Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER Cruise Port Visits: Go On Your Own or Ship-Sponsored Excursions?
Cruise Port Visits: Go On Your Own or Ship-Sponsored Excursions? PDF Print E-mail

Q: We’re booked for a cruise next month. We’ve heard that shore excursions from ships are expensive. Wouldn’t we save money if we just go ashore in ports to shop and explore at our own pace, instead of being herded around in groups?

Cruise ship


A: Once your ship docks, you’re usually free to do whatever you want ashore, as long as you’re aware of all safety concerns and when you must be back onboard if the ship is scheduled to sail later the same day.

Maybe you should do a bit of research before you turn down an entire list of excursions available on your cruise. Check out what’s included in each trip. The cost may be $100, and you get a comfy bus ride and on-off throughout the day, with a sit-down lunch. Compare that with what it would cost you to roam independently, considering taxi fares, meals and other expenses.

There’s another very important advantage of booking a ship-sponsored excursion. If the return bus is late for any reason, the ship will delay sailing until all passengers are aboard. If you go out on your own, you are totally responsible for returning on time, and if you’re late, the ship may sail without you. This could cause considerable inconvenience and the need to pay for rush transportation, air or ground, and and other expenses to get back to the ship or final destination. All would come out of your own pocket.

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