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Kruzer Zuker

Shore excursion sale

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Really? Cruise fares have nothing to do with excursion fares. I guess if you bought the cheapest cabin, and the most expensive excursion, on a very short cruise...maybe. But if a suite pax buys the cheapest excursion.... no correlation.

 

Rare sales. Not very often. You can probably, with a little research, book private tours for cheaper.

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On all our cruises we have never seen any excursions on sale. Unfortunately.

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I know there is no general correlation.  Just the specific one I am looking for is more expensive than the cruise fare.  

 

Another thing, excursions prices are not shown until after booking.  Unlike other lines.  

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Kruzer Zuker said:

I know there is no general correlation.  Just the specific one I am looking for is more expensive than the cruise fare.  

 

Another thing, excursions prices are not shown until after booking.  Unlike other lines.  

 

 

 

Going for two nights in Machu Pichu, Peru might be one of those shore excursions that is more expensive than an original cruise fare. Suggest one takes a land-based trip instead of trying to awkwardly fit it into a cruise schedule.

 

Shore excursions into Agra and the Taj Mahal from Mumbai were often very pricey too. A two-night inland safari in South Africa between two port stops had pretty high sticker shock too. Flying to Guadalajara from Puerto Vallarta is not cheap either. Tikal is another pricy one.  Typically, anything that requires a flight or overnight hotel stay starts adding up shore excursion costs, often prohibitively. 

 

Happens, but that is the price of traveling if this is what one chooses to do. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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6 minutes ago, Kruzer Zuker said:

That’s why I am checking to see if there might be a sale.  

 

Never ran into a sale; but we have run into a lot of sold out notices if we waited too long.

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It is not hard to get into a private tour or organize one  .Benefits are many , MUCH lower cost , can design the tour the way you want it ,  limit the number of people on the  tour vs many on a ships tour ,ie :classic_biggrin:

 

 We have done & led  many private tours . First look at the posts in the Cruise Critic "Ports Section " for the area or country you want to see . Then read the posts of other cruise critic members to see who they used as a tour operator .then check that operator on tripadvisor.com or other worthy travel sites for  the tour operators  ratings  .Set it up to meet at a specific point on the ship & leave as a group  to meet the vendor at the port . Make sure the tour operator clearly understands that you want to be back at the pier one hour before the ship departs .Make sure your watches are set to ships time & not port time 

 

 You can also get ideas from Tripadvisor.com on tour operators 

Edited by mcrcruiser

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HAL sometimes offers a View & Verandah promotion which has, as one of the perks, a discount on certain shore excursions.  When I booked under that promo, I found that the "sale" was about $5 less than the original price.  And, it was on the least popular shorex.  One time, I booked a cruise to Hawaii under the V&V promo - no shorex in Hawaii were reduced.  Only two shorex in Vancouver or Victoria were reduced.  I found that perk to be very disappointing.

 

OP what itinerary and which shore excursion are you looking at?  Maybe we can offer alternatives...

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I have been on one cruise where there was a sale for a short period of time before the cruise.  As I recall certain excursions (not all) were $5-10 off.  This was on an Alaska cruise and I have not been on any other cruises with a sale.

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4 hours ago, OlsSalt said:

 

Going for two nights in Machu Pichu, Peru might be one of those shore excursions that is more expensive than an original cruise fare. Suggest one takes a land-based trip instead of trying to awkwardly fit it into a cruise schedule.

 

Shore excursions into Agra and the Taj Mahal from Mumbai were often very pricey too. A two-night inland safari in South Africa between two port stops had pretty high sticker shock too.

 

I agree with OlsSalt -- If a land trip (not by the cruise line) is feasible either before or after the cruise, then it is a much better value than a mid-cruise excursion to these places. They will usually cost less than a ship's tour, have less people on them and have more time to visit more sights along the way. In addition you will not be missing several days on the cruise ship and any ports that are visited during those days.

 

I know that when we visited Machu Pichu before a cruise in a group of five, we paid significantly less and saw more on our five day tour than the ship charged for their rushed three day tour. And last year we had a tour with 9 nights in India (including visiting the Taj Mahal) that cost less (including roundtrip airfare from the USA) than half of a cruise ship mid-cruise excursion cost.

 

However, if doing the mid-cruise ship's excursion is the only way in your lifetime you can get to see one of these sites, then to you it would be worth the cost.

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I've seen excursion discount codes, but they're rare usually in the 5% range. That will make a difference on a big ticket excursion, but not a significant difference. 

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For all the years we have sailed on HAL -- in many different areas -- there was never a sale on excursions -- not even $5 off.

 

Check with your Roll Call and see what others are planning to do in the various ports you are looking at.

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15 hours ago, Alberta Quilter said:

HAL sometimes offers a View & Verandah promotion which has, as one of the perks, a discount on certain shore excursions.  When I booked under that promo, I found that the "sale" was about $5 less than the original price.  And, it was on the least popular shorex.  One time, I booked a cruise to Hawaii under the V&V promo - no shorex in Hawaii were reduced.  Only two shorex in Vancouver or Victoria were reduced.  I found that perk to be very disappointing.

 

OP what itinerary and which shore excursion are you looking at?  Maybe we can offer alternatives...

 

The one I am looking at is Tikal from Guatemala.  Charter flights involved.  $650pp x 4 people.  Was hoping for a sale or a promo or discount code like 5% off or something like that. 

 

A land tour in Central America would be another (probably much better) way to see it but I am not very interested in that at the moment.  

 

Edited by Kruzer Zuker

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40 minutes ago, Kruzer Zuker said:

 

The one I am looking at is Tikal from Guatemala.  Charter flights involved.  $650pp x 4 people.  Was hoping for a sale or a promo or discount code like 5% off or something like that. 

 

A land tour in Central America would be another (probably much better) way to see it but I am not very interested in that at the moment.  

 

 

Don't let $32 keep you from taking this shore excursion, if this is what you want to see and have no plans to return by land.  Not sure why you would expect a discount. Hoping for one I can understand (don't we all), but expecting one?

 

Small airport, limited flights, long distances, need to coordinate with ground transportation, guides, meals, etc in a very remote setting.  Good example of a limited capacity shore excursion where one needs to sign up early before it gets sold out.  

 

Wear good walking shoes and prepare for the heat. We did it. Quite fabulous and something that I assume would be impossible to pull off on your own.  Let alone feel assured and insursed HAL would be standing by you. Pay the premium added on shore excursion value, and then just enjoy it and don't second guess it.  C'mon, you are just talking $32 here. This quite frankly should not make or break your vacation.  

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Of course not expecting a sale.   Was hoping there might be something on Black Friday, Cyber Monday.  Doesn’t look like it.  

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30 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

Don't let $32 keep you from taking this shore excursion, if this is what you want to see and have no plans to return by land.  Not sure why you would expect a discount. Hoping for one I can understand (don't we all), but expecting one?

 

 

Royal Caribbean is offering a Cyber Monday sale on Shore Excursions.  Savings are up to 25% off, so they do happen.  Plus, I can understand the OP wanting to pay less.  Why should we pay 'full' price when we have been trained not to?

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32 minutes ago, Kruzer Zuker said:

Carnival also has some shorex promo on Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.  

 

If you don't know HAL is not Carnival and it is not Celebrity, you might want to keep looking for a cruise line that suits you better.  Take your pick from all the other ones that offer Tikal shore excursions.  Norwegian stops at Puerto Quetzel.  Plenty others also make stops here, but Norwegian was the cheapest.  Don't know if they offer Tikal but maybe you could arrange this on your own which could also save you some money.

Edited by OlsSalt

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USA Today sorts out various cruise lines and what shore excursions they offer in Puerto Quetzel.  Looks like only HAL offers Tikal https://traveltips.usatoday.com/shore-excursions-puerto-quetzal-guatemala-57576.html

 

Others suggest driving to Tikal from Belize - maybe another cruise entirely if you want to get to Tikal from the Caribbean side.

Edited by OlsSalt

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4 hours ago, OlsSalt said:

 

If you don't know HAL is not Carnival and it is not Celebrity, you might want to keep looking for a cruise line that suits you better.  Take your pick from all the other ones that offer Tikal shore excursions.  Norwegian stops at Puerto Quetzel.  Plenty others also make stops here, but Norwegian was the cheapest.  Don't know if they offer Tikal but maybe you could arrange this on your own which could also save you some money.

 

Not sure why you would think anyone might think HAL is Carnival.  My comment was to say some cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean to name a couple) do have shorex sales from time to time, therefore it is perfectly reasonable to check if HAL does too, especially around Black Friday time.   Not expecting a sale like you said in an earlier post, but to check.  

 

Thanks to the rest of posters who answered my question.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/25/2018 at 11:11 PM, mcrcruiser said:

It is not hard to get into a private tour or organize one  .Benefits are many , MUCH lower cost , can design the tour the way you want it ,  limit the number of people on the  tour vs many on a ships tour ,ie :classic_biggrin:

 

 We have done & led  many private tours . First look at the posts in the Cruise Critic "Ports Section " for the area or country you want to see . Then read the posts of other cruise critic members to see who they used as a tour operator .then check that operator on tripadvisor.com or other worthy travel sites for  the tour operators  ratings  .Set it up to meet at a specific point on the ship & leave as a group  to meet the vendor at the port . Make sure the tour operator clearly understands that you want to be back at the pier one hour before the ship departs .Make sure your watches are set to ships time & not port time 

 

 You can also get ideas from Tripadvisor.com on tour operators 

And join the Roll Call for your cruise. You'll find that many private tours are already being organized by folks on the same cruise your on. 

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On 11/25/2018 at 5:49 PM, Kruzer Zuker said:

Do HAL shore excursions ever go on sale?   The ones I want are more expensive than the cruise fare.  

 

Yes,  Holland America does have Shore Excursion sales.  Usually they are "up" to 10% off but all the ones I've seen and booked were only 5% off and not all of their excursions will have a discount.  Last year at this time is when the shore excursions went on sale and it went though mid-March.  

 

One thing to take into consideration, if you purchase an excursion with a discounted price and then see a drop in your cruise price and take it, you will then have to rebook all your discounted excursions at the higher price and if the tours are booked, then you risk the chance of not getting your spot if there is a waiting list. 

 

Utahtea

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I have never noticed a big difference in price.  What you do get with private tours is smaller size,  variety and customization.  I consider most HAL tours as basic transportation for distant ventures when getting back in time may become an issue.

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Sometimes it is better to book HAL's ahead of time as they do fill up and you might be disappointed in not being able to take the tour you want.  I have seen the price go up about $5.00 from booking online to booking once you are onboard.

 

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On 11/27/2018 at 12:13 AM, Kruzer Zuker said:

Carnival also has some shorex promo on Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.  

We saved +/- $125 on our shore excursions with Carnival's 15% discount code for Black Friday, + another 10% statement credit by using our Carnival Mastercard to pay for them-- +/- $200 overall !

 

I came to the HAL board to see if there might be discount code available for excursions on our upcoming Alaska cruise.

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On 12/7/2018 at 3:32 AM, utahtea said:

 

Yes,  Holland America does have Shore Excursion sales.  Usually they are "up" to 10% off but all the ones I've seen and booked were only 5% off and not all of their excursions will have a discount.  Last year at this time is when the shore excursions went on sale and it went though mid-March ... 

Utahtea

 

We have had the same experience with some of our more recent (i.e., within the last 3 years) HAL cruises.  Discounts of 5% - 10% may not be great but they are better than no discount at all.

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12 hours ago, luv2travel06 said:

We saved +/- $125 on our shore excursions with Carnival's 15% discount code for Black Friday, + another 10% statement credit by using our Carnival Mastercard to pay for them-- +/- $200 overall !

 

I came to the HAL board to see if there might be discount code available for excursions on our upcoming Alaska cruise.

 

Hal doesn’t have discounts for excursions often.  In addition Hal doesn’t show you excursion prices until you book the cruise first, and I can now tell you the excursion prices are on the high side compared to other cruise lines.  

 

I’d plan private excursions whenever possible when using Hal.  

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21 minutes ago, Kruzer Zuker said:

 

Hal doesn’t have discounts for excursions often.  In addition Hal doesn’t show you excursion prices until you book the cruise first, and I can now tell you the excursion prices are on the high side compared to other cruise lines.  

 

I’d plan private excursions whenever possible when using Hal.  

 

Give us some examples on what you found to be on the "high side" for the exact same excursions on various cruise lines. HAL goes to so many different ports compared to other cruise lines, this would not be an easy comparison to make.  

 

Comparing HAL tours to what can be found in the same port as a private tour makes sense as the private arrangements can be cheaper but maybe without the intangibles like insurance coverage. But I would like to see your data on various competing cruise line shore excursions for the same excursions in the same ports.

Edited by OlsSalt

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1 minute ago, OlsSalt said:

 

Give us some examples on what you found to be on the "high side" for the exact same excursions on various cruise lines. HAL goes to so many different ports compared to other cruise lines, this would not be an easy comparison to make. 

 

It would be made easier if Hal publish prices before hand.  

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1 minute ago, Kruzer Zuker said:

 

It would be made easier if Hal publish prices before hand.  

 

Can you give examples of your comparisons? Agree, they should make this information available up front because it can be a factor when even choosing an itinerary -what will HAL be offering in those ports for those of us who do like HAL shore excursions and don't quibble that much about the prices and choose them for their convenience value alone.

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Just now, OlsSalt said:

 

Can you give examples of your comparisons? Agree, they should make this information available up front because it can be a factor when even choosing an itinerary -what will HAL be offering in those ports for those of us who do like HAL shore excursions and don't quibble that much about the prices and choose them for their convenience value alone.

 

And then there are those of us who are good at pricing all aspects of a cruise and know to avoid unknown. 

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24 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

Give us some examples on what you found to be on the "high side" for the exact same excursions on various cruise lines. HAL goes to so many different ports compared to other cruise lines, this would not be an easy comparison to make.  

 

 

Can you give us some examples of tours where HAL is cheaper than other cruise lines for the same tour? If not, both of you are simply stating opinions.  No need for the attack.

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24 minutes ago, ChinaShrek said:

 

Can you give us some examples of tours where HAL is cheaper than other cruise lines for the same tour? If not, both of you are simply stating opinions.  No need for the attack.

 

I did not raise the point about other cruise lines offering the exact same shore excursions at a cheaper price. Let's see what that looks like from the poster who did do this research. Who is remaining silent about this claim.

 

Not sure why, we could all learn something from his research. HAL would need to explain why their shore excursions are so much more expensive for the same things under the same company policies. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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Kruzer Z, I too love to price all cost aspects to get a true cost of the cruise; otherwise it is like comparing apples to oranges before you book. I agree with you on avoiding the "unknown"; I consider the higher cost of HAL excursions to be PEACE OF MIND insurance and I have had two incidents where that extra HAL excursion cost paid off for me personally.

 

As far as HAL excursion sales, I took a South Pacific cruise where they offered a small discount and/or one or more of the following: a T-Shirt, thumb drive with excursion photos on it taken by the ships photographer that day, reusable water bottle, etc. The excursion had to be booked on board, as the sale is announced during the excursion presentation for each port. It seemed like they did this in almost every port on this particular sailing. Unfortunately, I had all my excursions pre-booked, so I didn't receive amenities on the sale excursions I had pre-booked. If the port excursion is a MUST DO for me, I wouldn't play the lottery and hope to win a deal on it. 

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I just booked a southern Caribbean cruise on HAL and spent a weekend reviewing my options.  First let me say I am not doing many shore excursions on this one but I did look at every single port.  For this itinerary HAL was the same or even slightly cheaper than the private tours available.   My only complaint with my last two HAL cruises was there weren't that many active options and many of the tours are huge bus tours.  I would be willing to pay more for the van version of the same tour.  

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2 hours ago, AdventureCommuter said:

Kruzer Z, I too love to price all cost aspects to get a true cost of the cruise; otherwise it is like comparing apples to oranges before you book. I agree with you on avoiding the "unknown"; I consider the higher cost of HAL excursions to be PEACE OF MIND insurance and I have had two incidents where that extra HAL excursion cost paid off for me personally...

 

👍👍👍  Spot on, AC!!!

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