I agree with all of the above, the money savings for a family is worth the bit of research beforehand. We leave for our next cruise this Sat. and have booked cave tubing for a $40 per person savings in Belize and to top it off we get a fruit platter and refreshments at the end. I've mostly researched before and booked ahead for smaller, intimate excursions and the customer service and value I've received have been well worth it. We have another excursion booked for the stingray sandbar and snorkel trip for only 2.5 hours, allowing ample time to explore 7 mile beach and the local pubs and attractions. They'll even drop us off at the beach on the return drive saving us a cab fare. The ship offered much longer, more expansive tours for more money. This way its personalized to our specifications. Many years ago I had a bad experience with a ship excursion in St. Thomas. It was a sail, snorkel, open bar and hourduerves in a small group - 6 per boat plus the couple who owned it. They motored the whole way there and back, and the open bar was a can or coke or diet coke and the horsdevues were a snack size bag of chips or pretzels. It was way overpriced and a real let down. I only hope it was just this one bad operator but I never found out.