You’ve booked your cruise. Researched ports of call and what the dining options are. You may have already packed and are ready to go. Often, there is one last detail to choose. Booking shore excursions. Do you book them yourself or through the cruise line? Let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s so you can pick the best trip for you and your family.
What to Consider First When Booking a Shore Excursion
What type of family travellers do you have? Do they like organised group activities or more of a free spirit who prefers a do it yourself vacation? Would you like all the details taken care of without having to plan a thing? Or enjoy the nitty gritty of planning out your days. Some people like to do both.
Pro’s of Booking a Cruise Excursion
- Guaranteed you will get what the tour promises
- Guaranteed safety and a family fun experience
- Stressfree- everything is planned out for you and thoroughly researched.
- Suitable for first-time cruisers who might not know if they like having the cruise line book for you or doing it independently
- If the group excursion is late coming back from sightseeing, the ship will wait for you
- If the ship gets diverted, you will usually get a refund
- Included are your meals and entrance fees
- Possible cancellation fees
Con’s of Booking a Cruise Excursion
- You are stuck with the pre-arranged plan for the day on a bus with lots of people
- Usually more expensive than DIY
- Strick age requirements for many trips that might not fit well with your family needs
- You might end of with annoying people on your tour, and you will be with them all day
- less downtime to explore the port due to the strict schedule
Pro’s of Do It Yourself Shore Excursions
- Freedom to set your schedule
- Take as much or as little time sightseeing
- Book a personal tour guide on your own if desired
- No cancellation fees
- Saves money – usually A LOT of money
- Don’t have to follow a large group around
- You decide how to plan your day
Con’s of Do It Yourself Shore Excursions
- DIY excursions require proper preparation
- You have to find out everything on your own
- Transportation can be tricky if not thought out ahead of time
- you are responsible for being back on the ship on time
- If you miss the all aboard time, they will leave you behind
Our family is a Do It Yourself type, but on occasion when the cruise line offers excursions that are amazing and can’t pass up we book it. Usually, once I have booked a cruise, I see what the ports will be, and the excursions offered. I write a list of all the famous sights that are a must see, and start researching.
To me, that is part of the fun exploring a new part of the world. Taking the path less traveled has led us to some amazing locations, met friendly locals who will give you great advice on dining, how to get places and answer your travel questions.
So, far there has not been a downside to Do It Yourself shore excursions for us. Most important, it is best to pick an excursion that will meet your needs and provide the right amount of planning that you prefer.
Check Out How We DIY Our Travel Adventures: