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Shore Excursions - Are they worth it?

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    #16
    Originally posted by Wilba View Post
    Rick, your question "Are they worth it?" unfortunately is a little ambiguous.

    Worth it in what sense? Cost, value for money, enjoyment, educational?

    I have ported on cruise ships hundreds of times and I wouldn't do a ships tour if it were free, but that's just me. I detest being herded around, get impatient when I've seen enough and don't necessarily want to listen to the world history of every single artifact and structure on the tour.

    I am more than happy with a private tour, be that a tour company in a minibus or a knowledgeable taxi driver who I can tell to move on if a particular stop does not appeal.

    Bear in mind every taxi driver knows the ships tours by heart, can get you to the tour stops ahead of the ships tours, and most importantly to the 'will the ship go without me worriers', have you back at the ship well before the tour coaches.

    I can honestly say hand on heart, the hundreds of times I have ported, I have never got even close to being late back at the ship. A good dose of common sense is all that's required..........Wilba



    I
    Where's the 'LIKE" button?

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      #17
      I also agree with Wilba. We have taken over 20 cruises to different parts of the world and since our first cruise, when we didn't know any better, have rarely taken a cruise line excursion. We either do our own research and sightsee independently or book a local tour. We have never come close to missing the ship, since we always aim to be back an hour before sailing which gives us a cushion in case anything goes amiss. The only time I would take a ship's tour would be if it was a one time opportunity to visit a place where transportation could be problematic.

      Sheila

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        #18
        By George you have repetitious replies all of which seem to say the same thing:
        1. Do your homework

        2. Pick out what interests you

        3. Plan

        I would add one thing..... As you cruise so you get more efficient at it so if it doesn't go quite right just learn from it and skip that bit in future. ....Neil

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          #19
          Having said I would only add one thing here's another. Often initiative pays off. I sometimes write, in a pleasant way, to various places from the UK and say that we are visiting the area and would it be possible to look over their facilities. You would be surprised how many times we have visited super places and enjoyed the "facilities". Just a thought. ....Neil

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            #20
            Something else to remember when the cruise lines trot out the usual scare stories about not waiting for those on private tours ...

            The local companies running them rely so heavily on this income that (barring real catastrophes) they simply wouldn't let it happen ... if it did, the news would quickly get out and it would be "bye-bye business". My experience has always been that organisers are massively careful, picking "last visits" close to the port and so on to avoid problems

            While I don't mind gentle persuasion what really does wind me up is when the lines resort to downright lies: Taxis aren't allowed into the port / There's no nearby bus service / The trains have called a strike on that day, etc, etc ...

            Cheers,
            Lynn

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              #21
              the answer is no, however I notice a few of you ports are very short in time. This is where ship excursions come in handy. Otherwise diy
              Genoa and Rome can easily be done on diy as could gib, just get a minbus to the top of the rock and cable car down to main street and sightsee from there back to the ship, if your ship calls where i think, then both monte carlo and barca will be minutes away, so both can be done diy depending on wheat you want to see of course.

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                #22
                Originally posted by Mitchell Derby, Derby View Post
                Something else to remember when the cruise lines trot out the usual scare stories about not waiting for those on private tours ...

                The local companies running them rely so heavily on this income that (barring real catastrophes) they simply wouldn't let it happen ... if it did, the news would quickly get out and it would be "bye-bye business". My experience has always been that organisers are massively careful, picking "last visits" close to the port and so on to avoid problems

                While I don't mind gentle persuasion what really does wind me up is when the lines resort to downright lies: Taxis aren't allowed into the port / There's no nearby bus service / The trains have called a strike on that day, etc, etc ...

                Cheers,
                Lynn
                I agree Lynn and what many don't take into account those tour operators and taxi drivers do those 'once in a lifetime tours' every day of their life, so they know full well the importance of getting people back to the ship..............Wilba
                Wilba

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                  #23
                  Vigo,Barcelona,Monte Carlo,and Gibraltar you can certainly do on your own.
                  Civitavveccia - it is normally best to get the cruise bus to take you there and do it on your own.A bit expensive.But some people take the train.
                  It depends where you dock

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by Phil Rodham, BLACKPOOL View Post
                    Vigo,Barcelona,Monte Carlo,and Gibraltar you can certainly do on your own.
                    Civitavveccia - it is normally best to get the cruise bus to take you there and do it on your own.A bit expensive.But some people take the train.
                    It depends where you dock
                    Normally the cruise bus drops you off near the Colosseum which is easily accessible via the local train and metro combo.

                    Timeline is normally similar but the cruise easily charges 4 or 5 times the price.

                    You pay your money and make your choice.

                    http://www.rometoolkit.com/

                    If you plan to visit the Colosseum,pre- book your tickets and skip the lines

                    Annie

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                      #25
                      no q's for me when i went to the Colosseum last year, just walked in and out 10 minutes later; did i miss something or get lucky?

                      civitaveccia train to roma inlcudes metro/bus day ticket. so value wise it is better and you do get longer in rome. of course any train delays ad you miss the ship..........

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                        #26
                        Originally posted by waney, london View Post
                        no q's for me when i went to the Colosseum last year, just walked in and out 10 minutes later; did i miss something or get lucky?

                        civitaveccia train to roma inlcudes metro/bus day ticket. so value wise it is better and you do get longer in rome. of course any train delays ad you miss the ship..........
                        As I say you pay your money and I hate being herded around

                        Annie

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                          #27
                          Originally posted by waney, london View Post
                          no q's for me when i went to the Colosseum last year, just walked in and out 10 minutes later; did i miss something or get lucky?

                          civitaveccia train to roma inlcudes metro/bus day ticket. so value wise it is better and you do get longer in rome. of course any train delays ad you miss the ship..........



                          Why on earth do you miss the ship?

                          Think outside to box.

                          The train ticket cost about €12

                          The train goes off the rails, on strike, so what?

                          A taxi for 4 people back to Civvi costs about €100 and will get there quicker as the train makes many stops.

                          Total cost for the day around €37 per person.

                          Tell me the ships tour was less than that............Wilba
                          Wilba

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                            #28
                            I have never (fingers X) personally missed the ship. I am just saying the ship may not wait for you if you do not take an official tour/excursion.

                            All said and done, I have had many brilliant times on shore days

                            Some with private tours booked as you leave the ship or booked online before hand
                            or simply just got a map at the tourist booth and made it up as I went

                            however a couple of ship excursions also been memorable too and not easily done any other way. Bruges beer tour and sometimes certain sightseeing events are fully booked by the cruise ships making the official tour the only way to do that activity such as St Kitts train tour spring to mind and Volos mountain tour via train.

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                              #29
                              A tip for DIY excursion/tours....
                              Study the ships tour excursions carefully and highlight all the bits that appeal to you. For instance you might want to miss out the bit that says a stop at a carpet factory etc.
                              So pick out the bits that appeal from all the tours, work out what you can fit into the day.
                              • Draw up your own itinerary and go seek out a taxi driver.
                              • Never take the first price, walk away and the further you walk, the cheaper the price will become.
                              • Always aim to be back to ship a minimum of one hour before departure

                              Alternatively almost every port has its own Hop on Off Bus Tour or Tourist Train and there will be plenty of tourist information persons handing out maps etc on shore to help you.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by Phil Rodham, BLACKPOOL View Post
                                Vigo,Barcelona,Monte Carlo,and Gibraltar you can certainly do on your own.
                                Civitavveccia - it is normally best to get the cruise bus to take you there and do it on your own.A bit expensive.But some people take the train.
                                It depends where you dock
                                I would add, that in addition to Vigo, Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Gibraltar, Alicante and Cartagena are also easily walkable. from the various cruise ports.

                                Comment


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