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Shore Excursions Snorkeling, SCUBA, sightseeing - discuss ports and activities

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2003, 07:08 AM
Charene Mendez
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Default Help! I want cheaper excursions than the ship offers

My hubby and i are cruising the nordic empress in March and we want to snorkel Shark ray alley,see the barrier reef and go to the wildlife sanctuary and see the Jaguars and rainforests etc. The cruise lines excursions are the whole day and we are only there one day in Belize. We want to do it solo and cheaply where we aren't locked into one tour at their price for the whole day. Any suggestions?
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Old March 25th, 2003, 05:24 PM
diane m
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Default Re: Help! I want cheaper excursions than the ship offers

I came across this advice in regards to Dec 2000 HAL S.Carib sailing. It probably has application to most sailings I would expect. The only negative I would offer to doing a shore excursion this way is the need to keep an eye on the clock and build in a bit of time cushion so not to miss your ship leaving port. -- D

"As on all cruises the shore trips are contracts and that the mark-up is over 100%. As an example I took my wife and 2 friends on a tour of the town and beach stop for 1/2 day via cab total cost for the 4 of us was $65.00. The same trip by tour was $45.00 per person = $180 . It's simple to find lots of tours from the local cabs and operators that didn't get the contract with the ship and will sell you a tour for what the ship line paid ! You can also take a copy of the ships tour options and ask local cabs how much they will charge to do the same.. you will most always be very surprised and pleased. If you plan a full day and want to really get a bang for your buck ask for a box lunch from the ship.. they are great and fit in a fanny pack. In this way you can save your a lot of expense and spend where you want more freely. "
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Old April 7th, 2003, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Re: Help! I want cheaper excursions than the ship offers

Use the internet - found lots of stingray city tours in grand cayman that offered different options and were less than Carnival charged. One, however, Dolphin Cove, in Ocho Rios, sells all bookings to the ships, so you must book through the cruise line.

I saw what the cruise lines offered, then did general searches on the net and found great options. Also, some of these message boards recommend people who run tours in different places (tours of the island, shopping, etc), and they are probably much cheaper. It really depends on where you're going.
Good luck!
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Old April 14th, 2003, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Help! I want cheaper excursions than the ship offers

I have heard that if the excursion is booked thru the ship, and you are running late, they won't leave you. The ship will wait for it's own excursions. Is this true?

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Old April 14th, 2003, 09:38 PM
JoyceC
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Default Re: Re: Help! I want cheaper excursions than the ship offers

You may want to check out a company called Portcompass.com. THey do tours similiar to the cruise lines for a lot less money and they are VERY reliable.. .Iused them throughout South America last month and highly recommed them. Check out their website to see if they offer tours in the places you are interested...or send them an email and ask...they keep adding more places.
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Help! I want cheaper excursions than the ship offers

Yes cruise sponsored tours are going to get you back to the ship on time or the ship waits. One of the best things about the tour. Also they have to meet certain safety requirements. That may not seem like a big deal but in many area safety is rather non-existant when you go on your own. As for the ships tours always being marked up over 100%, that just isn't true. More like 20-30%
Jim

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Old April 22nd, 2003, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Re: Help! I want cheaper excursions than the ship offers

Thank Mike and Jim ...... with certain elements in the world today who are so very anti American I think I will stick with the ship tours in Belize and Roatan in particular. Glad to hear they are safe. I think Cozumel and Grand Caymen will be ok with or without ships tours. Longing for the south wind. Denise

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Old April 26th, 2003, 10:42 PM
Veng
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Default Re: Re: Re: Help! I want cheaper excursions than the ship of

Joyce,
Are you advertising a personal website here? Just curious. The site isn't even showing up in the Internic WHOIS yet. It also hasn't been indexed by any major search engines. For the non-technophiles, It is a very new web site.

The only reason I bring this up is because I question the credibility of the site. My feeling is that there are plenty of the at the ports trying to swindle you. I just want to help others avoid one on the web.
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Old April 30th, 2003, 10:37 PM
JoyceC
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Help! I want cheaper excursions than the shi

We personally used Portcompass excursions for 6 tours in So American ports and were 100% satisfied with them and their service....they are a fairly new company and have grown based on people like us who has used them and referred them to others. We will continue to use them on future cruise tours. We have also talked to numerous other cruisers who have used Portcompass and also had no problems at all. I wouldn't be promoting a company that I felt was unsafe.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Help! I want cheaper excursions than the ship offers

I'm all for paying a bit extra to insure that a ship is waiting for me to return. On our cruise, we were delayed getting to our tour, and got back about a half hour after the ship was supposed to leave. It was there...and stayed there...until the last of the shore excursions got back (two hours). Had we tried this on our own, we would have had to fly from Grand Cayman to Tampa, one way, at the last minute. Talk about overpriced tours! And we would have missed our last glorious "at sea" day.
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