Do you have to pay for cruise excursions?
If you book an excursion, expect to have to pay for it.
Even though a cruise is great value, excursions aren’t usually part of the package. So once you arrive in port, any trips will cost extra.
You can usually book an excursion through your cruise company – even before you begin your cruise.
Indeed, they encourage you to do so. It’s a nice little earner for them.
But excursions booked through the cruise company are often much more expensive than if you were to take the local bus or hire a local taxi at the end of the pier.
But you do have the assurance that it’s organised by the cruise company.
The danger of organising your own excursion
Here’s something important to bear in mind…
If you travel on an excursion independently and you don’t manage to get back to the ship in time, the ship will leave without you.
That happened to a couple on our cruise.
The ship waited a short while, announcements were made over the PA system, and attempts were made to find the couple on the ship.
Eventually, their passports were deposited with the port authority and we set sail.
As we pulled away, they arrived at the port.
Thankfully, on this occasion, we weren’t far out to sea and the pilot boat kindly gave them a lift to the ship.
You can imagine the embarrassment as everyone watched from the deck.
If this ever happens to you, you could end up having to make your own way to the next port of call – at your own expense.
And that’s one of the reasons the cruise companies recommend their own excursions.
So if you prefer to play it safe, it could be worth paying the extra for the cruise company’s organised excursions.
Going on your own excursion
If you decide to take the risk and travel independently, there are usually lots of groups waiting at the end of the pier and offering their services.
You could take a taxi to the beach, have a tour of the island, or go on a shopping trip.
You could even have a ride on a sightseeing bus.
Remember to agree on a price before travelling, though.
And where local customs allow, try to haggle for a better deal.
And always make sure you’re back on board the ship well within time. Even on idyllic Caribbean islands, taxis can break down – or even fail to turn up to take you back to the ship.
Now let’s look at some cruise resources…