I just noticed that the Carnival website now lists prices for it's shore excursions on the website. I haven't been to the website in awhile, but this is new!
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04
I was able to book our shore excursion to the Mayan ruins in Tulum through Carnival's website. The night before the excursion our tickets were slipped under our door. I think it's much more convenient to know what kind of excursions they offer and what price they're asking.
I'm sailing on Carnival's 4-night Western Caribbean on the Sensation out of New Orleans to Cozumel on July 7. We will be in Cozumel July 9 from 8 am until 5 pm. I want to book the 7 hr Mayan Ruins of Tulum shore excursion. It is not listed on the Carnival web site excursions for this cruise and I cannot get any information from Carnival as to why it is not available. I've contacted shoretrips.com and they say it is available and fits into our time in port .
Questions: 1. Does Carnival offer more shore trips after you have boarded than are listed on their web site for your cruise? 2. How risky is it to book a shore excursion on you own? 3. Appreciate any feedback from anyone that has taken this shore excursion .
1. Yes, but the majority of the excursions are on the website
2. Depends on the location, e.g. La Guaria and Jamaica - be ware; St. Thomas - very little concern. The main things to watch out for are time (you are responsible for getting back to the ship on time) an safety (you are responsible for you own safety). Having said that, I book nearly all of my excursions myself. However, I would not do this in La Guaria (Caracas). That is one scary place.
3. Use the forums (cruiselines/destinations) to research options and operators. Post specific requests on the desitinations forums and folks will help you out. The more information you can provide, the more help you will receive.
On the Tulum excursion, personally, I think 7 hours to visit Tulum is a bit much. If you've never seen ruins and you really like ruins, then it may be worth it. Otherwise, I would take another excurion and catch ruins at another locatior or cruise. The ruins at Cancun (Chichen Itz) and Progresso (Uxmal or Chichen Itza) are impressive, as are some of the ruins in Belize.
I didn't go to the same ports as you, I went to Belize and booked my own tour with Coral Breeze for Shark Ray alley. I researched the company before hand and had a great time.
I know many people on our ship just got in cabs and did their own tours, very brave in Panama and Costa Rica, but I will tell you they all had a great time, spent way less money then we did on the ships tours ,and spent as much or as little time as they wanted at each site. They spend maybe $30 for what I paid $150 to see. Next time I will try to find a group of people to take a cab with and a reputable cab company or do another private tour.
I can't figure out why the Tulum trip is 7 hours. The ferry back and forth from Cozumel is about 35 min. each way to Playa del Carmen. The bus from PDC to Tulum shouldn't take more than 45 min each way. There are not a lot of ruins at Tulum that you would spend almost 4 hours there, but maybe they have lunch and swimming planned? Don't know. It seems like a lot of traveling for that trip.
Rodney.........I'm sailing in June and not all shore excursions are listed yet either. Carnival told me that they must first get confirmation from the tour operators before they list them; that's why you must check back often. They also said that if they don't get confirmation before the sailing, the excursion would be available to book on board. I've been checking their website for a while..........at first, only a couple of golf excursions were available, then, little by little more have been added. The Tulum trip is not listed for our cruise yet either.
tribbs1.......my parents took this tour; it is mostly travel time and you don't have 4 hours at the ruins so there must be a little more travel time involved than your estimates. Anyway, I don't have the specifics with me, but remember it was spelled out very clearly in the shore excursion information my parents received. It was a LONG day for them; you've really got to be "into" this type of sightseeing for this trip to be worth it, in my opinion.