Different Cruiselines given priority at docks?

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Ontario, Canada
190 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
TA advises that certain cruiselines that have been travelling to Alaska for longer periods of time (ie Princess) are given priority as far as docking goes and that other lines (ie NCL) (if more than one ship in port) have to then tender. Is this the case and how often would tendering happen with NCL.
Everything I have seen indicates "dock" for NCL.
Seattle, WA, USA
1,889 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Was just in Alaska last week on the Sapphire Princess. In Ketchikan we docked and the NCL Sun was tendering, but in Juneau we were tendering and the NCL Sun was one of the ships docked. Also saw the NCL Sun in Skagway and it was at one of the berths closer to town while we (Sapphire Princess) were docked further away.
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I think the Sapphire Princess probably gets bad docking positions this year because the ship entered service midway through the Alaskan season.

Princess has a dedicated dock in Juneau but if there are 2 Princess ships in dock that day, one must go somewhere else. Carnival also uses this dock periodically. I think the only time there are 2 Princess ships in Juneau is when the Regal is there because it is doing a 10 day cruises verses a traditional 7. In Skagway - I noticed that Princess always seems to dock near the rocks. This year I was on the Dawn Princess for 2 weeks (North and South) and we docked in every port - it was fabulous.

I sailed RCCL once and I had better luck with better docking positions with Princess (we tendered in Juneau with RCCL).

If I was to make a guess - I would say, overall - Princess and HAL seem to have better docking positions. Only a guess though.
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Kana - that is interesting. I was on the Dawn Princess on May 24th and May 31st and we didn't tender. Goes to show each week can be different.
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Melbourne, Australia
205 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Not sure what the 'tendering' thing is here, but I'd hazard a guess and say that it means the ship doesn't actually dock at the port. What happens in this situation?? You can get off the ship can't you? If so, how's it done?
233 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
I think they do change from week to week. We were on NCL Star and we were supposed to dock at every port. We got into Juneau 3 1/2 hours earlier than the original scheduled time for the Star so we had to tender until the NCL Spirit left. When they left, then our ship took their spot which was at the time of our original arrival time. My parents were in Alaska last year on Princess and were told that they own some docks and never have to tender but I see this year that several Princess ships are tendering. I think they make a schedule at the beginning of the season and then depending if there are changes, then maybe have to tender. Somewhere there is a schedule that people have posted as to which ships dock and tender at each port each day during the season.

Aussie, tendering means that they anchor away from the dock area since there isn't space, and they send boats of people to shore. Usually use several of the life boats and go back and forth.

San Diego, CA
641 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Here is the website to the current worldwide port schedules. Look for the Alaska ports of call then click and open each one separately. It will tell you which ships are tendering vs. docking for each day during the summer Alaska season.

We're on the Mercury in August and it looks like we'll be docking at each port of call..


112,581 Posts
Joined Jul 2001

There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason.

For example, last year we did back-to-back cruises on the Ryndam. The first week in Juneay we tendered and the second week we were docked.

Annapolis, Maryland
140 Posts
Joined May 2004
The Coral Princess docks in Ketchikan on northbound cruises and tenders in for southbound cruises. Other ships of the line (and other ships of other cruiselines) probably have similar patterns. Check with someone that took your ship this season in the same direction you'll be going to get an idea of what you'll do on your cruise.
Simpsonville, South Carolina
9,603 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
WOW! Thanks for the site information. I just checked, and in Ketichikan there are 4 (incl. mine), Juneau 5, and Skagway 4. Is there any way to find out before we arrive whether it is dock or tender...just curious..maybe when the docs come???

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This site will let you know the schedule of ships in each port. There is a symbol at the beginning to let you know if you will dock or tender. I hope this helps.

Sorry, I now see it is just for Juneau, I know there is a site for all the ports, I cannot find it, can someone else help here?

I have our week printed out, but it does not have a website on the bottom of the page.
The Big Tomato; i.e. Sacramento CA
7,412 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
To aussie jb, tendering is merely a way of getting to a dock where there isn't the ability of parking, as it were, at the dock. It's NO big deal.

Last March when the NCL Star went to Fanning Island, we had to tender into the dock, as the water depth wasn't sufficient for a big cruise liner to come into the bay. So those who went to the atol hopped onto the tenders (in this case they were the ship's life boats) and motored into the bay and to their dock.

Again, it's not anything to worry about; not at all.
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