Originally Posted by Shaylacruise
My husband and I are new to this board, we are cruising on the Celebrity Summit - 9/8/08 for our honeymoon and can't wait. This will be our first time on Celebrity and our first time to the Mediterranean. We are definitely interested in taking private tours. If anyone is taking this cruise and is interested in joining up for private tours please let us know!
I'm not putting down private tours if that's your preference, but be sure to confirm that the tour operator has arrangements (reserved group times, etc.) so you won't have to wait in queues for general admission at the attractions that you wish to visit. Many of the major attractions have queues that grow to two or three hour waits for general admission during the peak tourist season, which is when you will be there. If you have to wait in them, you'll lose half your time at the destination. Tour groups with reserved times bypass these queues and go right into the attractions when they arrive.
As a fall-back, the ship's shore excursions are very good deals for your first visit to a European city. The principal excursions visit all of the main attractions, with reserved group times so you won't have to wait in the queues, and the price of the excursion includes all admissions. Most of the excursions also include lunch and some independent time to shop for souvenirs, to do additional exploring on your own, or to sit in a cafe and take in the local scene, as you wish.
If you want to spend a day on your own in a destination that is some distance from the port of call, look for a "shore excursion" with a name like "<destination> on Your Own" or something similar. These shore excursions provide round trip transportation between the pier and the destination. Upon arrival at the destination, the "guide" gives a very brief orientation and instructions as to where and when to meet to return to the pier, then sets you free. Since these packages are officially sanctioned shore excursions, you won't have to worry missing the ship due to traffic, adverse weather, or other unforeseeable circumstances that might delay your return. Their transportation also is totally seamless, so they maximize your free time at the respective destinations.
Have a great cruise!