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Booking with NCL vs other shore excursions?


Szaftoo

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We are planning on making reservations now for our cruise to Hawaii in April. I have been browsing the boards and see many recommendations for outside excursion companies. I called one of those companies and they made the process sound very complicated. Is it better to book online now through the cruise line or with an outside company? We are looking for convenience once we arrive in port and hope to save some money. Any and all help is appreciated.

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Szaftoo...we're doing both depending on how long we're in port. It is usually more economically advantageous to book an excursion through an outside company and sometimes they have excursions that interest you that the cruiseline doesn't have.

 

When we're in Maui and Hilo we'll be doing excursions on our own. In Kona I'm still trying to decide if I should book the CPT Zodiac through the cruiseline or through the company itself. Given the times I would feel better booking through the cruiseline because that way we ensure to get off on one of the first tenders (if we weren't tendering in...we would definitely book on our own). In Kauai...the first day we'll book excursions through outside companies, but will use NCL excursions on the second day to ensure we're back in time for our 2 departure.

 

Booking excursions on your own is not difficult...if the company you called made it sound difficult than they obviously don't want your money. I've booked private excursions on all of our Caribbean itineraries and have never had an issue with it being a hassle.

 

But, if it makes you feel more at ease to book through the cruiseline then you should definitely do that. You want to enjoy your vacation...not worry about making your excursions on time.

 

Which excursions are you thinking about?

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Booking excursions on your own is not difficult...if the company you called made it sound difficult than they obviously don't want your money. I've booked private excursions on all of our Caribbean itineraries and have never had an issue with it being a hassle.

 

But, if it makes you feel more at ease to book through the cruiseline then you should definitely do that. You want to enjoy your vacation...not worry about making your excursions on time.

 

Which excursions are you thinking about?

 

Thanks so much for your reply. We are just now starting to look at excursions and hope to make them this week. For sure we want to visit Pearl Harbor and the Fern Grotto. My husband is really interested in a trip to a volcano site in Hilo though we don't know which one yet.

 

The one company I called said the ship docked at the harbor and then we took a shuttle to a hotel where another shuttle would take us to our destination. They said the hotel shuttles only ran on Saturday but they would be happy to accomodate us (makes no sense).

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Based on recommendation elsewhere in this post I just booked all my shore excursions for the Rhapsody in April thru www.gorabbitgo.com. Very easy. Not sure if your ship is on their listing, if it is you select your ship sailing date and the site shows the ship schedule and the tours available at each port of call. They pick up right at the pier, keep up on the ship schedules and make changes as needed. Most important, beside the personal recommendations, was that I saved over $200 over the ships offerings and got better tours at better times. You select your tours, save in a shopping cart, then pay at the end (there is a 10% cancellation fee), which is fine by me. That way I can know my expenses and have them paid before I go. Hope that helps.

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