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Princess Excursion pricing


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I know cruise ship excursions are pricey, but on Princess is there a way to find out the prices before the 75 day opening. I really want to book some private tours, but I want to check Princess first.

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You can also the use the Princess best price shore excursion guarantee. If you book Princess excursions and then find the same exact tour for a lower price, they will give you 110 percent of the difference in onboard credit for your cruise. I just did this for my Alaska cruise in June. It was easy and I got a response within a day. The onboard credits will be on my portfolio when we are on the ship (and I got a confirmation email that I will bring with me to confirm).

Shore excursions will be on your personalizer anywhere from nine to six months before your cruise. The prices can vary based on how many spots are left and the time of the excursion. And since Princess prices competitively the price differences that I found were not much, but with five of us it added up to quite a bit of OBC.

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I found that the prices for the Princess excursions were no more than $15 more than private excursions for excursions in the $100 area. For excursions that might run late (zodiac raft whale watching and countryside tours, for example), I'll pay the extra for my peace of mind.

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We also book the Princess shore excursions. A few times, we did not make it on time back to the ship but Princess waited for us as the excursion was made through them. We were an hour late in Panama. We prefer to enjoy our excursions and not be afraid and stressed of missing the ship.

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I found that the prices for the Princess excursions were no more than $15 more than private excursions for excursions in the $100 area. For excursions that might run late (zodiac raft whale watching and countryside tours, for example), I'll pay the extra for my peace of mind.
On our British isles tour last summer, our independently booked excursions saved us a lot more than that over Princess excursions. For example, we took an excursion to Blarney Castle with eCoach (Butlers) that cost us around $120 total for the two of us. The Princess excursion was $99 per person. The Princess excursion went to Blarney Castle through Cork. Our excursion also went to Kinsale. We had a couple of extra hours compared to the time of the Princess excursion. Our ship was late docking in Cobh due to leaving Guernsey late and a technical problem. The folks at eCoach adjusted the timing to give us the full tour.
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I found that the prices for the Princess excursions were no more than $15 more than private excursions for excursions in the $100 area. For excursions that might run late (zodiac raft whale watching and countryside tours, for example), I'll pay the extra for my peace of mind.
Prior to leaving a port there will be an announcement for people who haven't returned to contact passenger services. After 25 Princess cruises since 2004 I can't recall that number being more than a 1/2 dozen people on any particular port. I think most tour operators know that it only takes 1 or 2 reviews on Trip Advisors saying they were late to cost a lot of business. We rarely take a Princess excursion. We don't really care to sit on a bus with 45 other people. We do like private tours in a small van that can go places the large excursions can't and have found them to be much cheaper. Willing to take our chances. So far it hasn't been an issue.
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Have you been to St Petersburg Russia? We are starting in Copenhagen on April 29th, rt, and stopping in St. Petersburg for two days. Looking for tours for those times, comparing to Princess Escursions. Since we will not have a Visa, what choices might we have.

 

Thanks

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Without a visa, you just need to be with a local tour company. On our Baltic cruise last summer a lot of people used SPB Tours in St. Petersburg. They also get decent reviews on Trip Advisor. You could compare their pricing with your ship excursions. Of note is that the ship shore excursions will get priority getting off the ship there and it takes awhile to get through Russian customs.

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.

Shore excursions will be on your personalizer anywhere from nine to six months before your cruise. The prices can vary based on how many spots are left and the time of the excursion.

 

 

I find it odd that the cruise line price for excursions vary by time/ spots left. Is this unique to Princess?

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Without a visa, you just need to be with a local tour company. On our Baltic cruise last summer a lot of people used SPB Tours in St. Petersburg. They also get decent reviews on Trip Advisor. You could compare their pricing with your ship excursions. Of note is that the ship shore excursions will get priority getting off the ship there and it takes awhile to get through Russian customs.

 

We went with SPB tours five years ago. We saved over 50% what the cruise line was charging. Buses were great, groups were small. They arranged the visa and were so professional! I would NEVER use a 54 passenger cruise line bus when a 25 private tour saves so much! We paid on the last day, not BEFORE the cruise!

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Have you been to St Petersburg Russia? We are starting in Copenhagen on April 29th, rt, and stopping in St. Petersburg for two days. Looking for tours for those times, comparing to Princess Escursions. Since we will not have a Visa, what choices might we have.

 

Thanks

 

We used Alla Tours. We found them excellent. 16 in a comfortable minibus with headsets so that we didn’t have to stay within 5 feet of the guide to hear what he was saying. Approx 50% of Princess.

 

Easy to book and they emailed us a slip to put inside our passports for immigration. Don’t know if we were lucky, but immigration only took a few minutes.

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We also book the Princess shore excursions. A few times, we did not make it on time back to the ship but Princess waited for us as the excursion was made through them. We were an hour late in Panama. We prefer to enjoy our excursions and not be afraid and stressed of missing the ship.

Totally agree with you- we feel the same way. Have only taken 3 private excursions and they were short ones arriving back at the port hours before sailing.

We have been on 3 ship excursions where we have arrived back at the ship almost 2 hours after sailing time....no worries as the ship waits. The delays were due to flat tire, accident on road with traffic backed up for miles and miles without any alternate route, and police stopping every vehicle to see if they had been at that spot on the highway the week before (2 hours that took). Private tour companies say they will guarantee you will arrive back at the port on time but I fail to see how they can do that for the previously mentioned delays.

 

A large portion of CC posters will tell you no problem, worth the smaller group (we found in a mini-van the views out the windows were not nearly as good as on a larger bus), and cheaper (frequently not that much cheaper depending on the excursion). After paying all that money for the cruise we want to see the sights without any worries.

 

It is nice that we all have a choice to decide what is best for us.:)

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I’m happy to book through cruise line or independently. I think it’s wise to look into the aspects of the excursion- including price - and see if the ones booked through the cruise line are better value for you. Definitely shop around and book what you feel comfortable with. Almost every cruise I use a mix.

As a true bargain hunter I never used to look at the ones through the cruise line. I was wrong though... there are good deals to be found and sometimes peace of mind is worth a little $

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On our British isles tour last summer, our independently booked excursions saved us a lot more than that over Princess excursions. For example, we took an excursion to Blarney Castle with eCoach (Butlers) that cost us around $120 total for the two of us. The Princess excursion was $99 per person. The Princess excursion went to Blarney Castle through Cork. Our excursion also went to Kinsale. We had a couple of extra hours compared to the time of the Princess excursion. Our ship was late docking in Cobh due to leaving Guernsey late and a technical problem. The folks at eCoach adjusted the timing to give us the full tour.

 

We didn’t mostly independent as well in that cruise as it was substantially cheaper. I’m finding with our cruise this year the Princess prices and the independent prices are not and Princess at times is cheaper! We are going to the Mediterranean this year.

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A large portion of CC posters will tell you no problem, worth the smaller group (we found in a mini-van the views out the windows were not nearly as good as on a larger bus), and cheaper (frequently not that much cheaper depending on the excursion). After paying all that money for the cruise we want to see the sights without any worries.

 

It is nice that we all have a choice to decide what is best for us.:)

 

I find that the touring experience with a bus holding 30-40 passengers is not nearly as good as being in a van with up to 12 people on a private tour.

a) The smaller vehicle can go to sites that the larger bus cannot

b) No forced time in "recommended" shops unless you want to

c) No waiting for a large number of passengers to get back on the bus after a rest room stop.

d) If lunch is included, the private tour will go to a restaurant that does not have multiple tour buses showing up at the same time.

e) The private tour will often go to a major attraction either before of after the cruise ship buses go there, so it will be much less crowded.

 

 

Several experiences come to mind.

 

First was a Princess tour. Turned out there were not enough seats on the bus and they asked for some volunteers to ride in a small van. We jumped at the opportunity. We ended up going to more sights than the bus did in the same amount of time.

 

Second was a private tour (four of us) to Cairo. When we went to the Cairo Museum, we were the only people in the room with the Gold King Tut mask, the main antiquity at the museum, and could spend as much time as we wanted looking at it. Those on the Princess tour said that about four buses showed up at once, that there was a long line to get into the room with the mask, and that they basically just had to walk quickly past the mask so that everyone could get back to the buses.

 

Third was whale watching in Juneau. We went with Harv and Marv for a few $ more than the Princess tour. H&M's boats hold six people. No problem with every passenger having a great view of the whales that were sighted. The ship's tours use boats that hold many more passengers and it is often difficult for someone to spot the wildlife that others can see.

 

Frankly, I cannot remember reading any posts on these boards about any private tour returning to the ship after the ship has sailed.

 

In researching private tours, you can read reviews here on Cruise Critic and elsewhere and be sure of booking with first class tour guides.

 

When you book a ship's tour, you have no idea of the quality of the guide you will have. There will usually be multiple buses and some may have great guides and some may have duds. You do not know which you will end up with. I have had some awful guides on some Princess tours. After paying all that money for the cruise, we do not want to have an underwhelming excursion experience.

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We didn’t mostly independent as well in that cruise as it was substantially cheaper. I’m finding with our cruise this year the Princess prices and the independent prices are not and Princess at times is cheaper! We are going to the Mediterranean this year.

 

I'm not sure where you were looking but we did the Med in July and did mostly private tours, which were substantially cheaper than the Princess tours on every occasion. We did a couple of ship tours as they were easier when going to places like the Corinth Canal from Athens or Mt Etna, but through Roll Call we arranged a lot of 6-8 person tours which were about half the cost per person. Our minivan was out of the carpark while the Princess buses were still loading and we were getting to the attractions well before the masses off the buses.

One place (Taormina) there was a massive traffic mess which we were caught in but the Princess buses were behind us so we knew there was no issue about missing the ship.

You lose so much time loading and unloading the bus and waiting for the one person that is invariably late and you get a much more personal experience with a small group. These independent companies cannot take the risk of people missing the ship but each to their own I guess.

Further to what Caribill has said, there is nothing more annoying than a bus or buses turning up to a place for lunch that is mobbed. Recently our minivan driver in Corfu said he was sorting out lunch. He pulled up at a local bakery up in the hills and bought a lot of local products and proceeded to make the 8 of us lunch. Far more personal and local than the tourist buses.

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Without a visa, you just need to be with a local tour company. On our Baltic cruise last summer a lot of people used SPB Tours in St. Petersburg. They also get decent reviews on Trip Advisor. You could compare their pricing with your ship excursions. Of note is that the ship shore excursions will get priority getting off the ship there and it takes awhile to get through Russian customs.

 

We were on a Baltic cruise with Princess in 2013 and booked a 2-day excursion through SPB tours, excellent value for money, smaller numbers in buses, we saw and did far more than those on the Princess excursion. Note - we ignored Princess instructions to wait in the lounge for Princess excursions to have priority. Instead, our group met at about 6.30am (!!) in Vines Bar I think (Deck 5?) and as soon as the ship docked, we walked off the ship and were through customs in about a minute!! We were a large group of about 50 and had booked several buses through SPB tours. SPB tours were absolutely fantastic!! :)

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