Since RCCL suggests pre-purchasing shore excursions, I'm wondering what your opinions are. I like the idea, however I'm concerned about the weather this time of year and possible re-routing (EOS on 9/29). I understand full refunds are given in the event of cancellation, but I'm betting that money is not credited and available to use while still on the cruise. Has anyone pre-purchased and had the tour cancel? Did you have that money available to put toward another tour or toward your cruise-card bill?
We too had an excersion book on Explorer and due to high winds it was cancelled, and with in minutes we had a credit and we were able to do another tour, no problem. You can check your account all the time on the TV in your cabin, so you know exactly where you are at with your spending. Also the tickets for the excersions were in our cabon when we arrived the first day.
Booked an excursion through RCL's website and ended up having the scuba trip cancelled. They just called the cabin saying the air compressor was broken so no dive but credit was applied to my sign and sail account - no problems at all. I would book again (and prepay) online - sure saves time when some of the excursions could sell out if you don't get on it right when you board!
Just a quick note to pass on my experience with pre-paid online booking...
Online booking is the only way to go! Everything is setup in advance so you can spend more time enjoying the cruise instead of reading through paperwork and eliminating last min. decisions.
The down side of it, if you do not have internet access and wait til you board the ship, it is possible that all of the real good excursions could be full before you have a chance to make a request. Some excursions... for example, horseback riding, helicopter or airplane tours have a limited number of spaces available and fill up very quickly.
I have used the online booking twice this year... once on the Radiance of the Seas in May. I booked my excursions 3 months prior to that cruise.
The other is the upcomming cruise on September 15th... we booked our excursions in March... at that time, no restrictions were in place and all reservations were accepted.
If you get a message that says 'Not Available', it can mean anything from 'The computer is down', 'Not accepting reservations for that tour at this time' or ALL excursions are filled... no more available'.
The only way you can verify it is by calling Royal Caribbean and asking them if it is a computer glitch or whatever. More than likely, the excursion you are looking for may be fully booked... for your sake, I hope this isn't true.
This is only a guess on my part but, I will bet that RCCL holds a group of reservations for those who do not have internet. This way it will give those who can't reserve in advance will have a fighting chance at getting something when they come on board. I hope this is how it is done!! Then there is aways going to be last min. cancelations too!
Weather has not effected any of my excursions, yet(knock on wood).