The safety drill, for you non-cruisers, is that time when passengers gather at their ‘muster stations’ near those small looking craft that dangling like bright orange ornaments from the side of the ship.
Then crew members review with us the steps to be used in the event of an emergency evacuation. We are assigned a specific life boat and that is the one we will head for in the event it should become necessary.
Those bright orange bobbles are actually called the ship’s ‘tenders’ and in a less serious vein are used to transport passengers to and from ships into ports-of-call where either the ship is too large to navigate the harbor, or too large to fit the dock or in some cases, or when there are just too many cruise ships already there (Alaska, in the summer months).
|Bay of Islands, New Zealand|
We love riding the tiny tenders that bob and bounce up close to the side of the ship as passengers line up for the short rides to and from shore.
Somehow that tiny looking deck that hangs above the water seems a bit bigger when you are using it, but it does take a bit of balance sometimes to get from it to the tender and back (thank goodness, staff members grab you by the arm to make sure accidents don’t happen.)
We’ve come to so enjoy this mode of transfer, that we keep our fingers crossed that we will be among the first on-board so that we can climb up the ladder and sit on the roof of the tender as we bobble our way to and from a dock.
And while not all cruise ships can accommodate differently-abled passengers, we’ve noticed that on our last couple sailings on the solstice-class Celebrity ships, the portable dock at the side of the ship was equipped so that those with mobility issues could use the tender (but it is always wise to check in advance of booking a cruise). There were no access accommodations for the rooftop seats.
Riding atop a tender we got a close up view of our ship and the surrounding beauty of the island of Mo’orea.
Maybe we enjoy this part of cruising because it affords us a different perspective on the places we visit and maybe it is because while we are ‘sightseeing’ the crew members are taking the navigation of this short boat trip as seriously as they do the entire cruise.
Sometimes on repositioning cruises, the weather, like the cruise is in shoulder season – it is sometimes too cold to sit on the roof but that’s fine because there are good views from some inside seats as well. (They close this hatch before taking off – I just got the photo before they did.)
And so our 'tender’ tale from the South Pacific comes to a close.
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Nancie’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday
Noel Morata’s Travel Photo Discovery on Monday