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Ship or Costco Excursions

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We'd like opinions and experiences on ship-sponsored vs Costco excursions.

Costco advertises several which look promising, possibly longer with better 

pricing than those offered through HAL   

 

Thanks in advance for your input.

 

Edited by coffee drinker
wrong word, clarify

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we have done numerous private excursions (50 or so) with never a problem but not through Costco. We just ensure that the excursion ends at least 2 hrs before the ship leaves port and that it is 100% refundable if ship does not make it to the port. You may wish to view your role call as well to see if you can join any excursions that may be independently planned by fellow cruisers. Have a great cruise

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I've booked through the cruise, privately, and through the Costco excursions. Had no problems with the Costco one at all. Last year in Juneau I did the helicopter dog sled through Costco and it was fantastic. I had a floatplane/bear viewing scheduled yesterday in Ketchikan and it was canceled due to weather. Communication was good. I do have to put in for a refund now but I am not expecting a problem.

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We did both last November when we stopped in the Azores. The ship's tour was well done. We were on a large bus. Our tour guide was a local gal who was very informative. On another island we took a tour through the big box agency you referenced. There were five of us-three from the ship and two from elsewhere. We were on a 4x4 jeep that went places that a large bus couldn't go. Our driver/tour guide was very informative and would stop whenever we saw a great photo op. We also signed up for a private tour through our roll call on a third island. There were seven of us in a van with a driver/tour guide. That tour had the most flexibility and value. In our opinion, all three types of tours were worthwhile.

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We’ve never tried Costco excursions, but will check them out. We have switched to primarily all private excursions over the years. For less money and smaller groups, we see as much or more than the ship excursions. 

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We have used  the cruise ship, Costco and independent tour companies when booking excursions and have never experienced any issues.

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We've used Costco excursions on several cruises and we've found them to be excellent.  We try to see which excursions are best for the port and decide from there.

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We have used a Costco tours several times. Depending on the tour they can be a smaller group.

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I used the Costco tours for the first time last summer in Alaska and really enjoyed them. Loved the small sizes!

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Thanks to all who responded to my question on tour providers.  We

plan to take both ship and Costco (when offered ) tours this December

on the Panama Canal cruise.  We're sorry not to have the Costco 

option on our three Central America ports.

Again....appreciate the prompt feedback!

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We’re taking a South America cruise next year.  While the Costco excursions look good, they were priced significantly higher than other similar tours. Of course they are lower than the ship tours.

 

DD

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Can a person book Costco shore excursions if they booked their cruise directly with HAL?

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We tend to use Costco or Ship during the cruise, but also Viator from our hotel pre or post cruise, using Wyndham as a portal for points.

 

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Costco offers a discount on tours with Shore Excursions Group, a broker. The discount code is in your booking confirmation. If you want to see prices and offerings you can google them.

 

Do be aware that they may require you to get to the meeting place on your own. 

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Taters, well, that's a good question.  Whether one can take an excursion with Costco

having booked the cruise elsewhere.Worth asking Costco, I'd say. 

 

Maybe Tioga Cruiser has an answer, mentioning Shore Excursions Group.

And thanks for the info re getting to the excursion meeting place independently.

Another item to check before proceeding with Costco tours.

 

Again, thanks to all for comments, additional info....appreciate the Cruise Critic community

for passing along helpful hints.

 

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Last year I booked my cruise through Costco and got the link to the shore excursions options and booked one and it went well. This year I booked directly through HAL because I had a Bingo win to cash in. I went back to my old email from Costco and clicked to see if I could buy an excursion for this cruise and was able to. I used the same code as last year (COSTSHRX) and put in my Costco member number and the confirmation # from HAL for that part. Had no problem booking. It was canceled due to rain (it was last Friday in Ketchikan). I received an email this morning saying my refund was being processed before I even had a chance to contact them (per their directions). So I am pleased with the service!

 

ETA: Both times (Juneau and Ketchikan) the meeting spot was right at the dock after getting off the ship so it wasn't an issue having to get anywhere.

Edited by Shel71

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