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Important Things to Know Before Booking a Shore Excursion

Refer to these helpful cues before booking your shore excursions.

By Cruise Booking Team

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Snorkeling in the turquoise waters, strolling along the cobble-stoned streets, shopping at the local markets, museum visits, adventure sports, and exotic cuisines are what life on a cruise is all about. Shore excursions are the crème de la crème of the entire cruise experience. Cruisers frenziedly travel to exotic attractions at the port upon disembarkment. You can either choose to explore destinations at your own pace or proactively plan and book excursions beforehand. Pre-booking is a wise thing to do if you are too preoccupied to research and plan your excursions. Much to your delight, several cruise lines even have inclusive shore excursions!

8 Cues to Help You with Booking Shore Excursions

1. Assess the Activity Levels

Some excursions involve strenuous physical activities depending on the region. Refrain from adventurous excursions if you aren’t much of a runner or climber. Read the description carefully to rule out any inconveniences. Heed any warnings and preferably stick to a slow-paced excursion if you intend to relax. Contact the cruise line for any queries before booking.

2. Be Well-Versed With The Types of Shore Excursions

Cruise lines offer an overwhelming array of shore excursions. You could opt for a sight-seeing tour if you wish to have a more leisurely experience. Go for active excursions that offer adventure sports like ziplining, hiking, biking, and scuba diving to pump up your adrenaline. Some excursions offer an in-depth tour while some only cover the main attractions. Take a pick as per your needs and preferences.

3. Sponsored Excursions

You can book shore excursions sponsored or promoted by the cruise line or book through local providers. Enquire with your cruise line about the sponsored tours to make sure the operators are legitimate. Excursions sponsored by the cruise lines are organized in groups. In case you are late for departure, the cruise ship will wait for you at the port if you book a sponsored excursion.

Also, Read: Top 25 Cruise Trends For 2023

4. Early Bookings & Money-Saving

Booking your excursions well in advance is the norm. That way, you will find a wide range of options at cheaper rates. Be an early bird for an enhanced experience. You ought to fall short on the number of options if you hunt for good deals at the last minute.

5. Know What To Skip

Some ports have docs right in the main town, which nullifies the need for an organized excursion. Hire a taxi for the day and roam about with a guidebook and map of the place. Mingle with the locals who suggest worthwhile attractions and try out food specialties.

6. Independent VS Fully-Guided Explorations

Some excursions are completely guided and organized by the cruise line or your private agency. You even get commentary about the place from the local expert to delve into its culture and heritage. Independent excursions require you to exercise your freedom and make separate arrangements for when on the port.

7. Note What To Pack

You will be gone for hours and days away from your main luggage on the ship. Know what to pack, depending on the weather and occasions. Make sure to carry an extra pair of clothes and a swimsuit if you are headed to the beach. Pack a cocktail dress for a formal dinner at a local restaurant. Prepare a packing list to avoid missing out on essentials.

8. Cancellation & Refunds

It is vital to know that some cruise lines charge cancellation fees if you need to cancel your excursion within 24 to 48 hours before it starts. Each cruise line sets its policies. Double-check the policies before going ahead with your bookings. You can expect a refund in case the tour operator has to cancel the excursion for some reason.

Cruise excursions are once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Act on these cues to make the most of your land and water odysseys!

Also, Read: What main tips for staying safe on Cruise Ship?

Header Image by mark1 at Pixabay

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