Personally, I have taken the ship and non-ship sponsored excursions and have rarely encountered problems, going on an excursion is a personal choice; everyone has something they prefer in port – sightseeing, shopping, adventure, etc. Many people opt for excursions offered by the cruise line while others plan their own. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options:
Ship sponsored excursions:
- Peace of mind that the ship will never depart port without you.
- Usually a large group with a SET schedule.
- Usually in a bus(large) that is waiting dockside.
- Usually offer mobility assistance.
- Ability to book during or before your cruise and charging to your ship account.
- Require more planning time and research online.
- Smaller in group size with a schedule that can be flexible.
- Booking ahead is usually required and some vendors require pre-payment and many only take cash.
- www.cruisecritic.com has a plethora of information and reviews on non-ship excursions, go to the “roll call” thread for your sailing and read the posts from fellow cruisers on your ship sailing.
- Usually much cheaper than ship excursions for the same excursion.
- Many are arranged by fellow passengers who split the cost.
- Fellow passengers post the excursions and it is usually on the honor system.
Remember – when in port ALWAYS keep your watch on ship time.