Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
KCCasebolt

Shore excursion price matching...any luck?

Recommended Posts

I'm wondering if anyone has had any luck doing this recently? I'm interested in trying to research options but I'm hesitant because I think it'll be harder than it seems.

 

For instance, I'm thinking I can find similar excursions in the ports but Carnival will come back and be like it has to be through the vendor they are using. But I don't know what vendor they are using? And my dashboard excursion info seems vague and unhelpful? We will be on Miracle visiting/doing Cozumel (Ancient City of Tulum), Belize(Jungle Buggy, river tubing & zipline adventure), Mahogany Bay (a certified two tank dive),  & Grand Cayman ( amazing snorkel, stingray sandbar & starfish).  

 

Am I over-thinking this? 

 

I'd love to hear other people's experiences in saving costs! Thank you!  And yes, I know you don't have to book through the cruise line for excursions but we are newbies and felt more comfortable booking through the ship this time of round :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does not have to be the same vendor they are using. In fact, a lot of the time there is an agreement in place that the vendor cannot book with people outside of the cruise line. 

 

You do have to find somethaing that is EXACTLY the same a said the tour you have booked. Meaning, they offer the same transportation, they do all the same activities, they are the same as far as of food/drinks included (meaning, if lunch and alcoholic bevages are included, they must be included on the excursion you are matching to), etc.

 

I have had luck matching once, for our Lamanai excursion in Belize. But that’s the one and only time. Every other time I’ve tried to do a price match, there has been one little thing different. 

Edited by bakersdozen12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had luck, too, on the exact same Lamanai excursion in Belize that the previous poster mentioned. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have had several price matches done-Carnival not only matched our price, but also gave us 10% additional credit. You will have to see if this is still offered. Carnival asked for the vendor name, tour details, etc. We heard back within a day or so. Be sure the excursions really match, including length of time the excursion lasts. Very easy process. Good luck. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We got the price match and 10% credit for the Sharks/Rays, Barrier Reef & Island Getaway tour in Belize in July. We found an almost identical tour through Coral Breeze - the only difference was that the Coral Breeze Tour provided the potential opportunity for a longer tour depending on when the ship was scheduled to leave port. Getting the match was a simple process and only took about 48 hours. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Trueblueky said:

Which Lamanai tour did they match?

Going next month.

This is the Lamanai tour Carnival offers: https://www.carnival.com/shore-excursions/belize/lamanai-mayan-ruins-and-river-boat-safari-509098?b=357A69574844494E5261485751756D582F73767268413D3D

This is the tour that I submitted to them as being the same but costing less: 
https://belizecruiseexcursions.com/excursion/lamanai-belize-excursion-mayan-ruins/

 

This is the response from Carnival:
"

Thank you for submitting a Shore Excursions Best Price Guarantee claim.
 
We are excited to inform you that your claim was accepted and your account will have an onboard credit of $27.49 per person. You may print out this email for your records and proof of this onboard credit which will only show once aboard the ship.
 
Although your claim was accepted it was approved under the $95.00 rate per guest.  Our tour launches from an exclusive Ayinha property built solely for efficient access to Lamanai. Ayinha reduces down the overall travel time by motor coach & boat transfer by 2 hours to reach the Lamanai ruins. This provides the time for guests to actually climb the temples, providing the experience of a lifetime. Ayinha day admission is USD $20.00 per person, and includes a fusion of Belizean cultural along with Belizean Lunch Buffet.  This $20 entrance fee has been included to make the tours comparable."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found in most ports that the touts at the pier can offer the same tours but at half the price if you bargain. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Moviela said:

I have found in most ports that the touts at the pier can offer the same tours but at half the price if you bargain. 

 

I would never, ever take a tour with someone soliciting right off the pier. You have no idea who you would be going off with because there is no time to research them to make sure they are a legit tour company. Not to mention that there would be no electronic trail (emails, etc) to show who you went off with. Definitely not worth saving a few bucks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find there is one other benefit to independent excursions besides price, and that is they are usually much less crowded that a similar ships excursion.  Just one example is the "Rays, Reef, and Rum Point" tour we took in the Grand Cayman's.  On that tour there were only 3 couples on the boat and that made for a very personal tour.

 

YMMV, and if you feel more comfortable with a ships tour then the price match is worth looking into.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Eliot Ness said:

I find there is one other benefit to independent excursions besides price, and that is they are usually much less crowded that a similar ships excursion.  Just one example is the "Rays, Reef, and Rum Point" tour we took in the Grand Cayman's.  On that tour there were only 3 couples on the boat and that made for a very personal tour.

 

YMMV, and if you feel more comfortable with a ships tour then the price match is worth looking into.

 

I completely agree with you! My only regret in booking with the ship was that independent excursions would be less crowded. But we were so stressed about ship time vs. port time that we just said aww to heck with it. 😆The more we cruise in the future then the more I imagine we will get  better about it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, KCCasebolt said:

 

......... But we were so stressed about ship time vs. port time that we just said aww to heck with it. 😆The more we cruise in the future then the more I imagine we will get  better about it. 

 

I have spent a lot of time reading reviews (asking questions) and looking at world wide clocks and trying to figure in daylight savings time, but often the tour operators are very helpful because they know the cruise schedules.  I also never leave the ship without a watch set to ships time and sometimes, if it isn't obvious, verify the operators know when we have to be back.  It is easiest when the ships time doesn't adjust after leaving port and that has been the case on most of our cruises.  From horseback riding in Roatan, to cave tubing in Belieze, and sailing excursions in several ports we've never missed the ship (knock on wood) :classic_wink:

 

Edited by Eliot Ness

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a price match in Belize for cave tubing using Butt's Up as the comparison price, and we have done the Lamanai Ruins one as well....would love to find some other excursions w/ a price match too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have done multiple successful excursion price matches.  As another poster has said, it only has to match in duration (at least as long, but can be longer), transportation, food/drink and admission inclusions.  Carnival will give you 110% of the difference in OBC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 for 3 on this cruise. Lamanai, Coral garden StingrAy and Cozumel elite champagne cruise .

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/30/2018 at 1:44 PM, SRQbeachgirl said:

We got the price match and 10% credit for the Sharks/Rays, Barrier Reef & Island Getaway tour in Belize in July. We found an almost identical tour through Coral Breeze - the only difference was that the Coral Breeze Tour provided the potential opportunity for a longer tour depending on when the ship was scheduled to leave port. Getting the match was a simple process and only took about 48 hours. 

 

ditto.... just did this a few days ago, already got the e-mail stating we were approved and $27+ per person credit.  We sail in April.  Make sure you do your booking and challenge at least a few weeks before your cruise!  

(we have done a price challenge 3 times before for other ports/excursions, got approved each time).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried it for the first time on my last cruise and I found a similar excursion to Uxmal ruins in the Yucatan port but it wasn't an exact time match, they still gave me $10 off each booking. It's worth a shot to try, worse they can do is deny you a discount. :classic_cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only problem with price match is you have to go on Carnival excursions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Question from me is why is Carnival putting the onus on it’s customers for tour prices and not doing more from itself to study these things and offer competitive prices to attract more customers.

 

i’m not spending all this time for Carnival to get my business.  I will research options , make my choice and then stick with that option.  And if that happens to be with an independent tour operator, so be it.

 

That is how business works.  The fact that Carnival doesn’t understand it is either incompetence or arrogance .

Edited by Luckiestmanonearth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carnival uses the same contractors you would choose on a private tour. The price is fixed and Carnival adds a service fee. My son Captained the pirate ships in St. Thomas, $55 booked privately $75 through Carnival or any other cruise line

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Luckiestmanonearth said:

Question from me is why is Carnival putting the onus on it’s customers for tour prices and not doing more from itself to study these things and offer competitive prices to attract more customers.

 

i’m not spending all this time for Carnival to get my business.  I will research options , make my choice and then stick with that option.  And if that happens to be with an independent tour operator, so be it.

 

That is how business works.  The fact that Carnival doesn’t understand it is either incompetence or arrogance .

 

 

 

I opt to pay the premium for the assurances that booking an excursion through Carnival affords me. As a consumer I believe it's fair that I have options to book through the cruise line or investigate other options that may be cheaper. What I think is awesome is that they are willing to price match if I do the extra research. 

 

It doesn't bug me that they don't have people scouting out the lowest prices to pass on to cruise consumers. It takes but a minute to look up cheaper prices myself and have them price match. I would think to employ agents to find prices, establish a business contact with on shore operators, buy liability insurance, etc. would inflate Carnival excursion prices even more. 

 

Oh, I've saved closed to $60 price match in two excursions so far. Waiting to hear back on a third. So for those reading, it is possible. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/3/2019 at 1:14 PM, ABQrobin said:

 

ditto.... just did this a few days ago, already got the e-mail stating we were approved and $27+ per person credit.  We sail in April.  Make sure you do your booking and challenge at least a few weeks before your cruise!  

(we have done a price challenge 3 times before for other ports/excursions, got approved each time).

 

Would you mind posting the link to the site you price matched from? I am looking to do this for our cruise in June. The one I am seeing on Coral Breeze is showing under 5 hours, so I am not sure if I am using the correct one. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...