How far in advance do you book your shore excursions?

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#1
408 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I noticed that you have to pay for the shore excursions when you book them. How hard is it to cancel them if I change my mind later on? Also, how far ahead should I book them? My husband wants to do the canopy tour in Puerto Vallarta and we want to book Stone Island in Mazatlan. Any feedback on these excursions?
#2
1,036 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
You can book the shore excursions on-line at Carnival as soon as your final payment is made.

Sometimes I find something I really like and go ahead and get it, but you can also walk up to the shore excursion desk on the ship, visit face-to-face with them, ask questions, pick up brochures and purchase them there.

They "say" that some of the excursions are very popular and don't have availability for many people so get them asap, but I've never heard of them selling out. I think they just want to get an advance on the number of people or the popularity of the excursion ahead of time.

Don't worry, they'll be something for you to do, but if you're concerned, book it online soon as your final payment is made.
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#3
Indy
2,552 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by tink24
I noticed that you have to pay for the shore excursions when you book them. How hard is it to cancel them if I change my mind later on? Also, how far ahead should I book them? My husband wants to do the canopy tour in Puerto Vallarta and we want to book Stone Island in Mazatlan. Any feedback on these excursions?

We waited to book excursions until we were on the cruise and YES the ones we were interested in did sell out. Well, this was in Cozumel, but, the one we were interested I guess a lot of other people were too and so we missed it. This time we are going to Bahamas and may do one of the resorts once you get there, so we won't be booking through the cruise ship.
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#4
East of the Sun, West of the Moon
5,506 Posts
Joined May 2004
We tend to do excursions independent of the ship and usually book them two to four weeks before the cruise.
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#5
Perkasie, PA
296 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
If you find an excursion that you KNOW you want to do, then by all means book it, as the popular ones DO sell out. But for most of them, you can sign up onboard, and there is usually a larger selection to choose from once you are onboard ship as well.
#6
N. Calif., USA
3,190 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
i must be finicky ..or just to tempted by all the online discription s
of all the excursion..there are so many to choose from that i don t
usually make up my mind till the night befor reaching port..
#7
38 Posts
Joined May 2008
There were a couple to sell out when we was on the Fantasy last August. Actually I think the one we were on sold out but we bought it soon as we booked the cruise.
#8
3,622 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
How hard is it to cancel them if I change my mind later on?
It's not hard to cancel, I believe if you view the ones you have booked, there's a spot to cancel. It takes a couple of weeks to get the credit back on your card if I'm not mistaken. If you go to the Carnival website, click on shore excursions, then, click on shore excursion FAQ, you should be able to find out more on what you want to know.
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#9
Decatur, GA
205 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
To answer your other question, if you book online and you decide you want to cancel it before the online excursion booking cutoff, then it is not difficult. All you'd have to do is log on the Carnival website and edit your cruise details. It will be refunded to your credit card. If you want to change it on the ship, then you have to visit the shore excursion desk. You can switch to another excursion, but I'm not sure you'll get a refund unless it was canceled by Carnival or the tour operator...
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#10
Long Island, NY
8,193 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
We book ours online as soon as they open, and as soon as we see something that interests us. We have had some "sell out", as friends wanted to wait and book later, and were closed out. As for canceling - once, 5 days before we were to sail, dh slipped on some black ice and really wretched his back. We were to do the Twister in Coz, and I knew it would be too wild for his back. I called Carnival, and the lady at the shore excursion phone line I spoke with said it would be a 25% cancelation fee, as we were so close to sailing. She told me to go on the excursion with my 2 kids and leave dh behind, as the cost would still be the 75% of the fee we had paid. I must have sounded shocked at her suggestion to leave him, as she put me on hold, spoke to a supervisor, and refunded the full cost of the excursion. The money was refunded on our next billing cycle of our credit card.
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#11
Alexandria, VA
229 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I booked excursions as soon as they open. This way, I make sure I get the excursions I want and the times I want. You do not have to have made your final payment to booked excursions.
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#12
Virgina
4,176 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Personally, I like to begin booking them, if I am going through CCL, as soon as I make final payment...that way I can pay as I go. If I am booking privately, then about a month out.

The reason I don't like to book on the ship is everytime I have cruised, the excursion I have picked (in advance) has sold out. Also, I hate "wasting" my time on the cruise standing in line at the shore excursion desk...it is more relaxing for me if I have a plan ahead of time.
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#13
IA
8,916 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I don't make final payment til around the due date, and still book excursions whenever they become available. I booked the one ship excursion we're taking last weekend for our cruise in late November. I believe the website says a booking with a full DEPOSIT can purchase the excursions.
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#14
Long Island, NY
8,193 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
You are right - you can book with a full deposit. We usually have our excursions booked more than the 90 days out from full payment. In fact, I just looked at our Dream reservation. There are 3 excursions up already for 2 of the ports, and the "book now" button is there! (nothing that interests us, yet)
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