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Short times in Port!

Short times in Port!

Postby tomvet » 19 Sep 2015 19:53

MSC and Costa are the main culprits for this. Dave referred to it in his Thomson blog where his ship arrived and departed after several other ships and reading W's blog, today he was in Dubrovnik for just 5 hours.

I have experienced it on both our Costa Pacifica cruise where our port of call in Malaga was just 4 hours from 0900 to noon and similar time in Oslo when on Costa Favolosa. As all aboard time is 30 mins prior to scheduled departure and allowing lee way and time to get off the ship - this in effect can only mean 3 productive hours in port and could be even less if the particular site / sight you wish to see is some distance from where the ship berths. For us both in Malaga and Oslo, it was ok as what we wanted to see was just moments from the ship. However, I have seen 5 hour stops in Bari where the key attraction is Alberello some 1.5 hours drive away. So even if you take the ship's tour you get less than 1.5 hours at the site and not a hope of doing it DIY. Duncan reported his 1.5 hour stay in Pisa.

However, compounding the short time is also the early start - breakfast on these mornings is very uncomfortable as the MDR is often not open this early and as everyone wants to get the most from the day they descend on buffet at the same time. I understand that a ship may have to spend less time in a particular port in order to make the next one in time or ships port times are dictated by tide times which may determine if a ship can sail under a bridge or not.

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However, I think it is more simple than that - if you look at Costa Meditteranea's itinerary where the distance between ports is not that large - yet times in port are quite short. Short time in port means longer time onboard to have passenger's spending their dosh. Short time in port means less port charges to hand over to the port authority. Short time in port means more passengers opting for ship sponsored excursions than DIY particularly if the key attraction is outside the city.
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Short times in Port!

Postby judgegeoff » 19 Sep 2015 20:39

I suspect that you are completely right Tom.
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Short times in Port!

Postby tomvet » 19 Sep 2015 20:40

judgegeoff wrote:I suspect that you are completely right Tom.


Ah! Great! ANother cynic! :D

On our next cruise we have a short port of call in Tenerife which makes taking the local bus to Loro Parque a bit risky - we were left with two choices - do the ship excursion which essentially was a shuttle transfer giving 2 hours free time at the Park for €178 for the 5 of us or using a local agent to provide the transfer and the entrance tickets for €185 but gives us 3.5 hours at the park. Needless to say we have opted for the latter as it is better value but also I would prefer to pay a local outfit a little extra than line the cruise line's pockets further.
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Re: Short times in Port!

Postby dst87 » 19 Sep 2015 22:03

I totally agree with you Tom. Some of the port times are very odd, and the very early starts some mornings really make the day quite busy if you want to make the most of the port. I've not found too much of that in the cruises I've taken, but I've seen plenty of itineraries with short port times. There was one on Anthem but we weren't as bothered on Anthem whereas normally we do care about the ports.

As you say Tom, mostly I can't think of any reason other than saving money and forcing people into shore excursions.
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Short times in Port!

Postby Dave » 19 Sep 2015 22:35

I completely agree with the bit of your post I've left out Tom.

tomvet wrote:MSC and Costa are the main culprits for this. Dave referred to it in his Thomson blog where his ship arrived and departed after several other ships and reading W's blog, today he was in Dubrovnik for just 5 hours...

And you're right that I mentioned how little time other ships seemed to spend in port in my blog - in fact I mentioned it quite a lot! ;)

Here's how long Celebration spent in each port:

Rovinj: 15 hours
Venice: 10 hours
Trieste: 9 hours
Zadar: 11 hours
Split: 10 hours
Dubrovnik: 17 hours
Katakolon: 9 hours
Corinth: 10 hours
Itea: 11 hours
Corfu Town: 8 hours
Kotor: 10 hours

Celebration spent an average of almost 11 hours in port. That meant that even when we did a 4-5 hour excursion we still had plenty of time to do something on our own when we got back.

We are Thomson! :D
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Short times in Port!

Postby JollyJill » 19 Sep 2015 22:56

The time in port is one of the big advantages of the Costa neo ship experience.

When we sailed on Costa neoRiviera earlier this year, we often didn't leave port until 11pm or Midnight, having arrived early in the morning.

Similarly with our forthcoming Azamara cruise- we have overnight stays in Palma, Valencia and Barcelona.
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Short times in Port!

Postby tomvet » 20 Sep 2015 04:15

JollyJill wrote:Similarly with our forthcoming Azamara cruise- we have overnight stays in Palma, Valencia and Barcelona.


Indeed Jill I see you are in Palma from 8am to 6pm + 1 day. Contrast that to our 'o/night' night in Palma - 6.30pm to 3am + 1 day!!! :shock:

In fact our MSC times are atrocious

Gibraltar 1730 to 2230
Lanzarote 1300 to 1900
Tenerife 0800 to 1600
Funchal 0900 to 1600
Malaga 0930 to 1630
Palma 1830 to 0300 + 1 day
Civitavecchia 1000 to 1900

Why not give up Palma altogether and arrive earlier in ROme :roll:

I refuse to purchase a ship sponsored excursion.

When I see Dave's times in port - now that makes DIYing so easy - there is so much wriggle room for contingency when doing a DIY.

I can live with a 5 hour port of call once in an itinerary but when all ports are of short duration-it is time to seek an alternative cruiseline!

In fact a 9 hour stop in Civitavecchia only affords us time to see one thing in Rome- we have chose the Colosseum. Our itinerary will be something like this - we have to build in flexi time but we will only have 2 hours of a 9 hour port of call actually doing something productive.

10am - Arrive in Civitavecchia
Hardly make the 1044 train to Rome (may be possible but tight!)
1144 Departs Civitavecchia
1200 Arrive Rome
1230 Arr at Coliseum
Endure security
1320 Tour Coliseum
1500 Tour ends
Lunch
1600 Train back to Civi
1710 Arr Civi (next train arrives at 1810 - too tight to get back to ship!).
1720 Back on ship

Most cruises allow a min of 11 hours in Civi /Rome
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Re: Short times in Port!

Postby khkate » 23 Sep 2015 14:45

I am noticing that Saga have started scheduling longer stays in port on their cruises, which is appreciated by a lot of passengers. The only disadvantage I find with that is where you have a full day in a small port where everything is closed and there isn't much to do, either because its a Sunday (or public holiday) or it is outside the main tourist season.
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Short times in Port!

Postby Skier Pete » 25 Sep 2015 01:06

Even with very short distances to sail over night MSC have some short stays (< 10hrs), 9 out of 20 ports of call, the rest are longer (> 10hrs), on my next years cruise; S and E Carribean B2B with a Trans Atlantic.
The cynic in me says Tom is right
But being mostly small islands DIY will be easy


The 1st itinerary
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Bridge Town Barbados 12hrs
Port of Spain Trinidad 8hrs
Roseau Dominica 8hrs
St.George Grenada 10hrs
Fort de France Martinique 15hrs
Pointe-a-Pitre Guadalope 13hrs
Road Town BVI 6hrs
Philipsburg St. Maarten 6hrs
La Romana Dom. Rep. 8hrs
Basseterre St Kitts & nevis 6hrs
St. Johns Antigua 10hrs
Fort de France Martinique 15hrs
Pointe-a-Pitre Guadalope 13hrs
Castries St. Lucia 10hrs
Bridge Town Barbados 12hrs


Santa Cruz de Tenerife 8hrs
Funchal Maderia 10hrs
Malaga Spain 9hrs
Barcelona Spain 9hrs
Marseille France 10hrs
Genoa
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Short times in Port!

Postby tomvet » 25 Sep 2015 20:53

Skier Pete wrote:Even with very short distances to sail over night MSC have some short stays (< 10hrs), 9 out of 20 ports of call, the rest are longer (> 10hrs), on my next years cruise; S and E Carribean B2B with a Trans Atlantic.
The cynic in me says Tom is right
But being mostly small islands DIY will be easy


The 1st itinerary
Image



Bridge Town Barbados 12hrs
Port of Spain Trinidad 8hrs
Roseau Dominica 8hrs
St.George Grenada 10hrs
Fort de France Martinique 15hrs
Pointe-a-Pitre Guadalope 13hrs
Road Town BVI 6hrs
Philipsburg St. Maarten 6hrs
La Romana Dom. Rep. 8hrs
Basseterre St Kitts & nevis 6hrs
St. Johns Antigua 10hrs
Fort de France Martinique 15hrs
Pointe-a-Pitre Guadalope 13hrs
Castries St. Lucia 10hrs
Bridge Town Barbados 12hrs


Santa Cruz de Tenerife 8hrs
Funchal Maderia 10hrs
Malaga Spain 9hrs
Barcelona Spain 9hrs
Marseille France 10hrs
Genoa


It depends on the port of course but I consider 8 hours + to be a long day in port, however there is a big difference between being in port from 0700 to 1500 and 1000 to 1800. If the attractions are right beside the dock and I am thinking ports like Malaga, Cartagena, Tangier, Gibraltar - then you can do something productive even in 5 hours as you spend little of that time getting to / from the attraction - though one would hardly do anything being considered remotely close to comprehensive.
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