Should we book the excursions with Carnival before we leave?

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#1
200 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Do the excursions ever fill up? Should we book them online from home before our Jan. 06 cruise? How far ahead?
We are also thinking of doing one of the Miami excursions the day we end our cruise. It looks like a good way to spend the day, and we won't have to worry about our luggage. Our flight leaves after 3. Can anyone offer some suggestions?
#2
Southern California, USA
6,180 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Some excursions do fill up...such as cave tubing/dolphin encounter/stingray. If practical for you, you might want to book such excursions before you go. It won't cost any more than when you're on the ship. I don't think your Miami excursion can be booked in advance, however
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#3
Bear, DE, USA
160 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Do any of the post cruise excursions take you to FLL airport when docked at the Port of Miami?

Does anyone have a post cruise excursion list for the Valor scanned?
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#4
Edgewood, Kentucky
1,621 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Book ahead of time and then when you board that's one less thing you have to worry about and spend time doing. Just party and they deliver your tickets to your cabin within a day.
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#6
Bear, DE, USA
160 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Thanks, the Art Deco one might work. Our flight is not until 7:00pm.

Is there anything else out there?
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*** Future cruises
7/8/2017 Carnival Splendor
9/21/2017 Carnival Sensation (Bill's suprise cruise)
2/11/2018 Carnival Pride

***Past cruises
9/13/2016 Carnival Vista
5/8/2016 Carnival Pride
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2/3/2014 Carnival Ecstasy
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12/2/2012 Carnival Pride (cruising for the hell of it 2)
3/4/2012 Carnival Glory (30/50 cruise with the kids)
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8/8/2010 Carnival Legend (College graduation cruise)
1/24/2010 Carnival Pride (surprise for the In-laws, 50th anniversary)
8/7/2009 Carnival Pride
12/8/08 Carnival Imagination
2/2/08 NCL Pride of Aloha
10/27/07 Carnival Liberty (Adult Group Cruise)
8/4/07 Carnival Glory (Family Group Cruise)
10/23/06 Fascination - Surprise anniversary cruise
8/7/05 Carnival Valor
4/11/04 Adventure of the Seas.
8/03 Our first Cruise on the Paradise!
#7
Turnersville, NJ
1,260 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
The popular excursions usaully fill up as soon as their allowed to be booked on the ship. But now since you can book online they might sell out even quicker. If you really want to do that I would book it.
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#8
Bear, DE, USA
160 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Looks like I can only book the 4 ports and not Miami online. The 4 ports have "add shore excursions" and for Miami it is only "view shore excursions".

Just noticed a company that does pre/post cruise excursions. Any ever try Miami Sunshine Tours?
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*** Future cruises
7/8/2017 Carnival Splendor
9/21/2017 Carnival Sensation (Bill's suprise cruise)
2/11/2018 Carnival Pride

***Past cruises
9/13/2016 Carnival Vista
5/8/2016 Carnival Pride
9/20/2015 Carnival Liberty
3/22/2015 Carnival Magic
9/27/2014 Carnival Breeze
2/3/2014 Carnival Ecstasy
11/3/2013 Carnival Breeze
9/28/2013 Carnival Breeze (interuppted)
5/24/2013 2 Day Bachelor Cruise
12/2/2012 Carnival Pride (cruising for the hell of it 2)
3/4/2012 Carnival Glory (30/50 cruise with the kids)
9/18/2011 Carnival Victory
1/17/2011 Carnival Imagination Platinum Cruise!
8/8/2010 Carnival Legend (College graduation cruise)
1/24/2010 Carnival Pride (surprise for the In-laws, 50th anniversary)
8/7/2009 Carnival Pride
12/8/08 Carnival Imagination
2/2/08 NCL Pride of Aloha
10/27/07 Carnival Liberty (Adult Group Cruise)
8/4/07 Carnival Glory (Family Group Cruise)
10/23/06 Fascination - Surprise anniversary cruise
8/7/05 Carnival Valor
4/11/04 Adventure of the Seas.
8/03 Our first Cruise on the Paradise!
#9
Kansas City, MO USA
52 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
Have you given any thought to not booking a Carnival excursion? The only one my family has done was Stingray City in Grand Cayman and we could have booked it with a competing company immediately when exiting the boat. Think about what you might be interested in doing, and then when you get off the boat, ask one of the many, many cab drivers what they would charge to go to the same place. It will probably be much less. Or ask your waiter or room steward what they would do if they could get off the boat. While in Cozumel we took a taxi to the same beach just right before a Carnival excursion showed up and we got to stay longer than they did. Of course, they did get "free" drinks. Just something to think about. We will be on Valor July 16 and have no intention of booking anything beforehand.
#10
19 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
We booked all of our excursions ahead of time. I liked that they would all be prepaid and I could pretend like I was only spending X on the cruise instead of XXX We also found that the prices we paid were lower than the prices that showed up once we boarded. I don't know if that's usual, but we were glad that we booked ahead of time.

We did a combination of Carnival excurions and private excursions. The only advantage to the Carnival excursions was that when the changed teh itinerary on us last minute, our Carnival excursions were automatically switched, while our private ones had be to worked out on our own.
#11
Southern Maryland
4,471 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
There are a couple of advantage to booking thru the online excursion site.
#1 - you know for sure you're going
#2 - if something crops up (ship not making port or vendor problem), Carnival handles it (either refunds money or changes to another time - this one happened to us)
#3 - IF and I do mean IF (it doesn't happen too often I hope) your tour operator has mechanical problems and is late getting you back to ship, Carnival knows and will wait for you.
#4 - When we got on board ship, only excursions left were the lame ones.

I hope this helps. Also, if you are a micro-manager type personality, you'll feel better knowing its all handles before you leave

Karen
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#12
200 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
I appreciate all of this advice! We will certainly book something online well before we go. (Jan. 2006)
If we didn't have our luggage to haul around all day it would be simple to take a cab to the beach. I think we will be happier with the Carnival excursion - I have heard that getting off the ship is smoother if you have a Carnival excursion booked.

I would love to hear from someone who has done the Carnival Art Deco/South Beach tour. How much time would we have at the beach??
#13
Arlington, Texas
1,301 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
If you kinda of know what you are interested in doing I agree in booking with companies other than Carnival. You can really save a lot of money that you don't need to spend. One of the things you need to watch for is time. If you are only in a port for 8 hours and the excursions takes 8 hrs, you may not be back in time to make the boat back in time. If you book through Carnival they will not leave you but if not???
Of all of the posts I have seen no one who booked outside of Carnival has ever said they missed the boat. The independant tour people depend on word of mouth to survive. On our first cruise we did all the excursions through Carnival. we enjoyed them but they can be crowded and not as personal as we would have liked. On our last cruise we did all of our excurions on our own. We did have a horseback riding that took longer than advertised, but we were not even close to being late, we even did some shopping downtown in Cozumel.
In short you can save alot of money, almost half, just by doing a little research.
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Completed Cruises:
Carnival Magic - 02/12/2012 - Cove Balcony
Carnival Ecstasy - 01/19/2009 - Ocean View
Carnival Valor - 09/07/08 - Balcony Suite
Carnival Ecstasy - 8/11/07 - Ocean View
Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas - 2/17/07 - Ocean View
Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas - 9/03/2006 - Aft Balcony
Carnival Elation - 6/12/2005 - Ocean View
Carnival Jubilee - 6/14/2003 - Ocean View




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