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This is the Essential Cruise Tips Podcast with cruise expert and author Gary Bembridge. Full of tips, advice and ways to plan and get the most from your cruising vacation.

Aug 30, 2014

Gary Bembridge author of "The Cruise Traveler's Handbook" provides another 60-Second Cruise Tip. For more visit and subscribe free to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and TuneIn

Plan a cruise to avoid tendering - especially when on big ships

Tendering happens when a ship cannot dock in port and has to use tender boats to ferry passengers to and from land. Some reasons why your ship may not be able to dock include the port being full, the tides or winds are unfavourable or the dock facilities are not suitable for the size or type of the ship.

When you are looking at cruise itineraries in brochures or online check each port listed to see if the ship will be docking or tendering there. Cruise lines usually know in advance and will include that information. I avoid cruises where there are lots of tender ports if I can, as it can be a frustrating experience - especially on large ships with thousands of passengers.

They usually give preference to tendering off people on cruise line excursions in the morning and you can wait some time before you can leave the ship to self explore a port. It can also mean lengthy lines at the end of the day as everyone returns to the ship. There is also the risk of swells making uncomfortable journeys to and from the ship.