Shore Excursion (Tours) Questions
I don’t plan to spend much time in my cabin. What’s the most affordable way for me to get on the ship?
The most affordable way to get on the ship is to book an “inside guarantee.” The rate is often a little lower than the rate for the lowest category on the ship. You will not receive a cabin number when booking. It will be assigned as late as the day of sailing. And your cabin assignment could be in any category on the ship. You could receive the lowest category on the ship or the highest. You never know. However, expect an inside cabin. The drawback is that you don’t know where you’ll end up. It could be the front, back or middle, so if that’s a concern to you, we recommend avoiding this pricing program.
Since most cabins on today’s ships only differ by the fact they’re on a different deck, most folks don’t mind taking a chance of where they end up. Most of our clients who take advantage of this deal are quite satisfied with their accommodations. If you seriously plan to spend little time in your cabin, then consider this promotion.
Where is the best location for my cabin if I’m concerned about the ship’s motion?
While motion sickness shouldn’t be a major concern on today’s ships, you should still know the best way to avoid it if possible. If it’s available, you should request a cabin that is relatively close to the middle of the ship. If you can imagine a see-saw in the play ground, it’s the ends that go up and down, not the middle. You should also look for a cabin that’s closer to the bottom of the ship, not the top. The higher you are, the greater the potential to feel a left to right rolling motion. Again, today’s ships are fully stabilized making your cruise comfortable in virtually any location. As a matter of fact, if motion discomfort were such an issue, the suites on a ship wouldn’t be at the top and near the front.
Is an Oceanview cabin worth the extra money?
Our clients tell us the biggest advantage of having an Oceanview cabin is that it makes your cabin seem so much bigger. It’s amazing what natural light will do for a room. It also gives you some perception of time. When you wake up at 7:00 am in an inside cabin, you can’t tell if it’s 2 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon. For them an Oceanview cabin is worth it for this reason alone. Want to know what the weather’s like? Open your curtain. With an inside cabin, you throw on some clothes, run outside and run back again.
On the other hand, our other valued clients say the opposite. “Who needs a window? I’m only going to be in there when I sleep anyway. I could use that extra money on shore excursions, my bar tab, or my next cruise.”
Is it possible to “Miss the Boat?
YES. All guests are required to be back on board 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time, which is listed in the daily bulletin and at the gangway as you leave the ship. The scheduling of all shore excursions conform to this requirement. However, if you leave a tour en route, or explore a port on your own it will be your responsibility to secure transportation and return to the pier on time. If you don’t make it, they’ll see you at the next port at your expense.
What type of transportation is used for Shore Excursions?
Standards of transport vary considerably from country to country; however, excursions utilize the best quality transportation possible in each port. Air-conditioned vehicles are not always available. Guest wishing to travel together with friends should leave the ship together, as this will help the tour staff allocate space in the same vehicle.
Will transportation be available to the city center?
There are many ports that are not located in the city center. For the convenience of their guests, some cruises have shuttle bus services arranged in those ports that are located a 1/2 mile or more away from the closest city center and do not have adequate local transportation available. Schedules and days of operation are usually posted in the ship’s bulletin. Taxis are available quayside in some ports.
How should I tip our Guide/Driver?
Tipping is strictly optional; however, it is accepted in many countries and a general rule of thumb is that it if you are pleased with the services of a tour guide or driver then $2 would be an adequate reward.
How can I find out more about the ports we’ll be visiting?
On certain cruises, a qualified lecturer will give informative talks on each port of call you visit. Information and a map is usually provided in the daily bulletin on board or provided separately for your perusal. It is always good to do a little research before you go. Your local library should have all kinds of books pertaining to your destination and the internet can also be a great help.
Will I miss meals when I go ashore?
Depends on the length of the tour. Obviously an all day tour will miss lunch but many all day excursions include a lunch out or a packed lunch. Most tours will be timed to coincide with ship meal time
What should I wear?
Learn about or ask about the local customs when in a foreign port. Other countries may have more conservative ideas about dress than you’re accustomed to. Attention is drawn to this matter so as not to offend. Cruisefinder.com.au suggests when visiting places of worship, you dress conservatively, avoiding shorts or sundresses. Attend the port lectures for guidance.
Guests should wear comfortable walking shoes at all times. When visiting ruins or walking on cobblestone streets, wear rubber-soled shoes. It’s also smart to wear a sun hat.
Will I have time to shop?
Whenever possible, shopping time is allocated within the framework of the excursions. However, tours are not designed primarily for shopping.
How do I pay for Shore Excursions?
Tours booked on board will added to your shipboard account. Often tours booked pre-cruise on the internet require credit card details as a guarantee but will be charged to your shipboard account.