Hello.. I would love to book a third-party excursion for 9AM-4PM in St Lucia but the ship is scheduled to depart at 5PM and I'm not sure if this would be cutting it too close or not. What are your experienced thoughts?
I was going to say the opposite If your private excursion ends at the port I would think you will be fine. Back on board is usually 30 minutes before departure time. Check with your provider about the time and any guarantees they might provide.
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Thanks for the advice, I checked the company's FAQ and they claim to have never been late and caused a missed boat.. and also say they'll pay lodging and transport the the ship's next port if it were to happen. This is coming from Shoreexcursionsgroup.com
I think even with their claims of never being late and providing accommodations I would still not take the chance. The last thing you want to see is the ship leaving without you on board. I would look into an excursion that arrives back a little earlier than one hour before ships departure. Better safe than sorry.
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We do business with Shore Trips and they have also booked tens of thousands of excursions for clients over many years and have NEVER had anyone miss the ship. Should that ever happen, they have insurance to take care of the client and getting them to the next port of call. But these companies never have any problems - it's those out doing their own thing that miss ships, not organized shore excursion companies.
As for the time, you should be fine. All of the major independent shore excursion companies know what time the ship leaves and what time you have to be back. Cruise lines like to have everyone on the ship 30 minutes prior to departure. So these companies will have you back in plenty of time and there's no need to worry.
So, I would have absolutely no problem with booking an excursion like the one you've chosen.
Besides, St. Lucia is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean and really demands exploration. And the good thing about the independent companies is that they are usually cheaper, usually much nicer, and almost always alot less crowded.
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