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BlushPell

Great Stirrup Cay

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Hello all, I am just wondering what the alternative to Great Stirrup Cay would be. I am cruising on the March 6th sailing of the Pearl from Tampa and that actually is the ONLY stop that the short cruise is making. I don't mind the extra day at sea normally but when there is only one stop that would mean no days in port. There are already several ships in the port in Nassau already the day we are scheduled for GSC so I am not sure we would be diverted to there.

 

Is there an alternative and do they let you know ahead of time so you can book an excursion. I personally would rather go somewhere besides GSC so I won't be disappointed if we miss it for another stop. I know there is no way to predict what will happen just wondering what others experiences are and how it is handled with the shore excursions if the port is changed. I can't imagine that they would not try to make at least one port stop since there are no others on this trip but I could be wrong. Has anyone actually had an entire cruise at sea due to missing ports? Thanks!

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6 minutes ago, BlushPell said:

Hello all, I am just wondering what the alternative to Great Stirrup Cay would be. I am cruising on the March 6th sailing of the Pearl from Tampa and that actually is the ONLY stop that the short cruise is making. I don't mind the extra day at sea normally but when there is only one stop that would mean no days in port. There are already several ships in the port in Nassau already the day we are scheduled for GSC so I am not sure we would be diverted to there.

 

Is there an alternative and do they let you know ahead of time so you can book an excursion. I personally would rather go somewhere besides GSC so I won't be disappointed if we miss it for another stop. I know there is no way to predict what will happen just wondering what others experiences are and how it is handled with the shore excursions if the port is changed. I can't imagine that they would not try to make at least one port stop since there are no others on this trip but I could be wrong. Has anyone actually had an entire cruise at sea due to missing ports? Thanks!

Once we went to GSC, we were literally there, much to our surprise due to "swells" we could not tender, so we left, another day at sea.  It would just be speculation to try to figure out what would happen if you cant get into GSC.  However if ncl goes to another port they will have to pay fees to port.

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I’ve never heard of them doing something other than make i5 a sea day or dock in Nassau. Nassau has room for several ships.

 

ETA, when w3 missed GSC we didn’t get to Nassau until lat3 afternoon, no time for an excursion.

Edited by mjkacmom

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Either they will make it a sea day, or possibly dock at the next port a day early. I've missed GSC 4 times, twice was an extra seas day, and twice they went straight to Nassau

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28 minutes ago, Njkrewzer said:

Either they will make it a sea day, or possibly dock at the next port a day early. I've missed GSC 4 times, twice was an extra seas day, and twice they went straight to Nassau

This unfortunately is the only port stop on the cruise so if we miss it there will be no next stop. Hopefully they will substitute it with something. Thanks for the info.

 

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With all these issues with GSC, and not being able to tender there, we may consider cancelling our NCL Cruise and jump on Royal Caribbean for Coco Cay. Seems there are a few who have missed it multiple times.

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I've never been to Coco Cay, but I've been to GSC and it's hardly worth planning a cruise around. They may call it a private island, but it isn't; the entire ship is on it. The beach pales by comparison to any beach I've been to in the Caribbean and Bahamas (other than the beaches on St. Kitts, which are not so nice).

Edited by Bella0714

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4 minutes ago, cruise.new() said:

I would think they'd have to dock in some foreign port or they would violate the Jones Act.

That’s a great point. It’s why Alaska cruises from Seattle stop in Victoria.

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On 2/12/2019 at 6:42 PM, Njkrewzer said:

Either they will make it a sea day, or possibly dock at the next port a day early. I've missed GSC 4 times, twice was an extra seas day, and twice they went straight to Nassau

As the OP stated, GSC is the only port call. There is no “next port” other than going back to Tampa. 

 

We’re 6 for 6 getting to GSC at all times of the year. 

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17 hours ago, cruise.new() said:

I would think they'd have to dock in some foreign port or they would violate the Jones Act.

Wow never knew this existed. Very interesting thanks!

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The Jade made it to GSC late January of this year. We decided that even though they were tendering we

would stay on the ship. The water was pretty choppy and it was only 72 degrees which felt chilly

with a substantial breeze. It was safe but for us it didn't seem too appealing. As for the Original Poster's question

I don't know if the Jones act would require them to port somewhere (like Nassau) or if there is

some exception made for poor conditions.

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I just did some reading on this. For those who care, it's not the Jones Act but the Passenger Vessel Services Act that applies here. So, the ship is allowed to leave and return to the same port without going to a foreign port. It can't leave one port and return to a different port without stopping at a foreign port. But a cruise that leaves Tampa, for example, and stops in Key West must also stop at a foreign port.

 

I'm quoting: "Because the intent of the law was to prohibit foreign ships from transporting passengers directly from one U.S. port to another, round trip cruises that begin and end at the same port are not moving passengers between U.S. ports. The law does not apply if all the stops are at foreign ports.

These same round trips may include another U.S. port provided they call at a foreign port (any non-U.S. port will do) during the cruise. This means cruises from Florida ports may stop at Key West if they return passengers to the same port they embarked at and stop in at least one foreign port (such as the Bahamas or Jamaica) during the cruise.

The second exception to the law allows a ship to pick passengers up in one U.S. port, but drop them off in a different U.S. port, but only after visiting a distant foreign port, defined as being outside of North America, Central America, Bermuda and the West Indies, including the Bahamas, but excluding the former Netherlands Antilles islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao (ABC Islands). That means that a Panama Canal cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles must stop in a South American port -- often Cartagena, to avoid a violation. 

The requirement to include a distant port (beyond North America) is the reason that one-way Alaska cruises between Seattle and any Alaskan port are not legal for the foreign-flagged ships of the mainstream cruise lines. It is OK for those cruises to begin or end in a Canadian port because there is no restriction on transporting passengers between a foreign port and a U.S. port. "

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