It depends on when the shore excursions open up. Usually about 90 days or so before the sail date.
SS Norway (12 times) '85 - '97; Radiance OS 06/01; Island Princess 11/04, Grand Princess 11/04/05, Golden Princess 7/21/06, Golden Princess 2/24/07, Explorer of the Seas 12/23/07, Island Princess 11/15/08
If it's something I really want to do, I book it as soon as it's available. If I haven't made up my mind about what I want to do at that port, I may wait until I'm onboard and then talk to the excursions desk about my choices.
I would have to agree, it all depends on the shore excursion, if its something I really "have" to do, I'll book it right away. I have booked some after I've boarded, but usually, I'm all booked before I get onboard.
I book my excurions a couple of months prior to my cruise. I have tried booking my excursions when I am on the ship, but that took time as you have to wait in line and if the tour is popular, you could be out of luck by the time you decide what tours you want to do. I must confess I have not booked thru the t.v. in my room! So, I get my t.a. to print out all the tours and then we make our decision and book on Royal Carribean's website.
Big Red Boat
Carnival Jubilee 2004
Carnival Valour 2005
RCCL Empress of the Seas 2006
RCCL Brilliance of the Seas 2007
RCCL Grandeur of the Seas 2007
RCCL Jewel of the Seas 2008
RCCL Explorer of the Seas 2008
We usually book the excursions a little more than a month before we sail. That's usually about the time our final payment is due. We've already checked them out before that and then we narrow down our decisions. Since some of them can be popular, we figure that we might as well book early to make sure we get the times we want. Given the long lines at the Excursion Desk onboard, why have to deal with it if they provide you with options to not have to worry about lines?