What was the most unbearable shore excursion you have ever taken off of a ship?
There must be some funny stories here...
Mine was the Train ride/mining camp tour in Skagway, Alaska. That has to be the slowest train since McCoy invented the automatic oiler used to lubricate trains. (Thus they no longer had to stop the trains every few miles to oil all the moving parts)
The mining camp made Knotts Berry Farm look real.
Ugh!, save your money on this one unless you have little kids.
The worst tour we took was not because of what we saw it was because of the guide. It was to Totem Bite in Ketchikan Alaska. The guide had recently lost his job in the logging industry due to new regulations on where they could log. The whole tour every chance he could he brought up how bad the government was and how he got the shaft and had to take a lousy guide job. He would be informative while at the Totem Bite but the rest of the time all he did was complain over the speakers on the bus.
We normally try and stay away from organized tours. Here's a couple of examples of why<G>
- A couple of years back we were in Europe on a press trip on the Seabourn Sun. We had a marvelous time golfing our way through Europe (it was mostly golf writers and me). The day we were in Villenfranche.. the morning was to be a tour of the area, with golf in the afternoon. The afternoon of golf was fantastic... the tour in the morning was laugh filled because our driver/guide spoke NO English!
As we drove by interesting sites he would point, and say nothing!
Eventually we all took turns putting inventive dialogue to each "Point". We were ROFL, but never did really know what we were seeing.
- On another trip we were pre-cruising in Venice for a few days. We had to transfer to Genoa to meet the Millennium. Our group boarded a bus for the transfer to Genoa, and once again found we had a language barrier. Didn't think anything of it, because all we needed was a ride to the ship.
The problem arose as we found ourselves driving around and around in Genoa. The driver had no idea where the pier was. We could see the ship in the distance on a number of occassions, and would tap on his shoulder and point to it, but it didn't help much.
When we finally got to the pier, he drove by the entrance 3 times.
We could understand the driver not speaking English, but couldn't figure out why he couldn't speak Italian... or surely he would have asked someone for directions <G>
Ours was in Freeport 11 years ago before there was anything there. We got in a "cab" that had an extra row of seats put in facing backward behind the front seats and facing the back seats. The side mirrors were hanging down by wires - barely and the whole thing creaked and the driver decided to give us a "tour" we didn't want up and down hills as fast as he could go! Then I look up and see the Bahamaian Inspection Sticker on the car - what a joke! Debbie
Our very first cruise, we signed up for a cruise excursion on Grand Caymon that was a bus tour that stopped at the Tortuga Bay Rum factory (fun, but not much to see!), a Plantation (the most interesting stop on the whole tour), and a Pirate cave. We got on a HOT bus, traveled miles from one stop to the next, and our last stop was the Pirate cave -- the bus driver said anyone that wants to get off here can, but it's not very interesting. Well, we'd about had all we cared for with this tour, so we stayed on the bus, while a few others got off. They got back on laughing, apparently they had cardboard cut-outs of pirates down in a cave, with a gift shop out front! Couldn't believe it! Still we have the memories ...
Like Kuki, we almost never take ships' trips. The few we have done were fine, no complaints from us. Except for the nasty buffet lunches. Yeech.
HOWEVER, when we were leaving port for the Alhambra and the Generalife my sister-out-law and I looked askance at an elderly couple, both of whom were using canes and were not too spry boarding the bus. They both required assistance. I had told Missy to wear WAY comfortable shoes, because there would be a lot of walking. Hmmm.
We rode on the bus which was fine. We got there. THEN the ShoreX lady told the elderly couple that they were not sufficiently fit to do the walking involved. She could not have noticed as they were coming to the bus and getting on?
The oldies were heartbroken. The lady cried openly. The gentleman had tears in his eyes.
Trip of a lifetime, destination of a lifetime ... not to happen. I sort of hung around, seeing what the disposition would be. They were told they could stay in the bus or go to one of the restaurants nearby to wait until the tour was done and we would go on to Granada.
Me being me, I asked the ShoreX woman if they could not take a cab back to the ship?
No, the ship had already departed port and was on its way to the port where those of us on the ShoreX would be picked up. They were going to have to wait SOMEWHERE.
Missy and I were ready to WHEEL the older people around if wheelchairs could be found. No. The ShoreX people would be liable if something bad happened.
This ShoreX was, if I remember correctly, almost $200 p/p. Including the icky buffet lunch.
Though it didn't happen to me, it was the worst thing I've ever experienced.
p.s. to Debbie (Happy Camper): We've been in that cab !!!
Pamda - you too? I'm sorry about the older couple - that breaks my heart to hear it! I think I cursed out Continental AIrlines on our way home from the Hawaii trip. We boarded the transport bus from Vancover to Seattle and when we got to Seattle airport to go home there was no one to check us in and no porters. We lugged 11 nights worth of luggage all the way into the airport - they could have parked closer, and up stairs and elevators and escalators and down a long treminal to the check in desk. Many could not do this as most were 70-90 years old. They finally got someone downstairs to check us all in - of course too late for me but I hope it helped someone. Debbie
Our WORST wasn't the tour itself, to Magen's Bay--It was the ride..... My husband and myself boarded the open-air van. Then this 90 yr old man jumped in he was OUR DRIVER!!!!!!!! We figured oh great this guy won't go over 5 mph..........BOY were we WRONG!!!!!!! This guy drove FASSSSSSSSST- with a stickshift no less.. The road was narrow and hilly. My husband sat at the end seat and got beat up by the trees (LITERALLY) .This old guy was in a hurry. He scared majority of the riders to death. We made it to Magen's Bay and the driver informed us to remember his van # as he would be taking us back to the ship.......My husband seriously said to me H**L if I'm getting back in that thing. He seriously wanted us to WALK back to the ship. I am cracking up thinking about it now, but at the time it wasn't funny.....I talked hubby outta walking back to the ship. We agreed it was to far and had no idea how to get there as our eyes were closed 90% off the ride to Magen's. Our solution we had a few drinks and when it was time to get back in the van we were tipsy and sitting in the middle seats. I will remember this till the day I die.
Location: Greater Tampa Bay area (south of the BIG BRIDGE!)
Re: Poll... Worst Shore Excursion
L8.....we had a ride like that in Barcelona. We hailed a cab in front of Parc Guell, to go back down by La Ramblas ...... we careened at top speed down the narrow streets just knowing we were going to become wedged between the parked cars on either side. At one point, while still at top speed, the driver must have notice he was approaching a 'tight spot' ..... he never let up, just reached out and folded in his side mirror and on we continued. I vowed NEVER to get into another taxi in Barcelona.....but we had to get to the airport somehow.