Just called Carnival to ask if there was a way to book a shore excursion before we actually boarded the ship in November. They said no.
That seems curious since you can book nearly every other aspect of a trip online. For instance we booked our cruise, air, and hotel, and found all sorts of tours in New Orleans.
Is it the same deal on all cruises? The last time we went on a cruise was before the web...but I remember the same restriction on Holland America.
Related questions: how do ship tours compare to private tours? Is the major advantage that the cruise line takes responsibility for getting you back in time? We're going on the Inspiration to Cancun. I thought I read somewhere that you could only get off at Playa Del Carmen if you booked a tour through the cruise line, otherwise you disembarked in Cancun and wasted a lot of time taking the ferry to the mainland.
My wife and I are sailing on the Norwegian Dream in mid October (Eastern Mediterranean). We were able to pre-book shore excursions two weeks ago. I obtained details on shore excursions and a sign-up sheet from my TA (who had NCL fax it to her). Since this is my first cruise experience I don't know what happens with other lines or ships.
We're on Celebrity's Century next month, and were able to book our excursions on-line on the Celebrity web-site. It's great knowing that we don't have to rush to make sure we can get on the excursions we believe will be most popular! All I needed was our booking #.
You can also pre-book online 60 days before cruise on Princess excersions. On Princess you can also fill in all the boarding information and get an express boarding if its done on-line, great idea.. Think in the furure Carnival will too get in the game and offer these features, lets hope.
Thanks. I didn't see the Tulum tour listed there, although there were some others that looked great. I think I read that the ships that briefly stop at Playa to tender passengers only let off the ones who have booked a ship tour. All others would have to start their tours in Cozumel, right?