For our first excursion we went with the cruise line because I felt more comfortable with the cruise line than a random company. However, now I almost always check out other companies or research it myself and just take a cab or bus. I found out that we can do a lot of the things so much cheaper than what the cruise line charges, and often they use the same company.
Being our first cruise we booked thru the cruise line Never thought about booking some where else . not really to sure how to do that.It just seemed easy to go to the cruise lines web site and look around. 35 days until first cruise 14 days to hawaii on the sapphire prince with a balcony. We are so excited
It wasn't all that long ago that the cruise lines did not accept advance bookings for shore excursions. You had to book once onboard. Then several private companies went into the business of selling excursions in advance, as well as many operators who just offered tours at the pier.
The cruise lines realized how much revenue they were giving up, and began offering online excursion bookings.
No doubt that made their excursion revenue skyrocket, as they convinced people that popular excursions sold out early, you would never get back to the ship on time unless you booked with them etc. etc.
well, seeing that on my first cruise, i was young, single, traveling with my best friend and the internet hadn't been invented yet, Yikes, i am dating myself, we went with the ships excursions, but the more i cruise the more comfortable we get with the islands we book private excursions or go off on our own, depending upon where we are. The one exception to that rule is if we are going off diving or snorkeling a trip that requires water transportation we will book thru the cruise for the peace of mind
Being first time cruises we went ahead and just booked an excursion thru the cruise line seemed eaiser. All tho I ventured off to another web site the other day and found one that was cheaper then the cruise line.And they also guarented that if you missed the ship that they put you up in a hotel and fly you to the next port of call on their dime! So I guess it pays to look around. You know I think its part of the fun doing something new like cruising(for us being first time cruisers) is figuring everything out and learning new stuff.
Hi DH, You are so right, being a first time cruiser and researching all aspects of the cruise, excursions, cost of things, etc., makes for a good carefree cruise. You can really learn a lot before you go for the first time, by the second one, you'll be experts! I think you are being smart booking with the cruiseline the first time. As you visit ports, you will get a better feel of what you want to do and if you feel comfortable just doing it on your own. If there is plenty of time, its usually no problem..