"I did not appreciate the penalty for booking shore excursions with outside sources. There should not be a need to get up early and wait in line for tender tickets.". Sorry, that's the way it is on EVERY line. The cruise lines excursions get priority. With 4-6 cruises, I would think you would know that!!
Review by hjchild
In response to review, CrusinTim says ...
Thanks for posting on this Website. Sorry to read that for the most part the entertainment did not meet your expectations except for one group. One of the main reasons that I enjoy cruising is to see the entertainment.
I agree with you about the movies shown outdoors. The concept is great. Sometimes on ships that pioneered the outdoor screens, you can not even see the pictures in daylight, though. I love the idea of being outside viewing a movie or TV show but it still needs improvement with the sound. Passengers not watching the movie continue conversations and your can't really blame them. Some even walk back and forth in front of you taking their time and carrying on conversations.
On all cruise lines, those with booked ship sponsored shore excursions get off the ship first. It is easier to keep everyone together when they get off the ship together. They need to get the idling buses out of the port so other buses can pull up. Rather than look at it as a penalty for those not booking a ship excursion, look at it that this is a perk they get for paying a premium price for their sightseeing. Also those staying in suites or high up in the rewards program, get off first too. I am not upset about that because they paid a lot more money to the cruise line than I did.
Thank you for posting your review.
Priority is given to cruise line-endorsed excursions because of the contractual agreement between vendor and cruise line. There is guarantee language in terms of timing, occupancy, etc. The lines have a financial risk for contracted vendors so of course there is going to be priority for passengers who book through the line.
And another benefit of booking through the line -> if the excursion is delayed in getting back to the ship, it will not leave without you. Keep that in mind the next time you book something on your own.