Cruise guests will usually have the option to plan each day themselves when they book a cruise. Guests can choose to join an excursion organised by the company if they wish.
While these are often a popular option, some guests prefer to book their own tours or explore by themselves.
A cruise guest wrote on Reddit: “Personally I prefer to do my own thing, or take excursions offered by a company not associated with the cruise line.
“The reasons are that official ship excursions are expensive, they tend to have much bigger groups and I’ve always found the duration to be annoyingly short. Any I’ve done independently have small groups, better value for money and usually longer and more enjoyable.”
Cruise ship excursions are generally more expensive than those offered by third party operators. They can be busy but guests can usually check the group size with the company.
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Another guest agreed, saying: “We almost always take a third party tour. They are either cheaper or give you much better value than the cruise offered excursions.”
Guests should check reviews before booking a third party excursion as passengers have been warned they could be scammed if they book on the day.
However, not everyone agreed and some passengers said they always preferred to book excursions organised by the cruise line.
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A guest said: “Personally, I prefer the tours provided by the ship, only because it gives added security of knowing the ship will wait for you if something goes wrong.”
Cruise ships are usually unable to wait for passengers who are late back to the ship, unless they’re delayed on an excursion organised by the line.
Another guest added: “In areas where travel is required to get to actual destinations, we book through the cruise line. We like the added comfort that if something goes awry, the ship will wait.”
Guests may prefer to explore by themselves but they’ll need to check how far the port is from the city centre.
In some destinations, guests may need to take public transport to reach the city centre which could take a long time.
Passengers could also take a taxi to the city centre but may have to wait a long time if it’s busy.
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