Leaving a tour early - polite?

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#1
North Carolina
5,718 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I've read here many times about people continuing on their own at the end of a port tour instead of returning to the boat with the guide/group, and I've read of people skipping included tours and going off on their own. My question is - is it possible & more importantly - acceptable/polite - to leave a tour in the middle if it's not quite what you're in the mood for.

Assuming I can get back to the boat on my own etc - how is this viewed by the guides? I wouldn't just disappear but would notify the guide.....Just wondering. If it's frowned upon, I can see myself skipping tours to get more alone/Market time as desired, but I do enjoy history & architecture so some tours with background would be nice....

(note I am asking specifically about port tours that are included and not pre or post cruise options, and not anything that would involve a bus )
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#2
Las Vegas
11,151 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
You have paid for the tour so you can do anything that you want. Just make sure to tell your guide so he does not look for you.

DON
#3
New York
8,407 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Even if the tour does involve a bus, you can ask the guide when/where to meet them. The important part is that the guide know to lower the count, so they aren't waiting for fantom people.
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I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

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#4
North Carolina
5,718 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Thanks for reassuring me!

(if you're looking for me, I'll be over here with the gluhwein and wurst, browsing the markets)
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Azamara 10 night Thailand/Vietnam Nov 2016
Avalon Vista Christmas Market 12/2014
Pacific Princess 12 day Black Sea 9/4/11

HAL Westerdam 15 day Panama Canal 10/08
Pacific Princess Alaska 9/5/2007

HAL Maasdam Southern Caribbean 10/28/06
HAL Alaska 1986
#5
FL
14,454 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
If we are not enjoying a tour, we leave. Whether or not we let the guide know depends on the circumstances but we normally do, especially if they are counting heads.

We never feel compelled to stay if we are not enjoying the guide, the pace, the tour in general.
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#6
Nashville, Tennessee USA
1,016 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
We were on the Viking Amsterdam city tour this spring and decided to strike out on our own part way through. I told the guide, and she didn't mind at all. She was eager to help us with directions and/or suggestions on other places to visit.

FuelScience
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FuelScience

2018: The Douro: Portugal's River of Gold & Spain w/Madeira extension, Vantage Douro Serenity (April)
2017: Burgundy & Provence, Avalon Poetry II
2016: Canals, Vineyards, and Paris, Avalon Affinity II
2015: Switzerland & the Heart of the Rhine & Moselle, Vantage River Navigator
2014: Tulips & Windmills, Viking Atla
2013: Romantic Danube, Viking MS Vienna (leased)
2012: Cities of Light, Viking Sky
#7
San Diego, California
59 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Originally posted by caviargal
If we are not enjoying a tour, we leave. Whether or not we let the guide know depends on the circumstances but we normally do, especially if they are counting heads.

We never feel compelled to stay if we are not enjoying the guide, the pace, the tour in general.
It is important to let your tour guide know, but also mention it to another group member so the group is not held up looking for you. We have had people leave and the group stayed almost an hour searching for them only to find them already on the ship when we returned. Nobody knew they just walked off and left the group.
#8
Toronto, Canada
1,765 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Just let the guide know. There is nothing worse then having a group of people who are not interested in listening to the guide and being distracting to the group.
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#9
Long Island, NY
6,537 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Depending on the cruise line, I would still give the gratuity unless the guide was horrible.
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Planning the cruise is half the fun.
#10
FL
14,454 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by Worldcrzr
It is important to let your tour guide know, but also mention it to another group member so the group is not held up looking for you. We have had people leave and the group stayed almost an hour searching for them only to find them already on the ship when we returned. Nobody knew they just walked off and left the group.
While true in some cases, it does not apply in all IMO and IME.

We have been on multiple walking tours which left from the boat where no headcount was taken. Groups were quite large in these cases. We simply walked away when we got bored. There was no reason to let the guide know in this instances.

If they are counting heads, then I agree it is courteous to let them know,
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#11
Wht Mts, NH - Gulf Coast, FL
2,761 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
As others have said, of course you may leave.
Although it may not be necessary to inform the guide, it is certainly the courteous and respectful thing to do IMHO.
As far as tipping - personal decision.
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Past Cruises:
Celebrity Reflection - Med & Greek Isles
Coral Princess - Partial Transit Panama Canal
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Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas - Southern Carib.
Carnival Imagination - Western Carib.
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Norwegian Sun - Baltics, Copenhagen, St Petersburg
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Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas, Western Carib.
Royal Caribbean Nordic Prince - Bermuda
#12
California
380 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
On our river cruise, we were always able to leave the groups early, but always told the polite thing to do is to let the guide(s) know as a courtesy as they were always taking a head count (especially if there was a bus to be boarded at the end). We heard tales of groups late in returning to the ship because they were waiting for people who neglected to mention they were leaving the group early...
#14
Las Vegas
11,151 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by caviargal
While true in some cases, it does not apply in all IMO and IME.

We have been on multiple walking tours which left from the boat where no headcount was taken. Groups were quite large in these cases. We simply walked away when we got bored. There was no reason to let the guide know in this instances.

If they are counting heads, then I agree it is courteous to let them know,
I would say that if they are counting heads, it is a requirement that you notify the guide, not a courtesy. If you do not notify them, the entire tour may be held up while they are trying to find out where you are.

DON
#15
North Carolina
5,718 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Hoyaheel
I wouldn't just disappear but would notify the guide.....
Thanks for all the feedback - note, I did specifically say in my original post I would *not* just disappear
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Azamara 10 night Thailand/Vietnam Nov 2016
Avalon Vista Christmas Market 12/2014
Pacific Princess 12 day Black Sea 9/4/11

HAL Westerdam 15 day Panama Canal 10/08
Pacific Princess Alaska 9/5/2007

HAL Maasdam Southern Caribbean 10/28/06
HAL Alaska 1986
#16
Sunshine State
201 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Some of the best times my wife and I had on our Danube cruise this past April was wandering off from the group, Having read this thread I wish I would have told the guide.
#17
984 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Sure, we have done it from time to time.

As others have indicated, practice common courtesy and let the guide know that you are leaving the group if it appears they are taking a head count.

You will get a mix of passengers on every river cruise - some who really enjoy the guided aspect of the tours and others who absolutely abhor the idea of someone else being in control of their vacation time.

On a Christmas cruise, we have found there is usually plenty of time to enjoy the markets in addition to taking the walking tour being offered. If the weather is cold, a tour that goes indoors at times can be a real blessing rather than spending four or five hours standing outside in the markets.

DW seems to enjoy the day better if we don't freeze our derrieres.
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