higherwill
Contributor Level: Purser

How excursions are scheduled

My friend and I are trying to decide between two excursions that we like in Cozumel. We sail on Carnival this coming Nov.

We are cruise newbies and wanted some help on how it works on excursion day. How long does it take to get off the ship? How are the excursions scheduled? Do they all leave at the same time, or is it staggered? How large are the groups typically?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

Tags: excursion Carnival Cozumel

7 Answers

RGJoyce
Contributor Level: Second Mate

I've only been on one cruise so far but going again in Dec on Carnival & we had an excursion booked in Grand Cayman & I didn't find that it took too long to get off the ship. That port in particular we had to take tender boats to shore so the excursions are timed with that in mind. When we got to the dock, there was a sign posted for our excursion so we knew where to go. We had to stay there until all of the group was there. We did parasailing so it was only about 10 of us but every excursion is different. If you go look under the excursions on Carnival's website, it does tell you what time it starts, if there are various start times & how many tickets are left. I've been checking into a few & some have just one start time, approx 30mins after we arrive in port, others have 2 or 3 start times. Hopefully someone with a little more cruise history than me can add to this for you. Enjoy your trip! :-)

AuntPinkie
Contributor Level: Captain

Usually (I can't emphasize that word enough), everyone, at a port like Cozumel where the ship is docked at a pier, is allowed off the ship at the same time.  You will have a time that your excursion is to meet on the pier.  There will be signs for your excursion where your group will meet.  You will receive all this information with your excursion tickets that will be delivered to you cabin.  It sounds chaotic, but it actually (usually, again) runs smoothly. Hope you have a wonderful adventure.

DVCruise
Contributor Level: Captain

Excursions can work a number of different ways depending upon the port and the excursion.  You will receive your "tickets" in your cabin with instructions of where to meet (might be on the ship, might be on the dock, etc.)  There will be someone with a sign on the dock and people will gather for the excursion.  If there are buses being used, the groups may start boarding each of the buses until full, then onto the next one. (Typically everyone keeps their bus seat once boarding so if you get off and on, you can return to your seat.)  That said, there may be several hundred people scheduled for an excursion BUT there are an appropriate number of "shuttles" to accommodate the group ...

Ship excursions are typically well run and instructions are clear as to where to go, what to do, etc.  Suggestions are given of what to wear or bring.

GIL155
Contributor Level: Captain

First of all, please follow the advice (posted in replies above) from some very knowledgeable folks. Without knowing specifics I did a quick search on a couple Carnival cruises with Cozumel stops this coming November. Ports times were 1100 - 2000, and 0800 - 1600. It appears your ship will probably be docked for about 8-hours in Cozumel.

 

IF you get off soon, and have a early tour booked not lasting more than 3 hours, and a second tour booked not lasting more than 3 hours with an hour between one tour ending and the second starting -- it MAY be possible. You have to have the schedule and time Gods on your side, ship arrive when it is supposed to arrive, polite fellow travels whom show up for the shuttles on time, etc. Are you feeling lucky?

 

Check the Cozumel excursion times on your specific cruise. Excursion sizes vary but that will be a portion of the excursion description. Many tours have staggered departure times. Earliest excursions usually are getting off the ship with the early shoppers (i.e., peak de-boarding time). Best wishes to you! Hope you have a memorable cruise.

BonMike
Contributor Level: Captain

When we have booked excursions, the information for where to meet and what time to meet, was delivered to our room along with any vouchers we needed. We then left the ship together. For private excursions, you will get the information from the company you booked through. 

Like the others have said, it's generally a very smooth process.

higherwill
Contributor Level: Purser

Thanks everyone for your help.

glomarrone
Contributor Level: Admiral

Those who booked excursions with the ship often are able to leave the ship first in a group.  Also those in suites or high up on the loyalty program leave early, too when tendering is involved. 

 

Yes,excursions are staggered and the groups usually meet in the theater.  Some excursions are scheduled in the morning; others may occur in the afternoon.  Occasionally, a few occur at night.  Sometimes they meet on the dock.  You excursion ticket will tell you where to meet and at what time.  Be sure that you arrive 15 minutes prior to meeting time so as not to hold up the group. 

 

How big the group is depends of different factors: how big the port is, the size of the vehicle, or how many people sign up for the tour.  The nature of the tour may also diswtate the size of the group.  This would probably be listed in the tour brochure as limited participation.  Sometimes there may be multiple vans or buses on the same tour. 

 

How quickly passengers can get off the ship depends on how quickly the ship gets cleared by the local authorities. Sometimes this can be further delayed by passport problems of passengers or crew.   Sometimes mechanical problems with the gangway may be a problem or even strong winds could delay disembarkation.  Usually, though,  it is the clearing of the ship that determines when passengers disembark.  .   

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