Thank you for your responses on "Cruise Line Honchos."
With regards to shore excursions, I was surprised to see how many cruisers did shore things independently. My dh and I never have because of the risk of not making it back to the ship on time. These cruisers also think that ship-oriented excursions are far too expensive, an attitude my dh shares with them.
On our last cruise in Mexico, we watched from the ship as a tender brought back a tardy employee who looked very embarassed as many, many fellow employees and passengers watched his ride. Bet he was in trouble with the boss! I resoved then and there to never do an indy on shore.
Anyway, I would think that the powers that be in the cruise line industry would like to know how many people they are losing because of the expense and would want to do something about reducing the costs of shore excursions. It does add up.
They do as much as possible to reduce the expenses and truthfully they do not make that much on each individual. The people that contract to handle the shipboard tours have to meet certain safety regulations and must have guides that speak English fluently as well as demonstrate the ability to be there and comply with all the cruiseline rules. This all adds up to more expense for the tour agent and therfore more for the ships tours in turn. In addition with a cruiseline shore excursion they guarentee that you will get what the written discription is on the tour and you have recorse through the cruiseline if they do not in addition to the safety factor of getting back to the ship on time. Independant tours do none of these things. Understand that we do many things on our own ourselves but, we are pretty well traveled now and I speak Spanish, or at least enough to get by. <G> In countries where the language is differant and I am not too familiar with the locale, we use cruise sponsored tours..
Thank you for your response. It occurred to me after I posted the message that the people who do nothing but go to the beach waste their money on cruises. You can do that in SoCal or Florida or in countless lakeside shores. What I'm thinking about are the many places you can go on a cruise-sponsored excursion that you couldn 't possibly know about in advance. I s'pose I'd have to agree with eye-on-the budget dh that we've spent a lot of shore excursions, but most of 'em were neat.
To each his own and I will not fault anyone for their choice of entertainment. It is just that I am a curious beast and love to learn new cultures and history so I need to get out among the locals and find out what they and their county is all about.