seas-12/15/11 Jewel of the Seas-4/15/12 Celebrity Reflection-2/2/13 Celebrity Solstice-6/28/13 Enchantment of the Seas-10/28/13 Celebrity Reflection-2/22/14 Quantum of the Seas-11/18/14 Brilliance of the Seas 3/5/15 Celebrity Equinox 7/18/15 Brilliance of the Seas 4/22/16 Oceania Riviera 6/2/16 Allure of the Seas 9/25/16 Harmony of the Seas 11/5/16 Disney Dream 5/29/17 Anthem of the Seas 9/23/17

Future: Celebrity Millenium 6/7/18 Oasis of the Seas 2/24/19
#4
Cape Coral, Florida
3,285 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Interesting! I have been to Juneau twice and we have always been docked - both on Celebrity.

I just checked the Celebrity site. Originally I thought maybe the Solstice is too big since all the 2013 Alaska cruises show "tendered" for Juneau. However, in 2014 all of the cruises show "docked". Maybe when they added the Solstice to the Alaska itineraries all dock space in Juneau was already booked for the season, OR, perhaps she is too big and new docks are being built???? Who knows. I'm sure someone will find out the reason why, but right now it doesn't seem to make much sense.

Sorry you had to experience that! Tendering is tenuous even when everything "works".
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Beth



Past: Mercury(Alaska) Sept. 8, 2006; Millennium(Eastern Caribbean) Feb. 3, 2008; Constellation(Panama Canal) Jan. 17, 2010; Millennium (Ultimate Alaska) April 30, 2010; HAL Rotterdam (Repo) May 14, 2010; Constellation (Southern Caribbean) Nov. 20, 2010; Constellation(Southern Caribbean) Dec. 3, 2011; Millennium (Western Caribbean) April 16, 2012; Eclipse(Southern Caribbean) Nov. 17, 2012; Constellation(Western Caribbean) April 6, 2013; Constellation (Western Caribbean) April 14, 2014; Constellation (Western Caribbean) April 19, 2014; Constellation (Western Caribbean) Nov. 24, 2014; Constellation (Eastern Caribbean) Nov. 29, 2014; Constellation (Western Caribbean) Mar. 7, 2015; Infinity (Golden Gate/Alaska) May 15, 2015; Equinox (Ultimate Caribbean) Nov. 20, 2015; MSC Divina (East Caribbean) April 23, 2016; Fathom Adonia (Dominican Republic) Sept. 11, 2016; Equinox (Ultimate Caribbean) Nov. 18, 2016; Fathom Adonia (Final Dominican Republic) May 21, 2017

Future: Equinox (Southern Caribbean) Nov. 6, 2017; MSC Seaside (Western Caribbean) Apr. 21, 2018
#6
San Juan, Puerto Rico
3,619 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
I have also been to Juneau twice, and have always been docked. Thanks for sharing this important information.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


#7
Atlanta, GA
317 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by BigDaddy2002
We will be on the Solstice on the June 28th sailing. This will be our third time in Juneau. On each of the two previous cruises (Carnival & Princess) we were docked in Juneau. Were there other ships in port that day? Is tendering in Juneau a new procedure?
I'm on the same upcoming cruise.
I don't understand why those who are taking X's excursions are treated preferentially. Don't all passengers have the same contract with X for transportation to the ports listed on the itinerary?

As far as our cruise is concerned, per the below info, we will be anchoring.


Currently we are planning on having Solstice at AJ Dock on May 27, June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5, August 19, Sept 2

Best regards,

CLAA Juneau

http://www.claalaska.com/schedules.html
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
1980 CCL Carnivale
1884 Fantasy Galileo
2002 NCL Sun
2003 CCL Pride
2005 RCCL Grandeur of the Seas
2006 RCCL Radiance of the Seas
2007 CCL Conquest
2008 PCL Golden Princess
2009 PCL Caribbean Princess
2010 CCL Triumph
2013 Celebrity Constellation
2013 Celebrity Solstice
2017 Celebrity Equinox
2017 HAL Eurodam



#8
Suburb of Chicago
1,846 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
The one time we were in Juneau, in 2005, we had to tender. This was on the Sapphire Princess. We were supposed to dock but did not and why I dont know but the tendering process was a mad scramble as they were not at all prepared for this and all they had was two young ladies trying to calm a horde of angry passengers and clearly these two were overwhelmed.

We had a ships tour which we did not miss but had little time for seeing Juneau.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2002 RCL Splendour of the Seas, western Med.
2003 CCL Destiny, so. Caribbean
2005 Sapphire Princess, Alaska
2006 Tahitian Princess, French Polynesia
2007 Star Princess, the Baltic
2008 RCL Adventure of the Seas, so. Caribbean
2009 Island Princess, Panama canal full transit
2009 CCL Triumph, NE/Canada.
2011 Celebrity Constellation, Holy land
2012 Celebrity Equinox eastern Med.
2014 CCL Legend, western Caribbean.
2014 Diamond Princess, Japan
2015 NCL Getaway, eastern Caribbean.
2015 Oasis of the Seas western Caribbean
2016 Sapphire Princess southeast Asia.
#9
218 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
We were on the May 17th Solstice cruise as well, and the OP is correct. The tender process was a nightmare. I've never witnessed such angry passengers before.

The other problem with the tender process is that the dock in Juneau was at a very high incline and created many problems for those with mobility issues. It was a strenuous climb for many once they reached the dock.

I also heard that there are some sailings this year that will dock vs. tender based on other cruise line schedules. (not confirmed, just something a bartender told me) Hopefully, Celebrity will work this out since it was one of the only blemishes on a wonderful week in Alaska
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Past Cruises:
Celebrity Infinity-Alaska (May 9, 2008)
RCL Jewel of the SeasCanada and East Coast (September 27, 2008)
Celebrity Solstice Post Inaugural Cruise (November 30, 2008)
Celebrity Century Western Caribbean (January 26, 2009)
Golden Princess-Alaska-May 9, 2009
Sapphire Princess-Mexican Riviera-October 10, 2009
Crown Princess-Caribbean-January 23, 2010
Caribbean Princess-Reposition San Juan to NYC-May 9, 2010
Golden Princess-Alaska (June 26, 2010)
Celebrity Solistice Post Thanksgiving Caribbean (November 28, 2010)
Celebrity Eclipse Caribbean (April 10, 2011)
Celebrity Solstice-Alaska (May 17, 2013)
Crown Princess - November 28, 2015
#10
Lafayette, IN
10,319 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by POPDISPLAY
I'm on the same upcoming cruise.
I don't understand why those who are taking X's excursions are treated preferentially. Don't all passengers have the same contract with X for transportation to the ports listed on the itinerary?

As far as our cruise is concerned, per the below info, we will be anchoring.


Currently we are planning on having Solstice at AJ Dock on May 27, June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5, August 19, Sept 2

Best regards,

CLAA Juneau

http://www.claalaska.com/schedules.html
Priority is given to the tours Celebrity sells. It is like this for every cruise line that tenders.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Oasis of the Seas - 11/2015, Brilliance of the Seas - 5/2015, Quantum of the Seas - 11/2014, Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Cruise Albums on Flickr
#11
Fairbanks, AK
4,964 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
I live in Alaska, but that doesn't make me an expert in "all things Alaskan." However, I did want to point out that four ships can dock in Juneau, and when they have a fifth it has to tender.

I had been curious as to how the tender process would be received by passengers tendering in Juneau. Does anyone who has tendered off the Solstice in Juneau have enough knowledge of the Gastineau Channel to be able to state where the Solstice was anchored? Approximately how long did it take to reach shore once the tender left the ship?
#13
Arnold, MD
918 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Northern Aurora
I live in Alaska, but that doesn't make me an expert in "all things Alaskan." However, I did want to point out that four ships can dock in Juneau, and when they have a fifth it has to tender.

I had been curious as to how the tender process would be received by passengers tendering in Juneau. Does anyone who has tendered off the Solstice in Juneau have enough knowledge of the Gastineau Channel to be able to state where the Solstice was anchored? Approximately how long did it take to reach shore once the tender left the ship?
The Solstice is tendering when it is the fourth ship in Juneau.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



Future Cruises:
RCI Symphony - Feb 2019 - Western
RCI Freedom - Oct 2018 - Southern
Completed Cruises: RCI Harmony - April 2017 - Eastern, RCI Anthem - Sep 2016 - Bermuda, Celebrity Summit - Nov 2015 - Southern, Celebrity Solstice - Aug 2014 - Alaska, Celebrity Solstice - Aug 2013 - Alaska, NCL Sky - July 2012 - Nassau, Celebrity Solstice - April 2012 - Western, RCI Allure - Nov 2011 - Western, RCI Oasis - March 2010 - Eastern,
Disney Wonder - 2008 - Nassau
#14
The "Windy City" suburbs
2,284 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Thanks for letting us know. we are on in 2 weeks.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Previous cruises on Celebrity,RCCL and Carnival !!
Always looking for our next adventure!!

Up Next:
Celebrity Equinox 12/2/17-12/9/17
Celebrity Reflection 10/12/18-10/22/18
#15
Nashville, TN
580 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
The Solstice alternates with another ship (a different cruiseline) for docking. I can't remember which ship it was, but apparently they are sharing the dock and taking turns, like we are taught to do in kindergarten

So it's a biweekly thing. My particular cruise tenders I've done it before and can do it again, but it's sooooo much nicer to dock.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
~ Shari











#16
San Francisco, CA
1,734 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I'm sure they will get the kinks worked out within the next week or two. This seems par for the course when a ship is new to a port or doesn't usually anchor at a port. When we were on the Equinox in the Mediterranean in 2011, we had to anchor at Naples (where they had expected us to dock), which caused mad chaos in boarding the tenders and loads of furious people fighting near the gangway. It was so bad, we went back up to our room and decided to wait until later in the day to get off. The Juneau situation will definitely smooth itself out.




Michael
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
SAILED!

Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity, Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, Maasdam, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Solstice, Azamara Journey, Silver Spirit

UPCOMING!

Celebrity Solstice, Australia & New Zealand

Seabourn Encore, Mediterranean
Azamara Quest, Australia/NYE in Sydney

Azamara Quest, India/Middle East
#17
Cape Coral, Florida
3,285 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by POPDISPLAY
As far as our cruise is concerned, per the below info, we will be anchoring.


Currently we are planning on having Solstice at AJ Dock on May 27, June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5, August 19, Sept 2

Best regards,

http://www.claalaska.com/schedules.html
Not sure I understand Celebrity's (?) statement that they "plan" to have the Solstice at AJ Dock on those dates since the schedule clearly shows that the Solstice has no dock. Other ships are scheduled for AJ on those dates. In any event, AJ is not near downtown Juneau, which has always been such an easy walk-off port. Everything right there from the main docks. I imagine shuttles to downtown will be provided. Still, not very convenient.

Here's a photo of AJ Dock:
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Beth



Past: Mercury(Alaska) Sept. 8, 2006; Millennium(Eastern Caribbean) Feb. 3, 2008; Constellation(Panama Canal) Jan. 17, 2010; Millennium (Ultimate Alaska) April 30, 2010; HAL Rotterdam (Repo) May 14, 2010; Constellation (Southern Caribbean) Nov. 20, 2010; Constellation(Southern Caribbean) Dec. 3, 2011; Millennium (Western Caribbean) April 16, 2012; Eclipse(Southern Caribbean) Nov. 17, 2012; Constellation(Western Caribbean) April 6, 2013; Constellation (Western Caribbean) April 14, 2014; Constellation (Western Caribbean) April 19, 2014; Constellation (Western Caribbean) Nov. 24, 2014; Constellation (Eastern Caribbean) Nov. 29, 2014; Constellation (Western Caribbean) Mar. 7, 2015; Infinity (Golden Gate/Alaska) May 15, 2015; Equinox (Ultimate Caribbean) Nov. 20, 2015; MSC Divina (East Caribbean) April 23, 2016; Fathom Adonia (Dominican Republic) Sept. 11, 2016; Equinox (Ultimate Caribbean) Nov. 18, 2016; Fathom Adonia (Final Dominican Republic) May 21, 2017

Future: Equinox (Southern Caribbean) Nov. 6, 2017; MSC Seaside (Western Caribbean) Apr. 21, 2018
#18
536 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by TxnAquarian
I'm sure they will get the kinks worked out within the next week or two. This seems par for the course when a ship is new to a port or doesn't usually anchor at a port. When we were on the Equinox in the Mediterranean in 2011, we had to anchor at Naples (where they had expected us to dock), which caused mad chaos in boarding the tenders and loads of furious people fighting near the gangway. It was so bad, we went back up to our room and decided to wait until later in the day to get off. The Juneau situation will definitely smooth itself out.




Michael
I agree with this as well. Whether it is sailing on a maiden voyage or an inaugural run to new ports/new situation (this class of a ship), I think the expectation that everything is going to run smoothly the very first time is a bit much. Something tells me they are already working hard to make any sort of improvement in the process that they can.

There will always be those that counter that "Celebrity has been going to Alaska for years" or "this is not the first time that they have ever tendered".

I say relax. I'm on Solstice on the 31st with a group of 40 with an independent excursion in the afternoon. I took steps to pad our schedule knowing that it is a tender port. I'll take steps onboard to help the group have a hassle free tender experience.

HOWEVER, I can't predict everything that might happen. I cannot control the weather either. For some, one rain drop might "ruin" the entire cruise.

If Celebrity does nothing and simply moves ahead with the same chaos every other week, then we'll have another debate.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Any day at sea is a good day.


Email David
#19
Montana
876 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
SLDISPATCHER - We are going to be on the SAME SHIP!

We are also doing an independent tour and chose to go later in the afternoon - we will still WANT to get off early because its JUNEAU for crying out loud! We want to hit the pavement running, ya know!

I have NEVER had any tendering issue with ANY Cruise Line in the Caribbean. So my fingers are crossed that they will have this worked out.

Its a shame that Celebrity (Solstice has got to be one of the largest ships in Alaskan waters) doesnt have any priority -

PS - Bring on that drop of rain! Any day thats RAINING on a CRUISE SHIP in ALASKA is better than a day at work! Right?! I have rain gear!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
<center>

My Personal Rating
Carnival - Liberty 2006 CAR West - 5 star trip

Carnival - Legend 2008 CAR West - 5 star trip

Carnival - Legend 2010 CAR West - 4 star trip
NCL - Spirit 2011 CAR West - 3 star trip
Celebrity - Solstice 2013 Alaska - 4 star trip

Carnival Dream 2014 - 5 star
Carnival Splendor 2016 - 3 star
#20
New York
81 Posts
Joined May 2008
Yes, Solstice is THE largest ship to date to cruise Alaska. The Ketchikan news actually had helicopter filming our departure. It was big news.

Also, from what our locals told us, the new dock that is being built was supposed to be done this year to accommodate the Solstice & large ships but it is not finished.

We also had an independent whale watch booked & I purposely booked it for a later time (4:30) w/check-in a 1/2 hour before. We dropped anchor later than scheduled and clearence for the ship was a bit later. What with the tender situation many people from our ship that were booked on the same whale watch barely made it. We were with Orca Enterprises and they were EXTREMELY nice in delaying the tour and combining the 3:30 trip with the 4:30 one to get everyone out. As it was we left from Juneau instead of Auke Bay forfeiting the bus trip (no prob!) and left at 5 pm. Trip was awesome.

Again, it is not what one wants to contend with while on vacation.