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Boarding a tender

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A friend has advised that on their P & O cruise a board was placed between the pontoon and the tender thus covering the gap between them both and making it easier and simpler to board and exit the tender. Can anyone advise if Cunard do the same now? On past cruises I know they didn't but wondered if they had changed. My wife has mobility issues and it would make boarding a tender so much easier if they did..

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I really doubt if they used a "board" to bridge the gap. Depending on the ship, it may have a hydraulic platform that' opened from the hull for the tender to tie onto, or a movable platform that sets on both your ship and the tender, but moves with the wave action. I remember back in the day, there was a set of stairs (well, as close as I can describe) along the side of the ship that you moved along to get onto the tender. Cruise lines ask that one be fairly mobile, with limited assistance to enter and exit the tender. Just because one may be able to enter the tender from the ship, depending on the port, it may be difficult to exit the tender to shore

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I really doubt if they used a "board" to bridge the gap. Depending on the ship, it may have a hydraulic platform that' opened from the hull for the tender to tie onto, or a movable platform that sets on both your ship and the tender, but moves with the wave action. I remember back in the day, there was a set of stairs (well, as close as I can describe) along the side of the ship that you moved along to get onto the tender. Cruise lines ask that one be fairly mobile, with limited assistance to enter and exit the tender. Just because one may be able to enter the tender from the ship, depending on the port, it may be difficult to exit the tender to shore

 

Let me be clear by pontoon I mean the hydraulic platform opened from the hull. The word 'board' was the word used by the person who experienced the procedure and as her mother is rather elderly mentioned just how much simpler the device made boarding and exiting the tender from/to the ship.

 

Strangely, having tendered many times we have never had a difficulty to either exit or board the tender to/from shore.

 

I am hoping that someone with current tendering experience may be able to answer my query rather than assuming what they do. If it is still as it has always been so be it, just thought this idea would make things just that bit simpler.

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Yes, you are correct, we just tendered recently, and it was just as you said.

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Yes, you are correct, we just tendered recently, and it was just as you said.

 

Sorry, but do you mean with a 'board' or without the 'board'.

 

I'm guessing it is the latter but I have my fingers crossed for the former, lol.

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Sorry, but do you mean with a 'board' or without the 'board'.

 

I'm guessing it is the latter but I have my fingers crossed for the former, lol.

 

We had a metal "ramp" with wheels, over the gap, with it resting on both the ship and the tender...with the wheels, it was able to move with the wave action

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Posted (edited)

I don't recall Cunard having a device like the one you mentioned on P&O, but please be aware that Cunard requires one to pass a mobility test in order to board a tender. Last October a floor marking in the tender lounge had an 18in (46 cm) wide black stripe and one had to be able to completely step over that black stripe. While I did not personally witness it, I heard of a women being called back from the tender because her husband could not step over the stripe.

 

This was initiated after a woman died while tendering on the Queen Elizabeth a couple of years ago. There were sea swells and the passenger already had several medical and mobility issues.

Edited by BlueRiband

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Cunard used a curved metal "bridge" between tendering platform and tender in Bay of Islands, New Zealand, recently (I was on board the Queen Elizabeth). If I remember correctly it had a rubber grip surface to aid stepping across.

I'm sure I saw the same used by QM2 in the Caribbean in 2016.

 

Having boarded tenders in the past without such an aid, and now with them, I would imagine most passengers would prefer the new procedure. I've no mobility issues, but found it easier myself.

 

A friend of mine witnessed the lady's death (mentioned above by BlueRiband) from his balcony during the Queen Elizabeth's world cruise. It has made him much more cautious when using tenders.

 

I've often noted that some passengers chat away to other people whilst crossing from ship to tender (or back) without fully concentrating on what they are doing, seemingly without a care in the world, almost as if they are boarding a tour bus.

 

(Thanks for the link BlueRiband to the Daily Mirror report, typical standard of "red top" journalism; showing a photo of the launch of the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1967...)

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Last October a floor marking in the tender lounge had an 18in (46 cm) wide black stripe and one had to be able to completely step over that black stripe.

 

On our last two trips we watched people attempt to cross the two stripes on the floor (white insulating tape). Not everyone was asked to try, only the obviously infirm. One elderly gentleman who arrived on a scooter, had about four or five attempts, but couldn't manage, so was denied a tender ticket, with apologies.

 

I did think is was more than 18"? Looked more like 2 feet.

 

Stewart

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A friend has advised that on their P & O cruise a board was placed between the pontoon and the tender thus covering the gap between them both and making it easier and simpler to board and exit the tender. Can anyone advise if Cunard do the same now? On past cruises I know they didn't but wondered if they had changed. My wife has mobility issues and it would make boarding a tender so much easier if they did..

 

Hello, from past voyages Cunard seems not to do this. I cut and pasted this from the FAQ of the UK web site:

 

 

 

In some ports it is necessary to anchor offshore rather than alongside. When this is the case, we use a tender to take you ashore. A tender is a small vessel with a capacity of around 100 people. The tenders are usually our own, manned by our crew, but sometimes they are chartered through a trusted external provider.





Embarking and disembarking the tender safely

In some ports it is necessary to anchor off shore rather than alongside the dock or quay . When this is the case, we use a tender to take you ashore. A tender is a small vessel that carries around 100 passengers. In order to board the tender, please note that you will be required to use steps (up to 20cm/8 inches high) and navigate the gap between the platform and the tender (of up to 45cm/18 inches).

 

In the interests of safety, we require all guests wishing to use the tenders to have sufficient independent mobility to negotiate steps and traverse a gap of up to 45 cm/18 inches. Anyone wishing to board the tender will need to demonstrate this ability via a mobility test prior to tender embarkation by stepping unaided over a distance of 45 cm/18 inches. Children who are unable to step across a gap of this size will be permitted to use the tender service provided their parent/guardian is able to demonstrate that they can carry or pass them safely across the mobility test gap.

 

There will be crew members there to guide and steady you as you embark, but they cannot support, carry or lift guests on board the tender for safety reasons. Please wear appropriate, flat, and securely attached footwear, when embarking and disembarking the tender.

 

If you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, please note that you or your travelling companion are responsible for assembling and disassembling your wheelchair/mobility scooter. The crew will endeavour to assist where practical and safe to do so, providing that no individual part weighs more than 20kg/40 lb.

 

If you have notified us that you have reduced mobility you will be invited to a tender briefing on board and given the opportunity to take part in the mobility assessment (described above) in advance. This must be completed independently, (deletion), without any assistance. If an officer decides it is not safe for you to board a tender, please respect their decision as this decision is taken to ensure your safety, in accordance with health and safety law.

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We did not have a board last year on our Norway cruise. We were also incorrectly denied a tender ticket because our two year old could not step 18 inches on his own. My husband offered to carry him across the 18 inch test, but the people in charge of the tender tickets insisted the child need to cross on his own. The pursar's desk finally issued us tickets, but we lost an hour and needed to start our tour late because the Cunard employees were unaware of their own ship's tender regulations.

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