You’ve booked your cruise. You’re excited about all the ports you’re going to visit.
You’ve done a bit of pre cruise research, which adds to the excitement and build up to the holiday!
Your cruise line will advertise a programme of shore excursions for each port you visit. You’ll be given information about these trips prior to your cruise by means of a paper booklet or online.
You will find many people may poo hoo ship excursions , they moan that they’re expensive.
The benefits far outweigh the expensive moans. It is convenient to have a trip organised, to have an escort from the ship with you should an emergency arise, to have a trip chosen and developed by experts who visit these ports hundreds of times and most importantly if anything goes wrong with a ship organised tour your ship will not leave without you!
1. Do make the most of the wealth of knowledge the shore excursions staff have! These crew members visit the ports hundreds of times. Part of their job is to ensure you get the absolute most out of day visit to port. They’re experts, talk to them, discuss where you’d like to visit, what you’d like to do, they’ll be able to suggest a trip for you to take. Every cruiser likes to think themselves an expert on somewhere they may of been a few times, listen to advice, but do know that the most sensible shore excursion advice will come from the shore excursions staff!
2. Decide whether you want to spend some spare time in port. Excursions can range from a couple of hours to sometimes an overnight trip in some select ports. Decide if you’d like to set aside an afternoon or all day and take this into mind when booking.
3. Shore excursions can be expensive. In my opinion they’re worth every penny. Some ports you really need to choose a tour, other ports you really need to explore alone. Try to head to the port presentations on board. A member of the shore excursions team will deliver a short lecture as to what there is to do at each port and which excursions are good for specific landmarks or cities. If there’s something you would really love to do, for example to see the Ballet in St Petersburg, book it! You only live once. It’s something that will be significantly difficult to organise yourself, so take the stress out of it and book via the ship. You can use on board credit against shore excursions. friends and family can even gift you vouchers to use for on board credit!
4. Make sure you check what’s included when you book your excursion. This can range from a refreshment and snack to a full meal, to a free inclusive bar. Then within reason, make the most of whatever is included!
5. Shore excursion brochures will often tell you the level of activity the excursion is set at. Do ensure you have a read if you’ve got any mobility issues. There are plenty of excursions for all different levels of ability, European ports will supply wheelchair friendly vehicles for some excursions too.
Most importantly however you chose to spend your time ashore. Have a fantastic time!