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Oceania current policy on private shore excursions vs ship’s excursions?


Funbrit
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Hello,

What information is there about possible covid restrictions as they pertain to shore excursions?

I asked my TA if ship excursions were going to be the only option as we move forward. She seemed to think independent tours will still be an option.

As an independent tour user, I would much prefer to continue booking my own excursions with private vendors but I am wondering what cruisers out there may be experiencing.....any thoughts or information?

Thank you!

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11 minutes ago, Funbrit said:

Hello,

What information is there about possible covid restrictions as they pertain to shore excursions?

I asked my TA if ship excursions were going to be the only option as we move forward. She seemed to think independent tours will still be an option.

As an independent tour user, I would much prefer to continue booking my own excursions with private vendors but I am wondering what cruisers out there may be experiencing.....any thoughts or information?

Thank you!

The conventional wisdom from trusted folks “in the know” about O’s SailSAFE intentions for the foreseeable restart future is “think twice about putting money down on private (non-ship) tours.

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31 minutes ago, Funbrit said:

Hello,

What information is there about possible covid restrictions as they pertain to shore excursions?

I asked my TA if ship excursions were going to be the only option as we move forward. She seemed to think independent tours will still be an option.

As an independent tour user, I would much prefer to continue booking my own excursions with private vendors but I am wondering what cruisers out there may be experiencing.....any thoughts or information?

Thank you!

Hello 

I checked with my Uk  Travel Agent recently and was advised the following....

 have double checked this with Oceania and they have advised that you would need to book a shore excursion with Oceania to disembark their ships. 
 

 

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I would think in the first  few months (maybe after start up  it will be ship's tours only

 Depending on the state of the Countries visited it may be  longer  possibly up to 8mths  +

 

The virus status  seems to be a moving target in some areas of the World

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

For our Jan 22 cruise, we are booking Oceania tours as a fall back, and also lining up private tours if allowed. We will cancel the O tours if we can.

 

The private tour operators have worked with us and no deposits have been necessary.

 

A number of the O shore tours are already sold out and waitlisted. 
 

At some point, when O decides to sail again, I’m sure it will be spelled out in the Blue Book. Once people start getting those, our questions will be answered. It appears, from conversations with the tour operators, that any decision to require ship only tours will come from Oceania and not from the host countries. In fact, the infrastructure to support ship only tours is very limited in many ports. Such a directive from Oceania would well mean people are stuck on the ship because of the lack of that infrastructure. Creating a system with half the cruisers being forced to remain on the ship, while multiple smaller tour operators are sitting unemployed, will create ill will from both parties.
 

 

Edited by pinotlover
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5 hours ago, pinotlover said:

For our Jan 22 cruise, we are booking Oceania tours as a fall back, and also lining up private tours if allowed. We will cancel the O tours if we can.

 

The private tour operators have worked with us and no deposits have been necessary.

 

A number of the O shore tours are already sold out and waitlisted. 
 

At some point, when O decides to sail again, I’m sure it will be spelled out in the Blue Book. Once people start getting those, our questions will be answered. It appears, from conversations with the tour operators, that any decision to require ship only tours will come from Oceania and not from the host countries. In fact, the infrastructure to support ship only tours is very limited in many ports. Such a directive from Oceania would well mean people are stuck on the ship because of the lack of that infrastructure. Creating a system with half the cruisers being forced to remain on the ship, while multiple smaller tour operators are sitting unemployed, will create ill will from both parties.
 

 

A lot of folks who refuse to do a ship tour may find themselves S.O.L. by not booking them early as a precautionary measure and then adjusting as the situation changes (which is what you have done).

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Cruise lines are acutely aware of peoples preferences regarding ship excursions, private excursions and explore on your own.  Each of these are the main draw to the cruise in the first place, not whether there is a new item on the dining room menu or a new performer in the theater.  If the cruise lines ruin the in port experience they will lose customers.  I think the cruise lines will lift any "ship excursions only" policy as soon as it is safe to do so.  In the mean time, the lines will need to count on the customers who are willing to accept all of the health requirements - at least during the restart of cruising.

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1 hour ago, Daniel A said:

Cruise lines are acutely aware of peoples preferences regarding ship excursions, private excursions and explore on your own.  Each of these are the main draw to the cruise in the first place, not whether there is a new item on the dining room menu or a new performer in the theater.  If the cruise lines ruin the in port experience they will lose customers.  I think the cruise lines will lift any "ship excursions only" policy as soon as it is safe to do so.  In the mean time, the lines will need to count on the customers who are willing to accept all of the health requirements - at least during the restart of cruising.

It’s not the cruise lines that would be “ruining” the in-port experience. It’s the pandemic.


In any case: while it is true that the port visit is a very important component of the cruise experience, there are plenty of folks who savor their snippet of “life at sea” and will be just fine    being limited to ship tours for the foreseeable future. 
While not a statistical argument in any sense, just look at how many regular O posters here on CC agree that the O Life excursions option is clearly the best value among the options. 

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7 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

It’s not the cruise lines that would be “ruining” the in-port experience. It’s the pandemic.


In any case: while it is true that the port visit is a very important component of the cruise experience, there are plenty of folks who savor their snippet of “life at sea” and will be just fine    being limited to ship tours for the foreseeable future. 
While not a statistical argument in any sense, just look at how many regular O posters here on CC agree that the O Life excursions option is clearly the best value among the options. 

I think you are saying the same thing as me, just in different words.  I'm saying that the cruise lines will want to make port calls as attractive as possible as soon as safely practicable - it is a big selling point.  I don't see any cruise lines keeping a cruise line excursion only policy any longer than necessary - that would ruin the in-port experience.  "In the mean time, the lines will need to count on the customers who are willing to accept all of the health requirements - at least during the restart of cruising."  Those PAX would be the "folks who savor their snippet of “life at sea” and will be just fine    being limited to ship tours for the foreseeable future."

 

I think we are both in agreement here.

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19 minutes ago, Daniel A said:

I think you are saying the same thing as me, just in different words.  I'm saying that the cruise lines will want to make port calls as attractive as possible as soon as safely practicable - it is a big selling point.  I don't see any cruise lines keeping a cruise line excursion only policy any longer than necessary - that would ruin the in-port experience.  "In the mean time, the lines will need to count on the customers who are willing to accept all of the health requirements - at least during the restart of cruising."  Those PAX would be the "folks who savor their snippet of “life at sea” and will be just fine    being limited to ship tours for the foreseeable future."

 

I think we are both in agreement here.

Though not often, we do the occasional “short” cruise primarily for the seagoing experience. In fact, in place of many Caribbean itineraries, we’d be fine with “cruises to nowhere.”

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Wait until you get the blue book?   Why not just tell guests what to expect.  Other lines have said that you cannot get off in ports unless you are on a ship excursion.  That could make a difference.  Some people don’t want to be restricted 

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1 hour ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Though not often, we do the occasional “short” cruise primarily for the seagoing experience. In fact, in place of many Caribbean itineraries, we’d be fine with “cruises to nowhere.”

All things being equal, I wouldn't mind just taking a cruise just out to Great Stirrup Cay for a day or two.  It could be a 3 or 4 day voyage for that matter.

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I know it's not likely but I'm hoping if ship excursion are required to get off the ship on our upcoming cruise, Oceania adds some cheaper excursions. I'm not hoping for a free tour of the Vatican or anything like that but a drive through the city with a stop somewhere for under $100 would be nice. 

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3 minutes ago, patty1955 said:

I know it's not likely but I'm hoping if ship excursion are required to get off the ship on our upcoming cruise, Oceania adds some cheaper excursions. I'm not hoping for a free tour of the Vatican or anything like that but a drive through the city with a stop somewhere for under $100 would be nice. 

As has been discussed here on numerous occasions, the O life excursions option can double the value of the SBC option if you select the allowable $199 ones. When compared to “cruise only” pricing, your net cost with that O Life strategy would make all sorts of O excursions available to you for no more than $100 each per your O Life allotment..


And those O Life selections count towards the minimum number of your itinerary’s tours required for the 25% YWYW discount on any paid purchases. So, there’s additional choices with net cost under $100.

 

As any Brooklyn “baby boomer,” will tell you, the first full sentence we ever spoke was “never pay retail.”

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5 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

As has been discussed here on numerous occasions, the O life excursions option can double the value of the SBC option if you select the allowable $199 ones. When compared to “cruise only” pricing, your net cost with that O Life strategy would make all sorts of O excursions available to you for no more than $100 each per your O Life allotment..

Yes, I've already bought the O life excursion option. The 6 excursions will apply to 3 ports. Our cruise stops in 8 ports. I'm sure they're all beautiful from a distance but I'd like to visit them all. 

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Just now, patty1955 said:

Yes, I've already bought the O life excursion option. The 6 excursions will apply to 3 ports. Our cruise stops in 8 ports. I'm sure they're all beautiful from a distance but I'd like to visit them all. 

So, look on the first page of the “shore excursions.pdf” you received with your Oceania invoice and it will state how many tours you minimally need for the 25% YWYW discount. Subtract the number of your O Life choices and the difference is the additional tours you need to buy at 25% less than the retail price.

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2 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

So, look on the first page of the “shore excursions.pdf” you received with your Oceania invoice and it will state how many tours you minimally need for the 25% YWYW discount. Subtract the number of your O Life choices and the difference is the additional tours you need to buy at 25% less than the retail price.

I'll take a look. Thank you

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1 hour ago, Redtravel said:

Wait until you get the blue book?   Why not just tell guests what to expect.  Other lines have said that you cannot get off in ports unless you are on a ship excursion.  That could make a difference.  Some people don’t want to be restricted 

The “Blue Book” is useless for “current” info since it is produced as much as two months(+) prior to embarkation.

Remember when the Blue Book used to name the senior officers on your itinerary? O stopped doing that a few years ago because staffing changed so often that the officer citations were often incorrect.

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Since we will all be forced to Ship tours for awhile, Flatbush and others are right on the $$. The O Life Free Excursions coupled with meeting the minimum number of tours for the Your World Package is GREAT VALUE. Out last trip from Iceland to NYC, we toured every day with under $200 tours and over $200 tours and our average tour cost was about $77 per person when we included all the Free tours. When we are able to book private tours, I expect I will add some to out tour mix and it is a great way to meet more of the ship guests and of course the locals. 
If you are having trouble working through the O website to ensure you have received the best value excursion pricing, call Oceania and the Rep will confirm it all for you.  
 

🛳🛳🛳🍷🥂🤞🙏

gerry

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Posted (edited)
On 4/25/2021 at 7:31 AM, Funbrit said:

What information is there about possible covid restrictions as they pertain to shore excursions?

A good question.

 

Just what do these "bubble" tours consist of, and in what ports ?

Are the tours as described in the booking information actually workable in terms of what the cruise line is trying to achieve ?

 

At many of the ports where Oceania are scheduled to go this year,  just how do you operate "bubble" tours at their main sites of interest ?

EG: Haifa (Jerusalem), Aqaba (Petra), Safaga (Luxor).

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tranquility Base
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The OLife shore tour package is worst than OBC for us. We rarely find this nearly mythical $199 tours on any of our sailings. For our upcoming cruises we booked 10 shore tours on each. Exactly one of the shore tours we chose qualified for the package.

 

I fully understand that some, even many, Oceania cruisers are quite satisfied doing 2-4 hour half day tours in port. For them the package is a good deal. That’s not us. We want all day tours to see and tour the area. For us, taking the shore tour package is as senseless as Teatotallers taking the drinks package. We didn’t pay all the money to travel to foreign lands for a 3.5. Hour driving tour. 
 

If Oceania requires their grossly overpriced ship only tours, it will be to gouge their passengers so to make back some of the money they’ve lost not sailing. 

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36 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

The OLife shore tour package is worst than OBC for us. We rarely find this nearly mythical $199 tours on any of our sailings. For our upcoming cruises we booked 10 shore tours on each. Exactly one of the shore tours we chose qualified for the package.

 

I fully understand that some, even many, Oceania cruisers are quite satisfied doing 2-4 hour half day tours in port. For them the package is a good deal. That’s not us. We want all day tours to see and tour the area. For us, taking the shore tour package is as senseless as Teatotallers taking the drinks package. We didn’t pay all the money to travel to foreign lands for a 3.5. Hour driving tour. 
 

If Oceania requires their grossly overpriced ship only tours, it will be to gouge their passengers so to make back some of the money they’ve lost not sailing. 

Just checked the “shore excursions” PDF for our 2 week January 2022 cruise. There are a dozen O Life allowable tours retailing for $179-199 (even more at $149+) - all making a better deal than the OBC. And that’s before their counting toward meeting the minimum tours number for the YWYW 25% discount.

In addition, remember that many OS tours are full day events. 

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Just checked the “shore excursions” PDF for our 2 week January 2022 cruise. There are a dozen O Life allowable tours retailing for $179-199 (even more at $149+) - all making a better deal than the OBC. And that’s before their counting toward meeting the minimum tours number for the YWYW 25% discount.

In addition, remember that many OS tours are full day events. 

I don’t care about the prices! The tours that qualify on our sailings are 2-4.5 hour tours, when we are in port 10-11 hours.

 

Oceania is offering an all day tour for $369 per person. Exact same private tours are $180 each. Some of our posters obviously believe that with the 25% discount $277 is less than $180, and brag about never paying retail! 😂

 

Oceania is offering either zero or maybe one full day tour per day on one of my upcoming cruise. None of those are included in the package.


Some people are fully satisfied with that. Some rarely if ever get off the ship. It’s what they want. I fully understand. It’s not what we want.

Edited by pinotlover
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