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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 13th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Default Ships charge WAY more for shoreX's...why?

When I read these posts about shore excursions it inevitably comes up that to book on one's own is less expensive than booking through the cruise line.

My question is really this...... If the cruise line is gauranteeing the excursion companies large bookings, then the cruise lines should be getting WAY cheaper prices on the excursions. So why are the prices MUCH higher?

Do the cruise lines do this strictly for revenue or do they believe they have extra ordinary amounts of processing they need to add into the cost?

I have never been brave enough to book tours privately and have always gone with the cruiseline bookings. I have a sense of safety by doing this because of all the obvious reasons, ie: very organized, ship can't leave if you're late, etc.

However, I always (since reading these postings) feel a bit ripped off on price too.

Any feedback for me on this one?
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Old March 13th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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You answered your own question... revenue (a.k.a. profit).
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Old March 13th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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you are paying for a middle-man (the cruise line) instead of going directly to the source, you are paying for safety and peace-of-mind
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:36 PM
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You do pay more going through the cruise company for shore excursions, but you are garneted that if the excursion is late getting back the ship won’t leave without you.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 05:02 PM
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Because they can..............many 1st time cruisers either are unsure of what to do, or just want the comfort of knowing the ship will wait if they are back late. I think the people with more cruises under their belt, feel more comfortable walking off the ship and getting a tour...

I think in Europe, a lot more people book the ships tour...newbies and thw well traveled.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 10:48 PM
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We used to book all our excursions through the ship for the reasons you stated, and the fact that we didn't know about the great cruising web sites out there. We then started venturing out on our own; sometimes with an independent excursion, and sometimes just grabbing a cab or excursion at the pier. We now do very few excursions through the cruise lines. I do the research and book excursions that are highly recommended and give us a good bit of extra time at the end of the excursion. There are some excursions that I still would only book through the ship, though. If I were traveling up to Lamanai in Belize, I would book through the ship. There aren't a lot of independents that travel up there, so one wouldn't have the safety net of others being able to help out if a boat breakdown occured. I have taken independent boat excursions in other ports, though, and never felt stressed.

One must do the research, and then do what one is comfortable with.
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Old May 18th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Default Tours

Yes the cruise line charges more.
They have only insured licensed contractors. They will also hold the ship in port if they are late.
Booking a self tour in fine, you will be exposed to greater liability and the ship will not wait for you.
The choice is yours.
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Old May 18th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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I usually stick with the ship tours because I feel safer. I hear of people being fleeced in cab fare or getting back late because of whatever reason, at least all costs are included in the tour.

The one tour we did in February on our own in Grand Cayman, I feel safe on that island. They have a low crime rate and the fact that there were SIX ships in port meant that wherever you went there were crowds of people!!!! We jumped in an impromptu tour of Hell, Turtle Farm, and Tortuga Rum store...It was $20 a person, so a good deal. Sadly, I still wasn`t able to spend more than 15 minutes at the turtle farm--literally snap a few shots and run to catch the bus.....The reason we did this $20 tour was to spend a good hour or more at the turtle farm.....ya, not this time....

I am booked to be back in the Cayman Islands (fourth time the charm) and I will book the Boatswain Beach tour so I can actually see the whole park and just watch the turtles in the ponds!!!!!!! I also want to browse through the gift shop instead of go through there faster than a tornado, perhaps I will have a chance to look and see more of what I could buy....
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Old May 18th, 2008, 09:38 PM
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I think there's something than can be said for both booking through the cruiseline and for going it on you own.
When you book through the cruiseline, you are getting a company that's normally been checked out by the cruise lines regarding dependability, liability, halfway decent transportation, knowledgable guides, etc. You will usually get a tour that covers the main attractions of an area and learn something about what you're seeing.
Too, if something happens that your late getting back to the ship, you get sick, hurt, etc. the cruisline knows where you are and can wait or attempt to assist.

If you want to save a few dollars and go it alone, then that's basically what you're doing---going it alone. You have no idea what the transportation you're getting into is like as far as dependability--if it breaks down and you're late getting back, you just may be in time to see your ship out on the horizon sailing off without you as the cruiseline has no idea where you are and won't wait.

I have done many tours through the ship and some on my own. If I've been to a particular port or island a few times before and am familiar with it and what I want to see or do, then maybe I'll do a private tour. For the first time cruisers and for those ports that you haven't been to before, I would stick to a ships tour. But, to each his / her own. Sometimes trying to save a few bucks isn't necessarily the best way to go.

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Old May 18th, 2008, 10:54 PM
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All the reasons people are giving for booking with the cruiselines is exactly what the cruise lines tell the passengers And exactly why they feel they can build in plenty of profit into the tours.

I rarely use ship's tours, and I've never been late for a ship. You do have to be aware of your time, but on your own you can usually see more in a shorter time than you can travelling with a tour where you only move as fast as the slowest person.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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According to an article in Forbes magazine on the cruise business, the cruise line keeps up to half of what they charge for shore excursions. I found the following specific example:

HAL offers a three day trip to Machu Picchu from Lima Peru as a pre or post cruise tour, or as a shore excursion during a three day stop in Lima. The shore excursion costs about twice as much as the pre/post tour, ($3199 vs. $1649) and has about the same itinerary, according to HAL's brochures.

It looks like HAL is acting as agent for the pre/post cruise tour, but charges a 100% markup on the shore excursion!
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Old May 19th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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Would anyone feel comfortable booking there own excursion in St. Thomas?
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhearty1
Would anyone feel comfortable booking there own excursion in St. Thomas?
St. Thomas is a very tourist-friendly island. If I checked out the tour on this site and others and the time frame was good, I would book it. What tour are you considering?
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 01:52 PM
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Its a 6 hour excursion from Island Marketing. 2 hour shopping, 2 hours at coral world and 2 hours touring for $49.00
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 03:42 PM
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I prebooked with Island Marketing for our excursion in Cozumel and got a great all inclusive day pass at the Windom for 40.00pp there were 4 of us so we shared a cab, 15.00 each way but all drinks were free, meals, pool, all non-motorized water equipment, etc. LOVED IT. They also said they would refund the money if the ship did not port or severe weather.
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