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Old February 12th, 2007, 04:47 PM
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Default Non-cruise excursions - setup to miss ship?

I was talking to a couple that sailed Carnival last year and they told the story how they missed their ship leaving port while out snorkeling because the non-cruise excursion they were on stayed an hour longer than it was schedule to. When the couple asked the guide, they were told to quit worrying about it and that they would never make it back in time anyway. The theory is that it brings money into the port because they have to help you catch your boat when you miss it. Is this true? Has this happened to anyone?

We are going to the Grand Cayman's and would like to book with Soto's Cruises for the 9:30 - 11:30 snorkeling. Our ship leaves port at 2:00 and I am assuming the last run back to the ship will be at 1:30. Is it reasonable to think we would be able to make it back the 4 miles to our boat in time if we caught a cab? Thanks, Carla
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Old February 12th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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When we cruise we do some of the cruise excursions especially if the destination is new to us. Normally if we've been there before we do our research at home and book off on a private excursion. I personally believe that this person was just being malicious. I have never had any reason to believe that this would ever be the case. This may well have been an isolated event with one bad tour operator it'd be unfair to say that it is a set up. These private operators rely on their customer's to spread the word, good ones do an honest business and they get you back well before the last call for your ship. My advice would be to always leave yourself a couple of hours of extra time. There are lots of operators who are wonderful, unfortunately this couple didn't find one. The 9:30 to 11:30 excursion should be great and you'll have lots of time to get back to the ship.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 11:15 PM
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Default Independent Cruise Excursions

Independent cruise excursion suppliers completely rely in dependability, a good reputation, and the knowledge that they will get guests back to their ship/tenders on time. They must stake their businesses on this, and simply do not fool around. Naturally, since cruiselines do lose a great deal of business to them, there is a lot of discouragement offered on board, and a even greater deal of "thrashing" against the shore independent suppliers. Go with them - they're smaller, provide unique, personalized tours, are far more fun than being with large groups, and offer some pretty different tours in most if not all, ports. And they have very good vehicles - check them out and that will build up your confidence. Go especially for the native, in-country suppliers, as against the larger guys who seem to have operations in several countries, some with local representation. The net should tell all - and ask questions - ask, ask, ask.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 04:00 PM
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I sincerely doubt this to be true. 2 years ago we did Capt. Marvin's trip to Stingray City and it went well. Of course I got the recommendation off of this board by lots of posters. Also, our ship didn't sail until 5 pm either. If you are really nervous then do the ship's excursion.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 06:15 PM
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The trouble with some independent tour ops is that they sometimes hire kids who are a bit less responsible. I would say that if you are younger, than you can handle some of the unknowns. Older passengers should opt for the cruise line tours to take any uncertainty out of the equation.
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