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maxxboy

Required ship excursions if getting off the ship

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Would you cruise if the only way you can get off the ship while in port is to take a shore excursion from the cruise line? No independent excursions and no walking around the port on your own or renting a car and exploring on your own. Thoughts? For us it would be a no go.

Edited by maxxboy

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I have bought all of the excursions for our summer cruise.   I have taken this cruise before and did strictly independent shore activities last time so the mandated excursions work for us.   I think it is just another consideration when picking a cruise, that is, are the excursions acceptable?

Edited by Mary229

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Good topic.  

 

If ship-only excursions were the only issue I would go on the cruise.  Thing is, if only ship sponsored excursions are permitted then there is still an issue with management of the pandemic.  There will likely be other restrictions which taken together would likely keep me away.   

 

 

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Adding:  one could say all inclusive fares manage to accomplish the same end with slick marketing 

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My answer is not an absolute yes or no. It would truly depend on the itinerary and what the cruise line has to offer at each port of call.
 

If the excursions offer something similar to what I’d do on my own anyway and for a similar price, then I’d be OK with taking the ship sponsored excursion (we’ve done it many times before).


But if the excursions offer nothing of interest, or if what I’d really like to do ashore is something that I simply can’t do on a ship sponsored excursion, then I’d wait to cruise until this rule is lifted and I can do things on my own again. 
 

I would be inclined to wait until the shore excursion restriction is lifted before I take a cruise to a “bucket list” destination though. I wouldn’t want to be restricted to a limited list of shore excursions then.

Edited by Tapi

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29 minutes ago, maxxboy said:

Would you cruise if the only way you can get off the ship while in port is to take a shore excursion from the cruise line? No independent excursions and no walking around the port on your own or renting a car and exploring on your own. Thoughts? For us it would be a no go.

We only book excursions with cruise lines.However ,as I have said numerous times we will not cruise until there are zero restrictions.

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It would be a deal breaker for me. I much prefer to do my own thing and it is rare that a shore excursion offers what I want to see/do.  Additionally, I have been on some really bad shore excursions, and I absolutely HATE forced shopping stops that many of them include.

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 We cruise to be at sea; many times we don't even get off the ship in ports, especially in the Caribbean.   So it wouldn't stop us from booking at all.

 

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No - would not be interested in cruising if "ship only" shore excursions are mandated. Will be sticking to land visits when Europe again opens to US citizens and international travel is prudent. Hopefully, mandated shore excursions through the cruise line will not become a permanent feature on cruises.

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1 hour ago, Tapi said:

 

I would be inclined to wait until the shore excursion restriction is lifted before I take a cruise to a “bucket list” destination though. I wouldn’t want to be restricted to a limited list of shore excursions then.

 

I agree with this.  No way I would take a "bucket list" cruise with those restrictions. However, if I decide to book a cruise for the cruise itself as a getaway, and don't care about the itinerary, I might still go.  I have a May cruise booked with only two port calls.  It's mostly scenic cruising.  I will probably lean toward still taking that cruise under those restrictions. 

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Depending upon the itinerary, I'd have no problem with remaining on the ship during port calls.  Particularly in the Caribbean, although I would hope that Private Island port calls would be allowed without the regimentation.  I'd put up with this restriction for awhile.  On a long term basis, whatever the definition of long term might be which I can't define this evening, no.  

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1 minute ago, rkacruiser said:

Depending upon the itinerary, I'd have no problem with remaining on the ship during port calls.  Particularly in the Caribbean, although I would hope that Private Island port calls would be allowed without the regimentation.  I'd put up with this restriction for awhile.  On a long term basis, whatever the definition of long term might be which I can't define this evening, no.  

At my age there is no way that I would want to be on a ship in ports if I was healthy enough to get off.

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I'm booked on a Dec'2020 cruise out of Athens, Greece.  While Greece isn't currently open to Americans, we are still hopeful.

The NCL site makes absolutely no reference to a coordinated-tour restriction (yet), but also does not seem to offer clear guidance about masks, which is a concern.  We're packing MANY masks, so as always to have a fresh one.

We rarely take ship-tours, finding that we spend less money and have more time 'at' the site when we go it alone, and also avoid the forced shopping stops.

 

All that said... I'd take the ships tour if required, but would grumble if they also forced me to pay extra for them.

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2 hours ago, dogs4fun said:

No - would not be interested in cruising if "ship only" shore excursions are mandated. Will be sticking to land visits when Europe again opens to US citizens and international travel is prudent. Hopefully, mandated shore excursions through the cruise line will not become a permanent feature on cruises.

I'm betting/guessing that we'll be doing European land trips. And Canada.

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The only way I can envision these excursions keeping you away from all others and only in your "cruise excursion bubble" is a bus on which you cannot get off. So for instance in Rome, there is the Colosseum; there is the Vatican Museum. You say you want to get off and explore it, well tough you cannot, but you can say you were in Rome.

 

A DEALBREAKER.

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If the only way to cruise was by taking cruise line excursions we would minimize or eliminate all of our cruising and simply fly to our destinations.  We think of cruise excursions as akin to being cattle on a cattle drive led around by a lead steer (the guide) who has a sign instead of a bell, and a follow-up cowboy (the chaperone from the ship) bringing up the rear to make sure there are no strays.  We acknowledge that some folks enjoy this kind of travel but we are independent calves :).

 

Hank

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29 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

If the only way to cruise was by taking cruise line excursions we would minimize or eliminate all of our cruising and simply fly to our destinations.  We think of cruise excursions as akin to being cattle on a cattle drive led around by a lead steer (the guide) who has a sign instead of a bell, and a follow-up cowboy (the chaperone from the ship) bringing up the rear to make sure there are no strays.  We acknowledge that some folks enjoy this kind of travel but we are independent calves :).

 

Hank

We've done a half dozen or so escorted land tours and most were fantastic. But absolutely yes, there were times that I wanted to scream. After the last one we decided no more.

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1 minute ago, clo said:

We've done a half dozen or so escorted land tours and most were fantastic. But absolutely yes, there were times that I wanted to scream. After the last one we decided no more.

We have already started our own home debate/discussion.  We have a 30 day HAL cruise (in April) that begins in Yokohama and ends in Vancouver.   I give that cruise no more then a 25% chance of ever happening but we will continue to plan on the trip, book a couple of weeks of pre-cruise hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto, (all refundable) and do our usual pre-trip homework/planning.  But if that cruise happens and the only way off the ship is on HAL excursions we will have a tough decision.  The cruise has quite a few ports in Japan and a few in Alaska.  We would normally do most of those ports on our own (no excursion and few tours).  DW's current feeling is that if we had to take excursions she would want to cancel the entire trip or perhaps just spend a month in Japan (if that country reopens to tourism).  My feeling is to consider taking HAL excursions although we would need a lot of pre-excursion booze and tranquilizers to get through the experience :).   Our savings on Business Class via HAL (vs buying business class for an independent trip) would just about pay for the cruise!   In fact, that might be a new strategy to use cruises to get the big discounted First/Business Class fares and then think of the cruise as something one suffers through.  Horrible thought that the best part of cruising might be the discounted airfare :(.

 

Hank

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5 hours ago, maxxboy said:

Would you cruise if the only way you can get off the ship while in port is to take a shore excursion from the cruise line? No independent excursions and no walking around the port on your own or renting a car and exploring on your own. Thoughts? For us it would be a no go.

 

Since our preferred cruise line provides a complimentary shore-ex in each port, for us it isn't a cost issue.

 

It may impact the itinerary we select, as in some regions of the world, we only book a ship's shore-ex due to traffic congestion, safety, etc. In most European ports, Australia, NZ, Hong Kong, etc we usually book private tours, so probably wouldn't book those itineraries. Also wouldn't book the Caribbean, so that leaves Asia, Africa & S/America, which we would book.

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Since I only do round trip, San Francisco to Mexico ... my dh 88 and I don't bother to get off the ship any more.    In the past, we found we enjoyed the ship when it was pretty empty.  We have been to Mexico 10 time or more over past 30 years.   So for us taking a cruise is simply a change of place and pace.  Staying aboard has been just fine in the past.  We enjoy our mini suite balcony, have lunch there, very pleasant. 

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The anticipated restrictions on cruises and my complete lack of confidence in the cruise lines to live up to their safety commitments "break the deal" well before any consideration of excursion restrictions. 

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It seems that this rule indicates that it really isn't yet safe to cruise and do excursions, at least for those who are in the elderly or medically compromised group.

 

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1 hour ago, Markanddonna said:

It seems that this rule indicates that it really isn't yet safe to cruise and do excursions, at least for those who are in the elderly or medically compromised group.

My sentiments as well.

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1 hour ago, Markanddonna said:

It seems that this rule indicates that it really isn't yet safe to cruise and do excursions, at least for those who are in the elderly or medically compromised group.

 

 

I agree.  In truth, I'm not suggesting that this isn't a safety measure that cruise lines probably "should" take if they are restarting before a vaccine is available and/or while infections are still widespread. 

 

However, it just doesn't appeal to me and probably not to others who aren't cruising for a "sand and waves" kind of holiday.

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13 hours ago, lenquixote66 said:

At my age there is no way that I would want to be on a ship in ports if I was healthy enough to get off.

 

One might be safer in a Caribbean port than an American port these days, those 3rd world little countries seem to have done a much better job of keeping their citizens safe than we have here in the USA.

 

In Europe and elsewhere, the viral rates have fluctuated through highs and lows, so it would depend on where and when.  Tis true that those of us over 65 along with anyone having diabetes, heart or weight issues, is more at risk than a young healthy person.

 

Perhaps, the ship only excursion rule is to protect the local population from us Americans?

Edited by evandbob

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