I noticed on my recent sailing their werent a lot of people on the docks at the waiting area for Carnival paid shore excursions. It made me wonder if they arent selling as well as the old days. Does anybody have any clues as to why this appears to be the case? We all know that cruise line trips cost more as they keep a hunk of the money but is there anything else to it? I like doing my own as we can change our minds at the last second and do whatever we want. Downside of course is you better be wearing your watch or you will be sleeping on the beach that night.
2008-Valor and Glory
2009-Spirit and Splendor
2010-Freedom of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas
2012-Allure of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas
I think for the most part new cruisers book with the ship.Experienced cruisers know the value of walking off the ship to the waiting vans or cabs..The savings is there, and you can also book online direct with many tour companies and compare pricing.
For some tours, that may need a bus ride of any distance, or, maybe a tour that involves more than one location, someone might feel more comfortable, going with the ships tour. I usually do tours, late am, early afternoon, so, I never worry about not getting back to the ship.
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
For me it depends on the port and activities, also the time in that port. In Central America Costa Rica, Panama I felt safer to take ship excurisons. In Belize I booked a private excusion but almost missed the boat because others on the excursion went off and were taking too much time, they were not on cruise ships.
If I'm in a tender port I think it's better to take ship excursions because you need to allow additional time to tender to and from the cruise ship. In Nassau Bahamas I had a day on my own that was far better and far cheaper then any excusion. In Key West I did a ships excursion but if I go back I will probally just go on my own.
I have found some excellent shore excursion companys in the ports, by researching on the internet on sites like this and emailing people who have used them. I"ve saved a lot of money, and done some things the ships don't offer.
Carnival Mardi Gras 1987 (Bahamas)
Carnival Legend 2005 (Exotic Western Caribbean)
Costa Mediterrenia 2005 (Eastern Caribbean)
Carnival Pride October 2006 (Mexican Rivera)
Carnival Legend 2007 (Western Caribbean)
Carnival Glory 2009 Western Caribbean
Carnival Liberty 2011 Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Spirit 2011 Western Caribbean
Carnival Miracle 2012 Southern Caribbean
Carnival Breeze 2013 Exotic Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Valor 2014 Southern Caribbean