Originally Posted by Trip
"We booked all of our excursions through the cruise line"...that is your saving grace...no problem.
Well, yes and no. It is very true that booking through the cruise line gives a margin of safety, as they will know if that tour is late returning and make every effort to wait for it. However, remember that "Time and tide wait for no man." In exceptional circumstances ships have been known to sail and leave excursioners behind.
As far as scheduling, if you are on a scheduled ship's tour you can be assured that the schedule is appropriate for the ship's sailing and getting back from a ship's excursion at 2:30 when the ship sails at 3:00 will work fine. On an independent excursion we would be more likely to allow at least an hour before scheduled sailing. A couple of times we have hustled back from independent trips just as they were about to raise the gangplank and been practically the last pax aboard. That is not comfortable.