Non ship sponsored excursions


taking a trip on the carnival glory in December and looking for recommendations for the ports of grand cayman, Belize and mahogany bay... traveling with family of six so if we could arrange fun safe trips that are easier on the wallet, I am all ears. Thanks in advance for you thoughts.


20 Answers

I can certainly understand needing to watch s budget, but please remember that if private excursions don’t get you back to the ship on time, no matter what the reason, the ship will not wait for you. Sometimes the risk of being left behind and having to pay for and find the way to the next port) isn’t woth saving a few dollars on the cost of the excursions, compared to buying from the cruiseline.

sooooooooooooo agree with Bonnie. watch YOU TUBE videos about how ships will leave you. they may wait an hour.. maybe.

Absolutely...thanks for the reminder

Does not hurt to check out your options. Research the private companies to ensure they are reputable. Good luck.

And therein lies the problem when traveling with a group, especially family...what, a committee meeting over virtually everything? and somehow absolutely everything costs a fortune? after a day or two theres inevitably a mutiny...and yes, we had a thread about "being left"....Im very choosy about tours anyway, most times we stay on board...I know that wouldn't be an option for you, but I can see where the cost of excursions x6 can start approaching the cost of the cruise....

Some third party vendors such as Viator offer guarantees to have you back to the ship on time. If considering non cruise line options make sure that you do your homework, check the reviews, and read the fine print.

When traveling with a large group or even a small group (6 is small) we have suggested that every one "do their own thing" and meet up at dinner time. Sometimes the group was together and sometimes not, this worked well with family as well as friends. Check the shore tour options on this site, also guaranteed to have you back to the ship on time.

At Mahogany Bay, there is a free beach close to the ship. You can rent clamshells/loungers as well as snorkel gear but the beach is free, even if you don't rent anything. It's a short walk down a pretty path or you can pay a few bucks and take the chair lift, which is kind of fun. Offers great views. When we went in 2016, I paid $39.95/couple for two sets of snorkel gear, two loungers and the clamshell. I think it's gone up a bit but not by much. I would personally not book an excursion that wasn't through the ship. To me, it's worth the extra money to be ensured you're not left at the dock.

I rarely book nonship sponsored shore excursions but recently we did rent a car and traveled around an island. Another time we hired a vendor to take us on a tour that included more points of interest than the ship excursions did. I must say that I was a bit nervous all day fearing some disaster that might cause us to miss the ship. I am more comfortable on the ship's tours. With the rental car, we barely made it back to the ship in time due to detours on the road that were unexpected. On the second tour we had plenty of tine to get back.


* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top