So, you are planning a cruise? I have to say it’s one of the coolest ways for people, sailing from one port to another, to see more places at once.
Cruising is hands down a superb way to spend your vacation with all the little necessities (comfy cabin, deck, pools, excellent cuisine) but once the ship sails into a port, you will undoubtedly want to see the place.
Let me put it simply, staying in the port is usually super short; you won’t have enough time to see half of the things you wanted to check.
This is why I suggest you book a shore excursion before you even take off.
1. Timing is everything
To avoid stress and possible unwanted situations, make sure you learn how long you will stay in the port. Take a picture of the schedule if you must, so you won’t forget. This will allow you to plan your excursion (and if you know the schedule in advance, it would be even easier for you to make your booking). Go with an agency that offers a time guarantee (if by any chance you miss your ship because of them, the agency covers your meals, hotels, and transport to your next port.
2. Cash is the king
Perhaps you won’t need any money on the ship (you’ve already paid for everything, right), but naturally, you will need money when you take off. Make sure you bring cash before you sail off, or get info on ATMs or exchange offices on the mainland.
3. What if the tour is late
It is not surprising for your journey to start a bit later than the booked time. However, the good thing about this is that your ship won’t sail off without you (in case you book your excursion tour on the boat, which will cost you far more than booking it on the port). On the other hand, people who decided to roam the port town on their own risk being left on the port if they are late.
4. What if you don’t book the excursion before you sail off
Usually these booking agencies have their desk on the ship you are sailing with. If you did not make your booking before, you could do it anytime, and for any port, your ship stops.
5. Gather together
Look, some excursions are beyond great and you will want to take these excursions. But there is this thing called “not enough people.” The agency might cancel the tour if there are not enough participants. So, while you are mingling with people on the ship, you might want to seek people who want to go on the same excursions as you.
6. Don’t forget about reviews
Reviews saved me many times, to be honest. Don’t rush to spend your money on tours that have tons of dissatisfied clients. Check online what people talk about the trip. As a dedicated online researcher, I came across this agency and did myself a favor. For example, if you are taking a Mediteranean cruise, my recommendation is to visit all Barcelona excursions available.
7. Bring the necessities with you
Don’t learn the hard way that IDs, passports, money, and credit cards are not supposed to be left on the ship. Also take anything you’d need (swimsuits, towels, hats, sunglasses, medicine), so you can be carefree in those few hours in the port.
8. Plan your time during the excursion
Leave shopping and taking pictures of the most crowded places for the end. You’ll save time and nerves, and you’ll get to see everything in a relaxed manner.
So no matter what kind of cruise you’re planning, excursions will be a fun way to see the port towns. Plan ahead, be smart, and take these tips with you. Wishing you a smooth sailing!