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View Full Version : whether to book shore excursion via web or on ship


workerbee
April 16th, 2004, 01:21 PM
how many people book their shore excursions in advance via the RCCL website. I know you don't know what time you are leaving until after you pick which can be a pain, but on the other hand, if everyone does, and you wait until you are on board, do you know the times then that they leave? ARe they already booked up and you have to do it on your own? Help.... please with any of these issues.

Imagination - 5/99
Destiny - 5/01
Explorer of the Seas - 5/04

SeaUThere
April 16th, 2004, 01:29 PM
We booked online excusions through Celebrity before we left home. It was wonderful! No standing in line waiting to hear that the excursion you wanted was sold out. This freed up our time to do other things while onboard!

I'm would think RCCL works the same. We plan to book again online before we leave home.

While on our Celebrity cruise, two of our excusions got cancelled and they credited the amount already paid back to our cabin. We just used the credit to pay for our ship board expenses.

Grandeur of the Seas-September 4, 2004
Galaxy-June 7, 2002
Fascination-March 17, 2001


http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=9400d3&cdt=2004;09;04;13;00;00&timezone=est-0500

ahoughton
April 16th, 2004, 01:38 PM
Sometimes you can find excursions through private companies at a much cheaper price than through the cruise line. Decide what you want to do then post on cruise critic for help in finding a private co.

"Baby lets cruise away from here"

bplazo
April 16th, 2004, 01:40 PM
Book before. Check the independent people, sometimes they are cheaper and they are not as crowded (only thing negative about that is if the excursion runs late you cannot miss the boat)

Another plus is that I like to have everything paid before I go on vacation. That way I dont come home from vacation with a huge bill!

cascdav
April 16th, 2004, 01:45 PM
Book before via RCLs web site. If you chosse the 'purchase' option (which does not obligate you) it will show you the departure times. The best part is your tickets are in your cabin upon arrival

madforcruising
April 16th, 2004, 01:45 PM
No pain in booking the shore excursions online ahead your crusie. Even if you change your mind when onboard, no problem.
I did this on my last cruise. As long as you cancel the prebooked excursion before the indicated deadline the amount will be credited to your onboard account. They indicate the deadline in the cruise compass. I think usually it´s something between 24-48 hours.

First pics of the undocking of the Jewel of the Seas:
http://community.webshots.com/album/125049819TVWuuS

Jewel of the Seas left Meyerwerft Shipyard
See Photos of River Ems passage
http://community.webshots.com/album/131001309cIkOdH
Jewel of the Seas - 05/28/04 Scandinavia / Russia / Baltic
http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00bfff&cdt=2004;05;28;7;20;00&timezone=GMT+0100

Jewel of the Seas - 09/28/04 Canada / New England
http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00bfff&cdt=2004;09;28;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500


09/2003 - Legend of the Seas Hawaii
06/2003 - Norwegian Dawn Florida and Bahamas
2002 - MS Columbus - Cruise to nowhere
2001 - Grandeur of the Seas Mediterranean and Transatlantic
2000 - Splendour of the Seas Transatlantic
2000 - Viking Star on the Danube River
1999 - Vision of the Seas Panamacanal cruise
1998 - Vision of the Seas Transatlantic
1997 - Crystal Symphonie to Mexican Riviera
1996 - Delta Queen on the Mississippi
1995 - Legend of the Seas to Alaska

hdawson
April 16th, 2004, 02:06 PM
For most Caribbean destinations, there is no reason to think the ship's excursion is the best way to go. They are usually much more expensive, more crowded and less personalized than using independent tour operators. The independent tour operators know the ships schedule better than we do and realize that it is imperitive to operate within those time constraints. Of course it is still our responsibility to know the times of tours and allow for contengincies. The last thing the independents want is for dissatisfied customers posting on the internet. It is very rare when someone posts problems with independents.

Further, with minimal research, even independents aren't needed for many sites and recreation on the Caribbean islands. Example, St John's when docked on St Thomas, or seeing both sides of St Maarten using the local busses for $1.50 ea way. So very easy to do on your own. Can't believe that some people even book a shopping tour. What's with that?

[This message was edited by hdawson on 04-16-04 at 04:18 PM.]

Folgy
April 16th, 2004, 04:12 PM
I have already booked all our excursions through RCCL web site for our Alaskan cruise this August. I was dissapointed before for not doing so.Also ,I like having all my excursions paid for long before we cruise.

lulabelle
April 16th, 2004, 04:44 PM
Our friends just came back on the Voyager. Tours through Royal Caribbean and privately arranged tours for the Stingray excursions were all filled. Seems there were six to seven ships docked in Grand Cayman that day. I just booked our tours for the July 2nd sailing through Royal Caribbean to avoid disappointing the kiddies.

Johanna7
April 16th, 2004, 05:48 PM
Certain excursions can only take a limited amount of participants. i.e. the American Cup Regatta on St. Maarten can only take 36 people. If you wish to go on that, then it is a good idea to book it as soon as you have your booking number to be sure you can participate.

There are many other excursions that sell out very fast. Yes, on the Caribbean there are many excursions you can take on your own or with a taxi, etc. but this doesn't always apply to other locations.

If you go all the way to Europe and have your heart set on a particular excursion, book it ahead and you will not be disappointed.

As for booking things with private operators in certain places, keep in mind the departure time of your cruise.

On several of our excursion (purchased on the ships) we got back past the time the ship was to leave but we could relax and not worry as the ship was waiting for us.

Once there was a bus accident with our bus and the 9 buses behind us were also stuck. We were all late but no problem.
It was a minor accident and no one was hurt, the bus squeezed another car between it and a bridge railing.

If you miss the ship in some places, it can be VERY expensive to catch up. I have seen it happen to people.

Folgy
April 16th, 2004, 05:54 PM
Good points.Also, when we went to Grande Caman to go on the RCCL excursion to Stingray City the port was cxl'd due to high seas. Our account was immediately credited back for the cxl'd excursion.

academicdeluge
April 16th, 2004, 06:15 PM
I agree. Good Points. Also, if anything happens and you cruise gets canceled, you don't need to follow up with individual companies. You are automatically credited. Overall, the reason I book, though, is the convienience. I can do it in advance. no line, no worries.


<blink><font color=#33CCCC size=5>On my way to the Caribbean in May http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif </font></blink>
Talk with others on my cruise (http://messages.cruisecritic.com/2/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=927093444&f=1683059817&m=6293048067)

workerbee
April 16th, 2004, 08:56 PM
But if you prebook -- if they have different times, will you know the time before hand?

And can you do a "pretend" booking to see what happens. Can you cancel immediately afterwards if its not what you want?

Imagination - 5/99
Destiny - 5/01
Explorer of the Seas - 5/04

madforcruising
April 17th, 2004, 04:08 AM
If you go online to book your Shore Exc. you need to have your RCCL booking number. After clicking on purchase you need to enter your travel information including your RCCL booking number. After this they will display your itinerary.
When clicking on a day you get the list of all Excursions offered for this day. After clicking on the Excursion you like they give you a description of the tour and at the bottom of the page they list all available times. From this menu you choose the time you want and put it in your shopping basket.
After you are all set you can go on and purchase your Excursions and give them the credit card information to bill your purchase.
You´ll get a confirmation email.
You can cancel or change Excursions until the deadline which is I think between 24 - 48 hours before the departure of the tour. I never did this online but once on the ship without any problems.

First pics of the undocking of the Jewel of the Seas:
http://community.webshots.com/album/125049819TVWuuS

Jewel of the Seas left Meyerwerft Shipyard
See Photos of River Ems passage
http://community.webshots.com/album/131001309cIkOdH
Jewel of the Seas - 05/28/04 Scandinavia / Russia / Baltic
http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00bfff&cdt=2004;05;28;7;20;00&timezone=GMT+0100

Jewel of the Seas - 09/28/04 Canada / New England
http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00bfff&cdt=2004;09;28;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500


09/2003 - Legend of the Seas Hawaii
06/2003 - Norwegian Dawn Florida and Bahamas
2002 - MS Columbus - Cruise to nowhere
2001 - Grandeur of the Seas Mediterranean and Transatlantic
2000 - Splendour of the Seas Transatlantic
2000 - Viking Star on the Danube River
1999 - Vision of the Seas Panamacanal cruise
1998 - Vision of the Seas Transatlantic
1997 - Crystal Symphonie to Mexican Riviera
1996 - Delta Queen on the Mississippi
1995 - Legend of the Seas to Alaska

gailc
April 17th, 2004, 06:41 AM
I do what madforcruising described. What I do different is that I stop after looking at the description, times, & if it is available. If I want to book that tour, then I would continue.

We have booked tours online. It is very convenient & 1 less thing to do when we get on the ship.

The Moyers
April 17th, 2004, 09:23 AM
we've booked not just RCCI on line but also carnival and NCL and LOVE it. No waiting in line no hassles etc. The disadvantage is that if you don't know exactly what you want to do the videos and shore excursions talks on the ship can be really helpful. You don't get much from the book they give you. Of couse there is always the option of rebooking once you get on the ship.

The Moyers
Dennis & Debbie
Navigator of the Seas 9/18
http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=800080&cdt=2004;9;18;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500