When you go on a cruise, shore excursions are some of the most exciting activities that you can participate in. Cruise ships move from port to port, and during the time when the ship is docked, cruise guests are free to go on their own adventure. There are sights and attractions in local destinations that require a more personal experience than just a view from your cabin in order to fully appreciate them.
This is exactly what cruise excursions are designed for, and why they have become one of the most important things to think of when you book a cruise. There are several ways for cruise guests to book a shore excursion with certain pros and cons. Here are some insights that might prove useful, should you choose to book excursions the next time you go on a cruise.
Booking excursions via the cruise line
Cruise lines offer excursions for their guests. There will be an excursion desk on every ship for last-minute bookings, you can also book online in advance. If you decided to book your excursions on the ship, there will be staffs on hand that have all the information and can answer any questions you might have.
Booking with cruise lines provides a measure of comfort and convenience, especially if you are new to traveling with cruises. Cruise lines offer quite some advantages when it comes to shore excursions at popular ports. Booking with cruise lines is pretty easy since you don’t have to worry about the details: you just choose the excursion you want from the offers provided by the cruise line, and everything else is taken care of. Another common worry of cruise guest is if they can make it back to the port in time for the ship’s departure. Cruise lines cover that too, and in the case of a delay, the ship might even wait for your return or arrange your transportation to the next stop.
However, in return for the convenience, booking excursions with cruise lines can prove to be quite expensive since you are not booking directly with the local travel operators. The booked tours are often crowded too, considering the other tourists on the ship are very likely to join in. The options offered by cruise lines are also limited, especially when it comes to smaller ports.
Booking excursions via independent booking platform
Good news is, booking with the cruise line that you are on is not the only way. There are other options out there for cruise guests to find amazing excursions. You can choose to book through a third party or directly with the service providers at the location.
Booking an excursion directly at the local operators by yourself could be quite an intimidating task since you will have to do your own research and plan everything by yourself. There is also a limitation to how much information you can find online, and without the insights of local people, you might miss some of the coolest activities available. The biggest concern is still planning your return for the ship’s departure. If you miscalculate your timing, it might severely impact your travel plans. It is an absolute nightmare to try and figure out how to reach the next port by yourself, and the only alternative is to scrap the whole trip.
There is a much better way of booking your excursions: through a third party. There are online platforms that provide you with a variety of options for your booking and they offer some clear advantages. It is a combination of the convenience of booking with the cruise line and the more diverse and affordable offers of self-booking. Online platforms offer a search engine that makes it very easy to find available excursions for your cruise itinerary, or even by port’s name. The tours booked through a third party is usually much cheaper and less crowded than the ones with the cruise line. The independent booking platform for cruise excursions, My Cruise Excursion, works with local tour guides and focus on tours in small groups to ensure a great experience and can take good care of each individual customer. Timing is no longer an issue as My Cruise Excursion also guarantees a timely return to the ship and offers insurance coverage for every tour. No more worries about unexpected delays during your excursions. Another advantage of booking this way is the ease of payment, and if you need to cancel your excursion for some reason, a full refund will be issued.
A lot of cruise guests who are new to cruising choose to book their excursions via the cruise line because they didn’t know there was an alternative and they think it would more secure. Cruise guests who have once experience the excursions via an independent booking platform often stick to it, because they get much more value for their money.
It is always a good idea to do a little research beforehand and know your options so you don’t miss out on any unique opportunities.