Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Destinations > European & Mediterranean Destinations
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2011, 01:03 AM
Junior Member
Welcome Newcomer
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 9
Send a message via AIM to dmacdots
Default excursions not purchased from cruise line

From past experience, we have always purchased our port tours while on the ship. I know that there are private vendors on the dock that offer the same or similar tours at a reduced price.
Are these safe? What has been your experience? All comments are appreciated.
Thank you!:-D
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2011, 08:14 AM
kandajones's Avatar
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Southampton, England, UK
Posts: 995
Default

I would have to say that the taxi tours INSIDE the dock gate are a safe bet as they tend to have been vetted as being suitable to be in the area of the ship, and the other drivers around them know that their reputation is important, so will chase off any rogues.

Taxis outside are still going to be less controlled, but should still be very safe options especially if you are travelling in a group.

The biggest risk with any DIY touring is to have a fall back plan in case you do not get back to the ship before it sails, as obviously they will wait for organised tours, but are less inclined to do so if missing just a handful of passengers.

Hope that helps,

Alan
__________________
Next Cruise: P&O Adonia June 2014
Last Cruise: P&O Oriana Nov 2013

History :
Golden, Grand(2), Caribbean, Sea(4+1 aborted)
Adonia(4+1), Arcadia, Artemis(2), Aurora(5), Azura, Oceana(3), Oriana(11), Ventura(2), Victoria(5)
QM2(2), QE2(9), QV(5), QE, Caronia(2), Minerva II, Fred.Olsen(8), NCL Jade, =X= Eclipse, HAL Ryndam
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2011, 10:42 AM
MercedMike's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,236
Unhappy Vendors at dock

We almost NEVER just walk off the ship and get a tour from a local vendor. The very few times we have tried it have worked out about 50/50 between great/scary.

What we do very often is to book in advance with a local tour company. This has worked extremely well for us and we thoroughly recommend it.

Usually, we consider the ship's excursions first. If they are doing what we want, and in the way we want it, then they can be very good. But if there is something special we want to see, somewhere we want to spend extra time, or someplace that my slight mobility limitations might be a concern, then we will search the boards and the travel sites for a well recommended local company.

Any time that you go with an independent excursion you have to consider matters of security. It is up to you to get back to the ship on time. The ship can, and will, leave without you! Normally a reputable local operator will be very aware of this and make it their first concern to get you back on time!

You can see how it works for us by examples at Mike and Renée's Greek Isles Cruise 2007 or "Black Sea Cruise 2009" where we mixed ship's excursions and local operators with very good results.

Have a GREAT cruise!
__________________
Mike

Check out our reviews and pics of our 41 cruises at
http://www.bully4.us/cruising.html
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2011, 11:01 AM
Mike M's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: You're Looking At Me
Posts: 23,580
Default

I would suggest pre-booking a tours before you go on your cruise. There are many tour operators, group and private, who operate great tours and you can customize them to what you want to see and also use their expertise to take you to places that cruise line tours don't see. They are usually less expensive. In the Caribbean taxi tours are a great way to see the islands.

Overall we have had great luck with taxi tours. One that I remember was in Barbados. We had a wonderful day with a taxi driver who took us to all the beautiful sites, caves and took us to a great restaurant and knew as much about the local history as just about any tour guide. The best thing you can do when hiring a taxi tour is talk to the driver before getting in the cab: Make sure you know the TOTAL cost, if the driver can take you to places you must see, how well they speak English and the feeling you get from the driver. If none of these meet your expectations then walk. We also had a great taxi tour in Limon, Costa Rica. I have read many reviews of people who say that Limon was a pit. This is because they didn't get out of the port area. I thought Limon was one of the most beautiful and interesting places we had been. I came away with this because of taxi tour we did and what the driver was able to do.

We almost always use private tours. I have a medical condition that may cause me to have to return to the ship and this would not be possible on a ship's tour. I also love the ability to stay somewhere longer and move at our own pace rather than having to either wait for others or be herded like cattle into and out of the bus. You can get recommendations of tours from message boards and from others who have been on the itinerary you will be doing.

Have a wonderful time:

Take care,
Mike
__________________
Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator

"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me

"Fear is the assassin of dreams." ~Me
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2011, 11:08 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 18,199
Default

We always book with the cruise line .I rather over pay and feel secure .
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
cruise, excursions, purchasing

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cruise line excursions vs. booking on your own pez_girl Carnival Cruise Lines 15 June 16th, 2010 08:52 PM
Excursions - Cruise Line vs Private Operators ediemarie All Things Cruising 1 September 21st, 2007 01:51 PM
AVOIDING CRUISE LINE SHORE EXCURSIONS IN EUROP JEFF HARRIS Ask CruiseMates Staff 7 June 7th, 2002 07:49 AM
Error on Shore Excursion Purchased On-Line Jenny Shore Excursions 0 August 27th, 2001 06:36 PM
Excursions - with cruise line? Jillian First-Time Cruisers 3 August 12th, 2001 07:53 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:32 PM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1