Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Deals. Cruise Questions and Answers! > First-Time Cruisers
Register Forgot Password?

First-Time Cruisers Novices ask here & No question is too silly!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2013, 02:11 PM
Junior Member
Welcome Newcomer
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8
Default Shore excursions

We are going on our first cruise to New England and Canada in September. When we get to the ports of call, do you recommend not booking an excursion through the boat but try and get a deal when we leave the boat? We would like to try and save a little money, the excursions listed through the cruiseline (NCL) seems a tad bit high but I was not sure if we should take a chance with playing it by ear?
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2013, 02:49 PM
storybookcruises.com's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ashburn, VA
Posts: 1,509
Default

There are two schools of thought concerning shore excursions; book through the cruise line or book independently.

If you book through the cruise line, people will say it's more secure and they guarantee you won't miss the ship. However, these excursions are usually more expensive, more regimented, less enjoyable, and always more crowded.

If you book independently, people will say it's less secure and there's no guarantees you won't miss the ship if something happens. But there are different ways to book independently; one is to simply do you own thing - rent a car, hire a taxi, take public transportation, etc. Or you can book it with an independent company, such as Shore Trips (there are many others - I'm just using them as an example). Good thing about booking with a large company like this is that they guarantee you won't miss the ship and if, on the off-chance you do, they'll pay to get you to the next port of call. However, as Julie Karp, President of Shore Trips, likes to point out, in the tens of thousands of shore excursions they've booked for people, no one has ever missed the ship. Excursions like this are sometimes the same price and sometimes cheaper, but they are not as regimented, more enjoyable, and always less crowded. We've been doing them for years and in 45 cruises have never had any problems.

Now, with that said, during your Canada/New England cruise is different than going to 'foreign' countries. The ports are wonderful and there are some great options for you. For example, if you're going to Bar Harbor, which is one of our favorite ports up there, you can do the Hop On Hop Off bus and see what you want to see. It'll definitely save you money over any excursions offered by the cruise line. You can do the same thing in Boston and it's a great way to see the city. Halifax is awesome and easy to get around - definitely suggest going to see the Citadel.

We loved our Canada/New England cruise and hopefully we'll get the chance to do it again sometime. Wonderful ports, awesome seafood, great sightseeing, and terrific people!

Pete
__________________
Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2013, 03:31 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: So. California
Posts: 1,402
Default

stepbill welcome. Always check carefully when you book independently. There are drawbacks to this. As stated the big one is being left behind by missing the ship. We know for sure that the cruiseline will not put you in that position. We have done both and have enjoyed both.
__________________
Quantum of the Seas 12/2014
Oasis OTS 6/2015
Serenade OTS 12/2015
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2013, 04:48 PM
storybookcruises.com's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ashburn, VA
Posts: 1,509
Default

I've had this conversation with several captains and they have all told me the same thing; they never want to leave anyone behind, but it's all about communication. If the people who are going to be late are not in communication with the ship, then the captain has no alternative but to leave them.

The number one reason anyone is left behind is NOT because they were on an independent excursion. It's because they either did not make sure their watch was set to ship time and check it regularly, or they were in a bar, got a little drunk, and forgot what time it was or what time the ship left.

This is why I always highly suggest people take the daily newsletter with them when going into port. It has the local port authority contact information on it and should something happen, you're able to get in touch with the ship.

Any reputable independent company is well aware of this and will be able to get in touch with the ship, but it's always advisable to take a cell phone just in case. You could just be walking down the street, trip, break an ankle, and have to go to the hospital - this would cause you to be late and it had nothing to do with an excursion. As long as you take the normal precautions, you'll be fine. We've done independent excursions all over the world, including China, and have never had any problems.

So don't let people scare you into thinking that taking shore excursions through the cruise line is the only safe way to go - it's just not true and there is absolutely no proof to the matter and no statistics to back up the claims. Besides, there are been many reports where thieves have specifically targeted cruise line excursions because they know all about them; when, where, how many, and who.

Of course, the cruise lines encourage this fear because it's better for them. They make alot of money on excursions. As an example, we wanted to book the motorcycle tour around Aruba. Cruise line wanted $355 per couple; the local Harley dealer only charged $155 per couple. There were 6 couples on the tour; 4 of us booked with the dealer and two couples booked through the cruise line. We were all on the same tour together! Guess who had more fun; those who paid $155 or those who paid $355? We booked the helicopter/dog sled tour in Juneau; paid $125 less per person than the cruise line charged! I could give you hundreds of examples, but you get the point.

Pete
__________________
Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2013, 08:30 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 18,199
Default

My wife and I are doing a fall cruise to New England and Canada .We normally book excursions from the cruise line ,however ,as we have been to Canada 17 times and to virtually every major city over a period of 45 years we are thinking of doing an independent tour.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2013, 10:17 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: So. California
Posts: 1,402
Default

I have read of several Instances where people have been left behind because of being on independent tours. I believe that it is true that no captain "wants" to leave anyone behind but there are times when no option is available. People are advised of what could happen if not back on time. Take all of the precautions that were mentioned but it is your responsibility to make sure you are back before departure. Do your independent tours, enjoy them just be aware. If by chance an unfortunate accident does happen that is where your trip insurance comes into play.
__________________
Quantum of the Seas 12/2014
Oasis OTS 6/2015
Serenade OTS 12/2015
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How easy to get shore excursions...on shore? Wade Palmer Shore Excursions 4 April 13th, 2005 10:23 AM
Shore Excursions MichaelJ Carnival Cruise Lines 1 December 26th, 2004 06:39 PM
Shore Excursions vee Caribbean & Panama Canal 4 February 22nd, 2004 09:45 AM
Shore Excursions Joey Caribbean & Panama Canal 0 January 28th, 2004 08:41 PM
ship excursions vs shore excursions rsawick Ask CruiseMates Staff 4 February 23rd, 2001 12:49 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 02:31 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