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hansol1966

St. Peter Port Tendering

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We arrived at St. Peter Port last Friday 3rd May on a beautiful morning anchoring on time after a short trip from Cherbourg.

we went to deck 16 to watch the tenders leave with excursions first of course, passengers second..we were told on the tannoy to wait in the public areas as there were 500 already waiting. After fourty minutes there were 550 waiting. Stay where you are. After a while I joined the queue to the Meridian restaurant tender ticket and waiting area at 11 o’clock. After waiting for a good while and seeing and hearing numerous people asking why it was so slow the answer given was the swell was making it difficult to board the tender (not when I got on later), also there was only 4 tenders running and we were lucky as ships don’t usually get in here. The fact was there was a large time lag between tenders.  Next this is for your own safety it was repeated...two tenders are coming...there alongside...afternoon excursions for these tenders priority....extra half hour, eventually arriving in port over 2 hours later at 1.10pm. Why they couldn’t put 6-8 tenders on I don’t know.   3-4 excursions...3-4 passengers. Everybody’s dealt fairly.

Edited by hansol1966

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Sounds like a nightmare, but at least you got in, many don't.

We are due to go there in June, with hindsight, do you think booking an excursion would be wise?

Many thanks

Andy

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Yes early half day cruise then explore the port when you get off the bus, which was nice, best of both worlds. I would do this if there’s a next time for the priority disembarkation. On the quayside there’s a little typical road train taking you around the town for 35 minutes a good and easy trip to get your bearings. Don’t know how much it costs other members will know.

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47 minutes ago, hansol1966 said:

Yes early half day cruise then explore the port when you get off the bus, which was nice, best of both worlds. I would do this if there’s a next time for the priority disembarkation. On the quayside there’s a little typical road train taking you around the town for 35 minutes a good and easy trip to get your bearings. Don’t know how much it costs other members will know.

Thank you.

I do enjoy road trains, so hopefully we can get in.

There is a couple of excursions we were looking at but were reluctant to book in case we couldn't get in, but after your experience, will definitely book one and take our chances.

Andy

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We did a good P&O excursion on Guernsey, it was the underground hospital, the museum and a tour of the island.  We have also just tendered off and done our own thing, from memory even when doing our thing the waiting was ok going off ship but coming back onbard was quite a wait.

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We did the round the whole island on the local bus..£2 each I think it was. We just walked to the bus station and got on it. Having had a very scary tender ride ..not so much the ride, but more trying to get back on-board I would never every query why are the tenders not going faster etc. It took us 4 attempts to get alongside the ship. Tender feels very very small when you are trying to avoid bumping into the pontoon.

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After posting I feel I have to also balance my posts with our cruise which was very good overall ( I will when tendering pay for a P&O early excursion to get of the ship early). Our trip was very good...Epicurean fantastic..Sindhu very good..Beach House fillet steak sizzler wonderful...all were very good.

On the first day on boarding we were offered the Epicurean for £19 each, great value with the quality of food and experience..my wife said best steak ever.

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34 minutes ago, hansol1966 said:

On the first day on boarding we were offered the Epicurean for £19 each, great value with the quality of food and experience..my wife said best steak ever.

Superb lobster, too.  First rate dining experience - did you by any chance try the very theatrical Crêpes Suzette?

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I was also on the recent Azura cruise (3rd May) I hadn’t booked a tour in Guernsey but went to the Meridian at about 8.30 obtained a tender ticket and was off the ship and on the shore by 9 am getting onto the tender was a bit ‘challenging’ and very rocky but coming back in the afternoon was much better.

I bought a bus pass for the day £5 and had a lovely day exploring 😊 

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We were also on this cruise and were on a tender at 9.15a.m. after waiting 5 mins. at most in the Meridian.

It was very choppy when we got on.

Coming back we were all ready to leave when the port authority stopped us because a ferry was arriving. This held us up for about 25-30 mins. As there were 3 tenders waiting by the time it docked this would have a knock on effect for others wanting to return/leave.

The deputy Captain once told us the number of tenders which can be used is determined by how many people are still on the ship. As enough boats must be left in case of an emergency.

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Our experience tendering at St. Peter Port a few years ago was interesting.  It was very choppy and when I went down to board the tender it was obvious they were having problems.  There were two officers either side of the entrance to the tender and they were practically lifting passengers onto the tender.  When it was my turn one of the officers said, 'Just a minute' - the tender was bobbing up and down and the people already on board didn't look very happy - hope they'd taken their sea sick pills.  Eventually the officer said they were going to try to move the tender further along the side of the ship to give it more protection.  Then the tender hit the side of the ship and tendering stopped.  They then used another tender and I did get lifted on board.  The poor people on the first tender had to be taken off as the side of the tender was damaged so they'd done all that bobbing around for nothing.  So I did get ashore and to go on my tour - my husband was doing a different tour which left later and he didn't have as much problem.

 

When our trip returned to the quayside to get the tender back to the ship we found that the Port Authorities had decided to use one of their boats, much, much larger than the ship's tenders, to take passengers back to the ship and it could take many more passengers at a time.  So it was a much more stable journey back to the ship.  Later on the Captain apologised for all the problems but said he was trying his utmost to get passengers ashore safely.  It's always seemed to us that if it's at all possible a Captain will use the tenders to get the passengers ashore but only if it can be done safely.  

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Our experience was pretty positive.

We didn't book an excursion, but got to the queue about 15 mins after it started. We waited about 15 mins to board a tender.

Coming back early afternoon we waited only about 10 mins, but due to other tenders in front of us we did wait about 20 mins near the ship to disembark.

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I think with tender ports it is always worth checking Horizon for the times that passengers on excursions are due to meet as they will get priority , understandably so. And then get there a good half hour before ...in other words get up early! Alternatively , wait until much later.... or book a half

day morning excursion! Has always worked for us..

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On 5/5/2019 at 6:22 PM, hansol1966 said:

We arrived at St. Peter Port last Friday 3rd May on a beautiful morning anchoring on time after a short trip from Cherbourg.

we went to deck 16 to watch the tenders leave with excursions first of course, passengers second..we were told on the tannoy to wait in the public areas as there were 500 already waiting. After fourty minutes there were 550 waiting. Stay where you are. After a while I joined the queue to the Meridian restaurant tender ticket and waiting area at 11 o’clock. After waiting for a good while and seeing and hearing numerous people asking why it was so slow the answer given was the swell was making it difficult to board the tender (not when I got on later), also there was only 4 tenders running and we were lucky as ships don’t usually get in here. The fact was there was a large time lag between tenders.  Next this is for your own safety it was repeated...two tenders are coming...there alongside...afternoon excursions for these tenders priority....extra half hour, eventually arriving in port over 2 hours later at 1.10pm. Why they couldn’t put 6-8 tenders on I don’t know.   3-4 excursions...3-4 passengers. Everybody’s dealt fairly.

The number of tenders which can be used is limited by the number the pier can handle, not the number the ship can launch. This is a problem for large ships which can be limited to the same number of tenders as ships half their size.

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