Ships cannot dock at GSC. Consequently, passengers are ferried to and from the ship in large tenders, including one that was once carried on the SS Norway.
Once the tender is full, the ride to the shore takes between five and ten minutes. Going back to the ship, the ride can take somewhat longer depending upon whether another tender is embarking or disembarking passengers.
Weather can affect the length of the ride as well as the smoothness of the ride. Indeed, it can affect whether the ship is able to call at the island at all. If the seas are too rough for the tenders to provide a comfortable ride ashore, the captain will cancel the port.
At one time, all the supplies (food, beverages, etc.) that the passengers would use while on the island were ferried ashore from the ship. With the improvements to GSC, more supplies are stored on the island. However, some supplies and most of the personnel that serve the guests while on the island still come from the ship.
Cruise destination - Great Stirrup Cay - Norwegian Cruise Line - Going Ashore