In response to Carnival excursions...we booked Stingray City in Grand Cayman through Carnival. On the morning of the excursion, our son did not feel well (he found out the computers were down on the ship the night before. He and my nephew ordered MAJOR amounts of alcoholic beverages through room service...and I don't think they tipped the server!!!!) In any case, he didn't make the excursion. Daughter, husband and I made the tender in ROUGH seas.
Stingray City was great (did it once...I don't need to do it again!) but there was a little problem with the bus that was to bring us back to the ship.....IT WASN"T THERE! We waited for hours, missed our shopping time and finally they sent a bus. We were over three hours late returning from the excursion. I just knew the ship would leave us. When we made that final turn I was so glad to see the ship (not only for the ride home, but also to check on drunk son).
The entire group reported to the purser's desk, immediately. So many of us thought the ship had left us. Many were frantic, even though the tour guide kept saying the ship would wait. One man spoke for the entire group. He quietly, but firmly explained our situation. The purser's desk said they would take care of everything. Imagine my surprise when we were notified of a complete refund of the TOTAL price of the excursion, including drunk son. (I only wanted Carnival to take it up with the tour company). The tour guide was as nice as possible, we tipped him well, it wasn't his fault and some people were very ugly to him.
In the past, I've considered private excursions. However, I have learned my lesson...if this had been a private excursion, we would be paying a fortune for airfare from Grand Cayman. Gotta go hearing that a plane crashed into a building in New York...going to CNN.