Landed: Cruise ship passengers were unfazed at having to be tendered from Poesia (in background behind Heritage Wharf construction work) to Dockyard. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Landed: Cruise ship passengers were unfazed at having to be tendered from Poesia (in background behind Heritage Wharf construction work) to Dockyard. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

Fears that tendering thousands of cruise passengers into Dockyard would cause chaos while Heritage Wharf is under construction proved to be unfounded yesterday.

Passengers from the Poesia told the Bermuda Sun that although tendering was an ‘inconvenience’ the short journey had not tarnished their initial impression of the island.

The ship had to drop anchor just off Dockyard at Grassy Bay because King’s Wharf was occupied by the Explorer of the Seas and Heritage Wharf is undergoing a major overhaul.

The 2,500-passenger liner arrived in the West End yesterday morning to light rain and strong winds.

A makeshift arrivals entrance with small tents, signs and flags was set up close to the point where the tenders came alongside.

And although the ship’s lifeboats and the Bermudian ferry were slightly behind schedule arriving into Dockyard, most passengers were unfazed by having to complete the trip.

Ginger Recanzone, from Florida, said: “I was really worried I was going to get seasick on the tenders because this is my first cruise.

“But I felt fine and it all seemed to go smoothly.

“I think people are more worried about the weather than the tendering.”

Karen Marberry, from South-east Missouri, added: “They did a great job.

“I didn’t really think it was that rough out there and everyone seemed pretty content on the way in.

“We are just happy to be here.”

Barbara Chadwick told the Sun: “None of us really wanted to tender but we understood that there was construction going on so we just got on with it.

“Everyone involved was more than accommodating.”

Celeste Black, from Florida, added: “It was a bit bumpy on the way in but we have tendered before so it was no big deal.”

Another passenger said: “Tendering was a bit like a Disneyland ride, but nobody really seemed that bothered by it — it was fun.”

Last week taxi drivers had raised concerns over the amount of parking space on the dock when passengers from the Riviera were tendered into Dockyard from Grassy Bay.

But yesterday morning the steady flow of taxis and buses arriving to meet the disembarking passengers seemed to be relatively steady and smooth.

One driver told us: “Space was an issue last week.

“With the construction going on we obviously have less of an area to park and wait for the passengers getting off the tenders.

“That has meant some of the drivers have had to wait at the entrance to Dockyard while the taxis on the dock pick up rides.

“Some drivers were pretty angry about that but it seems slightly better now.”

The Poesia was only at anchor off Dockyard until around 4pm yesterday when the ship took the place of the departing Explorer of the Seas to come alongside at King’s Wharf.

The liner is on island until Thursday when she departs for Nassau in the Bahamas.

Jerome Robinson, transportation coordinator for the Ministry of Tourism and Transport told the Sun he was pleased with the way the sudden influx of tendered passengers had been handled.

He said: “The priority has been to keep all the passengers happy when they get off the ship.

“We have had to make a few adjustments and tweaks to the way we handle the people coming off the tenders but all in all it has gone pretty well.

“Everyone getting off the tenders seems to be happy and we have tried to ensure that there are taxis ready for them when they arrive.”