How many ports do you typically plan an excursion for compared to self exploration? They can be expensive, but very tempting. Also, I would be interested to know anyone with experience booking not through the cruise line (I've read they are cheaper, sometimes better... but if you don't get back to the ship in time, they won't wait for you unless you book through their cruise line)

Tags: Royal Caribbean Excursions port of calls budget

9 Answers

I do an excursion per each stop. I do like cruising but want to get off the ship and see or do whatever I can. You are not in the islands everyday. I plan them before I leave home and try to book and pay for them before cruising. That way-- its budgeted out and taken care of. When I do get on the cruise I am generally free and clear. Money that I usually spend while cruising is extra.

Like LaytonBlue, we book and pay well in advance so that way we can go on the ship and only worry about incidentals. Personally, we always book with the cruise line because like you stated, if you ain't on the ship, you will be left on the land. Many times we have seen people running down the gangway as the ship pulls away.

Although temping and cheaper, I feel more secure knowing that I won't miss the boat, so to speak. I however, have heard many positive stories on dock side excursions, but always a chance to take. Cruise line booked ones are responsible to get you on the ship prior to departure.

Ditto with both laytonblue and keegan.

We usually book in advance and pay in advance and plan for our island stop in advance. With some stops like when you are there from 8 am till 10 pm we will also plan where close to port we want to walk around and see. We have had the odd island where we were not thrilled with any of the excursion options so we opted to just wander around the port area or walk the town if it was not a bad area as is the port in Curacao

Normally we'll just hang around the port. If the ship offers a very interesting excursion at a low price, I'll consider it, but not a whole lot of those offerings lately.

We have done both. For a longer day we book excursions, like in Cartegena, The old city horse and buggy tour. But in Costa Rica, a day at the beach and souvenir market was a great time. Depends where we are. We booked nothing in Bermuda, except golf, the rest was on our own.

If it is my first time someplace I book an excursion. if I have been to the port before and I'm comfortable then I do my own thing. On my first visit to the Greek Islands we did an excursion in Athens, on the islands we did our own thing.

I usually do the same thing. If it's a new port I will take shore excursions especially if there is something specific I want to see. If it's a port I've been to before then I might just walk around town. I do take all shore excursions through the cruise line even if the are slightly more just because they are required to wait for you. The only exception was in San Juan last year. It was only a two hour city tour & I took it in the morning. That left a lot of margin for error. The ports are my favorite part of the cruise so I will get off of the ship.

We have done it both ways. For us it depends on the port. We will book indepentantly if we are comfortable. If we thank the port is scetchy we will book through the ship.

It depends on whether or not I have been there before, or if I didn't get to see or do something the first time around.

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