New Princess Tendering Policy

I’ve been getting a lot of first hand reports from travelers, regarding Princess Cruise Line’s policy towards tendering wheelchair-users. As you may recall, tendering is at the discretion of the captain. In other words, he can decide if it’s safe for a wheelchair-user to use the tender. Actually he can decide if it’s safe for anyone to tender, as sometimes weather affects the process.

In the past six months I’ve received several reports from wheelchair-users who were not allowed to tender in calm weather on a variety of Princess ships. Again, it was the captain’s decision, but apparently the new rule is that in order to tender you have to be able to walk a few steps, so you can board the tender unassisted.

For the most part it seems they won’t tender scooter or power wheelchairs. Manual wheelchairs are still OK, if you don’t need boarding assistance. Additionally I’ve spoken with a number of people who were allowed to take their folding scooters with them on tenders; but again they had to walk to their seat and someone in their party had to get the scooter on board.

Additionally,?in most cases the travelers were told they would be able to tender when they called the Princess 800 number prior to booking. So it appears that the reservation department is unaware of what’s really happening on their ships.

I guess it all boils down to a safety issue for passengers and crew. They don’t want folks getting injured trying to board the tenders, and they don’t want their crew members injured lifting passengers. Still, it is a bit disappointing.

Anyway, it’s something to be aware of if a Princess cruise is in your future. And remember, almost any port can be a tender port (due to traffic), even if it’s not scheduled as such.