Booking an excursion...AT HOME...

Thought I'd share a helpful tip....waiting to book an excursion or two or three ON BOARD is a fun experience...for us anyway...whilst we sit and watch the lines at the excursion desks..massive conferences, looks like they're applying for mortgages...and of course all they've got to go on is info DESIGNED to make you want to take the tour...folks don't seem to realize you can do all that at home, in comfort...but first read what folks say who've actually taken the tour you're interested in.   THEN you might not book it...or come back to the ship feeling you've been ripped off...we don't bother with them anymore, but that's another subject entirely....

12 Answers

So far I've only booked shore excursions at home.

You've brought up a good point about always read through the excursion details before booking. I did have one that was a dud, well the first part of it was. The second part of that particular excursion was cider tasting and that certainly made up for the lousy first part of that particular excursion.

Anyhow, I've yet to book an excursion on board and am hesitant to do so. I like having everything lined up before I start the cruise.

Some folks might think thats being anal...or paranoid..or its above their paygrade...I think a lot of experienced cruisers do it that ease....on board, I make what dinner reservations I can't do at home..(beancounter rules y'know)....first thing after stepping on board...I take care of biz...takes me and the boss all of 10 min if that....instead of rushing to the buffet....which, btw, we usually only go to on PORT DAYS....heheheheh

We always book our excursions at home for a number of reasons.Usually these are through the cruise lines but we have also booked a few through independent sites. Always check the reviews and fine print when booking.

1) It enhances all of the fun and anticipation of the cruise before going.

2) Makes sure you get the excursion and time that you want as most have limited booking capacity

3) Gives ample time for planning out the port stay to include free time to wander or to do other things as well as the excursion.

4) Allows one to explore much more options than you can on board and you all the time to consider things

5) Avoids the line ups on the ship.


Are 'experienced' cruisers still booking shore excursions through the cruise line? With rare exceptions (e.g. Israel) I can't imagine why anyone would want to pay the exorbitant mark up offered by the cruise line.

On general principals I could agree with you....we have looked for and used shore excursionistas (did I just make up a word?) but based on other folks recommendations...but yes, I have used and will use cruise tours on those rare occasions when I feel the need to do more than get off and stretch...that doesn't count....especially when the tour is "far afield..."

Sometimes the extra expense of a cruise line booked tour is worth if to give one the peace of mind in knowing they will not be a runner

I would agree with Greywolf. We have done 3 excursions on 2 cruises and I think the highest priced one was around $49 so how much are you going to save? Even half price would not pay for a flight to the next port the boat is in never mind the time missed on the ship.

I have been told by some people that some excursions that are not from the ship are not offered by the ship and are better. I would still be nervous about being late. It would require a lot of research to make sure the company is reputable.

I always thought booking at home, in advance was a wise option. Even if it isn't a cruise vacation, booking anything before you go is way easier. I like to research things, and research the research I've done. I want to make sure my family is going to enjoy what is planned. My next cruise isn't until June of 2019 and I already have print outs, reviews, and pages bookmarked for the things i think will be fun to do. Our cruising time is forever changed with the addition of our son, so now I have to plan more toddler / kid friendly things. No more speed boats and atv excursions, well at least for a few more years LOL

well...theres a lot of those tours that are CONSIDERABLY more than $49.....a good example is ALASKA...and EUROPE....even tours to the Carib that don't seem like much can get very pricey...the point being you can't check out these companies, its durn near impossible...the key for me is going "far afield"...then getting back to the ship...go on a cruise line blessed tour, and that's not an issue..

We always book our excursions at home, after reading reviews about them so we aren’t in for any surprises or disappointments. Everything possible is paid for ahead of time so we never have many if any, expenses incurred on the ship.


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