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Old June 6th, 2007, 06:03 PM
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Default Cheapest Excursion Prices?

I've heard there are other places to book your trips & excursions that can save you money. I wondered if anyone knows any good websites to pre-book your island excursions, in order to get good deals? Thanks!
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Old June 6th, 2007, 06:26 PM
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There are thousands of web sites like that. Need ports you will be visiting, and also how active will your group be.?
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Old June 6th, 2007, 09:26 PM
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The cheapest way to do an excursion is to research what you want to do and see and get off the ship and negotiate with the "authorized" cabbies that are right in front of the port. I stress authorized.

I paid $20 on Tortola for a 2 hour tour and a drop off at the beach.

I paid $25 in Antigua for a tour and beach drop off. I didn't care for the tour but the beach was wonderful.

In St. Thomas, I paid $20 roundtrip plus admission fee for Meagan's Bay.

I think Carnival charged in the $50-$75 ball park (maybe more) for these simple excursions.

There are also companies you can make arrangements with via the internet. Their prices are right in the middle between what Carnival charges and what the local van drivers will charge.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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Default Thanks Luanne & I.B.!

You're both right. I'll check with the "authorized" taxi drivers in various ports as well as see if I can do a Google search on the excursions that are listed in Carnival's online directory of choices. I'm so thrilled that Carnival is including 2 new ports this year-St.Lucia & Antigua; I've never been to either. And next year they are including Domincan Republic so I'll more than likely be booking AGAIN!

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Old June 11th, 2007, 10:42 AM
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I have a question concerning the excursions, how comfortable are you with going with a non-Carnival booking? Since this is our first trip I do not want to have any worries or problems. I am, by nature, a worrier, and was going to use Carnival so I would not have to worry if the port was cancelled or if we were late getting back. But seeing the huge price differences I am now thinking of going with a company like soto or something else. Any suggestions or feedback?
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Old June 11th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Default This site is good

I have been using this site for the Western Caribbean. You can select other ports at the top of the page.

http://www.grandcaymancruiseexcursio...Excursions.htm
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Old June 11th, 2007, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cejay
I have a question concerning the excursions, how comfortable are you with going with a non-Carnival booking? Since this is our first trip I do not want to have any worries or problems. I am, by nature, a worrier, and was going to use Carnival so I would not have to worry if the port was cancelled or if we were late getting back. But seeing the huge price differences I am now thinking of going with a company like soto or something else. Any suggestions or feedback?
It is up to you. Depending upon how many people are in your group, the savings may be substantial at each port. However, if worrying is going to compromise your ability to enjoy your excursion, the saved $$ may not be worth it.

For my last cruise, I did not book any ship excursions. I find the ship's excursions to be not only very over-priced, over-populated with little or no flexibility. However, and this is a big however, my desires are simple. At this point, to be honest, all of these islands are starting to look alike and I am a repeat visitor for many of them. I don't snorkel, scuba or swim with dolphins and would not get on a zipline if you paid me. I am only really looking to enjoy the beach. If a short tour comes with it fine. If not, that is o.k. too. Since I am only interested in going to the beach via the scenic route, anyone can do that for $20 or so. I do not need to pay the ship $50-$75 to take me to the same beach along the same route.

One last thing, here is an example of the difference between ship excursion and self excursion:

On the Destiny, for the island of Aruba, I booked a catamaran to take me to the beach for the day. I think it was to come back and get us, I don't remember. I think I paid something like $69 for this luxury. Nice little 30-45 minute ride in the boat with about 30-50 other people. They served rum punch onboard. O.K. I enjoyed the beach, ate at the restaurant on the beach (I paid for this). When the catamaran came back, I was not ready to leave the beach. I was told that I could just catch the public bus one block away to get back to the ship or take a cab. When I was ready to head back to the ship, I opted to take the public bus so that I could see a little of the island along the way. I walked approxiamtely 1 block through a hotel's parking lot that separated the beach from the street, stood on the corner for about 10 minutes before the bus arrived (it ran every 30 minutes) and hopped aboard requesting that the driver let me know when we arrived near the port. This bus took me almost right up to the ship.

Cost to get to the beach via Carnival === $69.00
Cost to get back to the ship via public bus = $1.25

For you though, I would say, the more elaborate your desires, the more a ship's excursions would be recommended. If there are any physical risks involved, definitely use the ship's excursions.

As far as getting back to the ship on time, I usually will plan to be back near the ship at least 2 hours before the time stated to return. Once I am back near the ship, I use the excess time to do a little souvenir shopping at the vendors that are set up at every port I have ever visited. This way, in case of a Snafu, I still have plenty of time to get back to the ship.

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Old June 16th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Great tips, I am taking notes, lol.... I am searching for what I want to do in my two ports as well, and I think by all that I have read I will be comforable enough to go out on my own. I just now have to worry about what to do, there is so much I want to do and I know I cant do it all in one trip, by the way I am going to Cozumel and Costa Maya.

Any tips would be great. I would like to do snorkel in Cozumel I heard it is better there and tour the Ruins in Costa Maya. The of course lunch, shopping, beach at both places. And I would even like a tour of the place to learn about where I am.

Danielle
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