Cruise Shore Excursions -
Why To Plan Your Own

A little advance planning may save you
a lot of time and money.

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Shore Excursions - Why You Should Arrange Them Your Own

There are several important reasons for scheduling your own Caribbean cruise shore excursions and that all come down to this: You are free to do what you want at your own speed.

The Internet makes it much easier to arrange local tour operators ahead of time. Simply type the port name and "shore excursion operators."

Consider, too: In many cases the cruise lines use the same shore excursion operators but may mark the prices up 20-40 percent.

Shore excursions on your are almost always cheaper. On average, shore excursions are about 30% higher than what it would otherwise cost. This is not always the case but a good rule of thumb.

You avoid lines. Like bus travel? That's what most shore excursions involve, a pack of people ranging from 15 to 30 or more. That means lines wherever you visit.

You don't wait for others. On a busload of people, there are always stragglers and some shoppers that require a crowbar to dislodge them from a souvenir store.

You have total freedom to follow your own schedule. Shore tours usually allot a set amount of time for certain activities. For instance, most city or island tours also include considerable shopping time. Do you want to spend a third of a 3-hour “city tour” shopping instead of sightseeing?

You can detour to follow unexpected interests. If you find a hidden art gallery or want to stay out fishing longer --anything that sidetracks you--you are free to follow your own wishes as long as you are back to the ship on time.

Book a rental car ahead of time. This almost always is the least expensive method for a full day of sightseeing. Arrange for the rental car company to pick you up at the ship. Be prepared to drive on the left. And to pay for the extra accident (CDW) insurance coverage. If something happens, you don't want to be delayed by legal hassles.

Talk to the ship's crew about where they go, and what they see when in a particular port. They visit these places every week. They may come up with something you haven't thought of.

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