Has anyone booked an excursion at port instead of through the cruise liner? This is my first cruise ð
Excursions book through the cruise or when I get to port?
In most of the ports you can do your own thing as they are quite safe. We chose to go on an organised excursion in Belize as it didn't feel very safe to go on our own. We choose to go to the mayan ruins. The trip was nice and the runs were amazing but we had an extremely long journey there and back- just the ride on the river boat was more that 1hr each way and then you have the bus journey from and to the port and then the tender to the ship!
- Cozumel - could do so much both on your own or organised - even go to mainland Mexico by ferry.
- Roatan- we got a taxi from the port and did half day beach and around the island trip
We rarely book excursions through the cruise line, I do a lot of research and will book before the cruise with a highly recommended tour operator. If it's a port we intend to do stuff on our own, I will still do research and then when I get there I know what transportation to take, where to visit, what beaches to go to, etc. If you know you want to book through the cruise line, I suggest you do it online beforehand, as the excursions you are interested in may get booked up, and usually will cost more once you get on board ship.
The advantage of booking an excursion through the ship is that it is guaranteed that if the excursion is late returning to the ship, the ship will wait for you. If you book non-ship excursions and are late returning to the ship (stuck in traffic, flat tier on the bus exct...), the ship can leave without you and then it is your issue to catch up to the ship in the next port.
I believe that the Excursions through "Ship Mate" app are guaranteed, but you will have to check that yourself. Ship Mate app also have reviews and suggestions from past travelers of what and where is good to do, see and eat in ports.
Welcome to cruising, it can become addicting