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mylo2908

Booking Excursions Independantly - Is It As Easy As People Make Out?

11 posts in this topic

I am due to go on a cruise shorlty (on the final countdown cannot wait) I always toy with the idea of booking excursions through the independant providers but something always stops me and I end up booking with the cruise line for ease and security. I wondered what other peoples views on this are? Any great tips? or any nightmare experiences?

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Hi mylo, I am exactly the same as you.  I was discussing this in another thread on the forum recently.  I have always booked my excursions through the cruise lines, it's always felt safer to me to and I've always had much more peace of mind doing it that way.  I keep seeing many people on this forum though that have booked their own and it prompted me to ask similar questions.

 

Here's the forum thread I was discussing it in, in relevance to visiting Kotor: 

 

http://www.cruiseclubforum.com/topic/1522-what-to-do-in-kotor/?hl=cruisingexcursions#entry13541

 

I've seen several companies mentioned as being exceptional good value for money, most recently cruisingexcursions.com that I have seen advertised through an agent. Some of the excursions are really appealing, good value and often attractive alternatives to doing it through the cruise line.  If you do end up doing it independently through another provider, please let me know how you get on as I'd be really interested to know.

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I am booking all mine with independent company's from now onward, the excursions are just as good and just as well organised just without the huge markup that the operators charge

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I have booked our own shore excursions with no difficulty, in St Petersberg, Gibraltar, Caribbean, Rome to name a few, they meet you at the gate and you pay at the end usually in cash.

Just look at the forums for suggestions then visit there website

ladypenelope12 likes this

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We rarely book excursions through the cruise line.  We have had great, reasonably priced excursions with Tours by Locals, as well as other companies.  We check TripAdvisor for reviews, and look at forums for the ports of call we are visiting.  The idea of traveling on a large bus with the associated difficulties of loading and unloading almost fifty passengers at every stop and waiting for the inevitable late comers has little appeal.  With the ease of obtaining information these days, an independent tour company cannot risk having passengers miss the ship.  This would be reported almost instantly and they would lose future business.  By booking independent excursions we have a better experience and usually save money.  The only time we would consider a cruise line excursion is if a 'must see' destination is particularly remote and traffic tie ups can be expected.

reetpteet likes this

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Recently used http://www.shorecruiseexcursions.com/ sailing 'Allure of the seas' western Med. and they were exceptional, given their prices at first I was a bit skeptical.  But we were met at the dock by the guide on all our tours, very professional and well organised tours. In Marseilles Louisa the guide was particularly knowledgeable, attentive and helpful, my elderly mother was a little slower when walking she took  her time with her while managing the rest of the group. Overall it was a great experience in some aspects better than what i have experienced with cruise liner excursions. definitely would use them again and from now on i will be shopping around more before consider cruise company tours.

reetpteet likes this

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Hi  A simple way of seeing the port you visit is to use the HOHO buses which nearly always have a pick up point near the cruise terminal.  These are much cheaper than the cruise line excursion and have the added advantage that you can spend longer at the sites which have more appeal to your tastes.  If I wish to see sites further afield then I can use the cruise's line excursion programme or going online and see whether any independent shore excursions providers offer similar tours.

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Really loved the independent shore excursion we booked in St Petersburg. There are loads of companies running good reasonably priced excursions around the Baltic.However I have looked all over for similar in the Med ,Cruising excursions have a very limited selection and the other companies are all wanting in excess of 600 euros for the day, which leaves little choice.

reetpteet likes this

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