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Oceania - Unlimited Shore Excursion Package

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Has anyone purchased the Unlimited Shore Excursion package from Oceania?  If so, can you tell me if it is worthwhile.  Thanks

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Unfortunately there is no simple answer and you have to do the math.

If the excursions on your cruise are available, look at those you wish to buy and compare that cost to the unlimited package. Certain excursion have a small extra fee even with the unlimited package.

In addition, many people like to do their own excursions at a lower cost or a combination of ship's and DIY tours. Not to mention O Life included excursions.

Gotta do the math.

Edited by Paulchili

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We have always found that taking the OLife excursion option and then booking enough extra excursions to get to the YWC 25% deal always worked best for us.

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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Agree with Paulchill and the very smart Big Bang Theory Cast- do the math.  

We like DIY and private tours and find a daily ship excursion to be tedious.  So we’ve never done unlimited.

We’ve done O life with excursions and were satisfied.  But we 

carefully researched and cherry picked excursions of value.  And you must reserve the tours by a deadline prior to the cruise. 

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First, note that it seems Oceania excursions are inflated in price first. We bought OLife which added "8 free excursions" and we paid $800 for that, or basically $100 an excursion. We could pick excursions "up to $199" but many ports didn't have any of these, and some excursions were under $100. We averaged about $130 per excursion, which we paid $100 each for, but do note they are overpriced to start with. You could easily book these same excursions on your own outside of Oceania for cheaper.

 

If we each book one more we get the 25% discount off the cheapest one, and since they are overpriced, we basically pay "normal" prices. The "unlimited" excursions is just an other continuation. Maybe you can save a bit off the overpriced excursions, but you won't save much. You could also pay more if you aren't careful. You need to go on excursions at each port and maybe more than one. If they miss a port, you will probably lose out.

 

Unless you are tied to Oceania excursions, you will save more booking your own, and it will always be cheaper and you will have more flexibility.  So the Oceania packages are slightly better than a bad deal, no matter how you arrange it.

Edited by ano

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8 minutes ago, ano said:

Unless you are tied to Oceania excursions, you will save more booking your own, and it will always be cheaper and you will have more flexibility.  

One caveat - you probably have to share these private excursions with an average of anywhere from 6 to 10 people for them to be cheaper. If it’s only for 2 people they are most likely to be more expensive. They are definitely more flexible - provided you can get a group that can agree on itinerary (like shopping vs no shopping, etc)

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1 minute ago, Paulchili said:

One caveat - you probably have to share these private excursions with an average of anywhere from 6 to 10 people for them to be cheaper. If it’s only for 2 people they are most likely to be more expensive. They are definitely more flexible - provided you can get a group that can agree on itinerary (like shopping vs no shopping, etc)

Are you saying Oceania will STILL have an excursion of only 2 people show up? Or even 6 or 10? Not likely. Certainly we are talking like excursions here not private vs. 25 people.

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9 minutes ago, ano said:

Are you saying Oceania will STILL have an excursion of only 2 people show up? 

No - what I am saying is that for private excursions to be cheaper than Oceania’s excursions you usually need a group. Most of the time this can easily be arranged on roll call but not always and not everybody “can” or is willing to do this for a number of reasons. Sometimes a couple is looking for others to join them to make an excursion less expensive but maybe nobody else is interested in that excursion. They may have a nice private tour but not likely less expensive.

To just simply state that private excursions are cheaper than Oceania’s is not accurate.

Edited by Paulchili

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Just now, ano said:

First, note that it seems Oceania excursions are inflated in price first. We bought OLife which added "8 free excursions" and we paid $800 for that, or basically $100 an excursion. We could pick excursions "up to $199" but many ports didn't have any of these, and some excursions were under $100. We averaged about $130 per excursion, which we paid $100 each for, but do note they are overpriced to start with.

 

why would you pay for the O life perk ...just do the cruise only fare

 

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1 minute ago, Paulchili said:

No - what I am saying is that for private excursions to be cheaper than Oceania’s excursions you usually need a group. Most of the time this can easily be arranged on roll call but not always and not everybody “can” or is willing to do this for a number of reasons. 

To just simply state that private excursions are cheaper than Oceania’s is not accurate.

OK Understand. That is true if you book in advance. But if you just leave the ship, you can almost always find the same excursions as offered on the ship, but cheaper, and they handle getting enough people. Still one is a "private tour" even if you do have to have 12 or 16 "friends" and the other is a public tour, often on a bus. You will pay more for a small group, and a risk you won't have enough people.

 

Of the four OLife excursions on our next cruise, we found them all offered outside of Oceania with a bit of searching, but these are public, not small group.

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15 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

 

why would you pay for the O life perk ...just do the cruise only fare

 

That certainly is a choice, but if you work it right, you can save money if you are going on many Oceania excursions anyway.  Say OLife allows 8 excursions, they could be priced up to $199, so you'd pay $800 for $1592 in excursions, but that is the extreme, and never possible in real life. We paid $800 for $1040 excursions that probably could be purchased for $550 outside of Oceania.

 

BUT two advantages booking with Oceania. 1) They won't leave if the excursion is late and 2) and if something goes very wrong with the excursion, Oceania could be held responsible. Otherwise just get the money from the tour operator, and good luck with that one.

Edited by ano

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Just now, ano said:

That certainly is a choice, but if you work it right, you can save money if you are going on many Oceania excursions anyway.

then why are you ranting the O excursions are more expensive :classic_unsure:

just get the cheaper ones you mentioned at the dock

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3 minutes ago, ano said:

That is true if you book in advance. But if you just leave the ship, you can almost always find the same excursions as offered on the ship, but cheaper, and they handle getting enough people

Not everyone is “brave” enough to count on someone being outside the ship in most ports. This approach may work in the Carib but not most European, Asian or Australian ports. Not to mention that you would have no idea who this person is and what he/she will offer you for that “good price”. I think most people that like to do private tours arrange for them well in advance after a thorough search.

I know I do - I never hope that I can get something in the port “on the fly”.

As always, YMMV

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4 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Not everyone is “brave” enough to count on someone being outside the ship in most ports. This approach may work in the Carib but not most European, Asian or Australian ports. Not to mention that you would have no idea who this person is and what he/she will offer you for that “good price”. I think most people that like to do private tours arrange for them well in advance after a thorough search.

I know I do - I never hope that I can get something in the port “on the fly”.

As always, YMMV

Yes, very true.

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10 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

then why are you ranting the O excursions are more expensive :classic_unsure:

just get the cheaper ones you mentioned at the dock

Sorry if it sounds like ranting, it isn't, just explaining like it is. We almost always take the ship's excursions, and we get ripped-off doing it. A few times we have gone with a group, but it can be scary. Its money vs. security I guess.

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Just now, ano said:

Sorry if it sounds like ranting, it isn't, just explaining like it is. We almost always take the ship's excursions, and we get ripped-off doing it. A few times we have gone with a group, but it can be scary. Its money vs. security I guess.

Not sure how you get ripped off ?

It is your choice  to pay $800  for 8  excursions  with O

If they are more than $100 per tour  you are  ahead

If you are not willing to do the research  & book private tours  then you are paying extra  for the security of O tours 

JMO

 

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

Not sure how you get ripped off ?

It is your choice  to pay $800  for 8  excursions  with O

If they are more than $100 per tour  you are  ahead

If you are not willing to do the research  & book private tours  then you are paying extra  for the security of O tours 

JMO

 

… and the research and coordination O did to coordinate those excursions in the first place. On our recent Riviera cruise to the Med as well as northern Europe, our free OLife excursions averaged around $180 per person. Now, the Caribbean is a lot cheaper and you may be better off to book with the "cruise only" fare, but not in Europe on some of the better ones O offers.

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Just now, Ken the cruiser said:

… and the research and coordination O did to coordinate those excursions in the first place. On our recent Riviera cruise to the Med as well as northern Europe, our free OLife excursions averaged around $180 per person. Now, the Caribbean is a lot cheaper and you may be better off to book with the "cruise only" fare, but not in Europe on some of the better ones O offers.

It is  a personal choice  & people have to do the research & the math  to see what is right for them

We rarely do ships tours 

 

Last summer  to Norway we did the "cruise only" fare

Booked our own air  & most of the ports we did our own thing

it worked out well for us  as the heat in some ports was way too much for me 

It was good to have the flexibility to do what suited us on that day

YMMV

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I appreciate the addition a few years back of the OLife excursion options because I have been burned too many times as a private tour organizer with no-shows, late shows and “last minute illness” cruisers (as well as non-tipping companions) sticking me with the larger bill for the tour and, much more importantly, incredible stress, not optimal for my long-anticipated vacation.

 

Fortunately more tour companies have you sign up directly with them rather than the cruiser organizing the tour but not all.  So we enjoy the mix of DIY just the two of us, OLife tours and joining a very limited number of tours arranged by others.  Simply less stress for me.

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One other issue re:ships tour vs. private.

If it's a tender port it can be very chancy  if you are not on a ship's tour unless you just plan to just wander around on your own. Priority on tenders goes to people on ship's tours. We had an issue in Monte Carlo where we had booked a 3rd party tour and they gave us a tight limit on how long they would wait for us. Luckily the Oceania excursions person was an angel and got us on the first tender. This was Alex on the Marina. She is the best!

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