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Would you pay to tour restricted parts of your cruise ship?


Would you pay for a ship tour? What do you think about them? (Choose all that apply.)  

376 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you pay for a ship tour? What do you think about them? (Choose all that apply.)

    • Yes, I think it would be great add-on to my cruise experience
    • Maybe, but only if the prices were lowered
    • No, it doesn't interest me at all
    • I have done this and loved it!
    • I have done this and didn’t think it was worth it
    • I have a different opinion (which I'll post)

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Today we received details from Norwegian Cruise Line on its latest tour on offer -- and it's a little bit different to your usual shore excursion. The “Behind the Scenes” tour gives passengers access to normally restricted zones on their ship.

The tour starts with a meet and greet with the ships officers, a visit to the galley for a glimpse of NCL’s chefs at work. Then, following a trip through the food storage areas, the tour stops at the theatre's backstage area. Next stop is the laundry area to see where the clothes are all washed (not so sure about this part myself!). The tour concludes with a visit to the bridge, where guests have the chance to meet the Captain and learn how he controls the ship. The tour -- which is offered just once per NCL cruise – costs $55 per person. For $150 per person, you can take the extended tour which include sushi making and sake tasting, group photo on the bridge, specialty coffee, pre-dinner cocktails in one of the ship’s lounges and dinner with a glass of wine in Cagney’s Steakhouse.

These tours are actually an emerging trend; Princess Cruises was the first to implement a similar program, back in September last year. Its tour costs $150 per cruise and includes backstage, galley, engine control room, the bridge, print shop, photo laboratory, medical center, laundry and the funnel.

So we want to know: Would you pay to go on a behind-the-scenes ship tour? Have you tried one, and if so, was it worth the extra dough? Please vote in our poll, and post your opinion below.

Kelly Ranson

U.K. Editor

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When Princess first announced their tour, which began with the Ruby Princess, it didn't appeal to me--mainly due to the cost. After reading the reviews, I would love to take this tour. Princess does give gifts that includes a robe, photo, stationery, and other items. It's only done on sea days and makes it that much more difficult to take the tour since you can't sign up until you are on board.

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I don't think I'd pay extra unless I thought the items mentioned by Cadcow1962 were worth the money. I've been on enough free back-stage tours of the theater and galley tours that they probably would not be showing anything new to me. We took a tour of the bridge that included a lot of the security procedures back in 2000 on Celebrity's Century. And I can watch the photo lab at Costco.

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I've been cruising long enough that I seen most of the behind the scene's area's including the crew quarters, cause back in the day they had tours of those area's.


What I would really like is an excursion onto other Carnival ships that are in port. I almost always sail on Conquest Class ships, but I think it would be neat to get to view the other ships public area's and perhaps stop for a drink or lunch out on the Lido or something like that.

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I have toured the bridge (for free, was invited by the Captain) and it was a great experience, but I don't think I need to do it again.

I would LOVE to tour the kitchen and galley areas. I am fascinated by how they can cook so much food and it still taste relatively good!

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I am a big techno geek and would certainly pay to be able to tour the bridge and the engineering areas...Engine room, desalination equipment etc.


I can see how some extra security measures would need to be taken and the cruise line would have to devote a resourse to conduct the tour so I think it fair that they charge for this type of behind the scenes view.

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Back in pre 9/11 days, we toured the bridge of an NCL ship and the galley as well. On our first cruise, we took the wrong bulkhead and saw the crew's quarters on the way back from the lifeboat drill. You can probably guess that we had an inside cabin on the lowest possible deck!


I would be very interested to see the "behind the scenes" areas, but I won't pay one dime to do so. This just appears to be a nickel and diming money making scheme by the cruise lines. But if people are paying for it, PT Barnum was right on target!

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We have enjoyed all the "behind the scenes" tours and have never paid for any---of course I guess since we paid for a suite we actually did pay in the long run!:o We have had private engine room tours back when you just asked your concierge and they set up a time. Bridge tours still are free---just had 30 of us on NCL Jewel last Oct/Nov.(VIP's or suite guests). I think they are really interesting, but don't know if I would actually pay for a tour.

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I would pay the lower price NCL is offering. I like that you can choose to opt out of certain things, and pay less for it. The Ultimate Tour on Princess sounds nice and interesting, but not sure I would pay $150 even with those extras. I have done bridge, galley and backstage tours before and really liked them.

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