For several reasons, many cruisers love to stay onboard the ship when it docks. For one, it allows them to enjoy all onboard amenities without many other guests. Plus, on port-intensive silversea cruises 2023, a day off from touring can be just what you need to recharge your batteries.
Cruise lines set up a meeting area at these destinations once passengers disembark. You’ll be directed to look for a crew member holding a sign with your tour’s name and number.
Plan Your Excursion in Advance
When arriving at your cruise port, it’s recommended to research local tours beforehand to enjoy Grand Cayman cruise excursion. The internet, including official tourist sites and blogs, is valuable. Additionally, you can ask your cruise line for recommendations. It’s crucial to do this before your trip, as tour companies might cancel or alter the itinerary due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather. It’s best to book excursions in advance if they are must-do or have limited availability. You can do this online or at the ship’s excursion desk once onboard. If you choose to book in advance, be sure that your payments are made on a credit card that will not expire before the end of your trip. In addition, it’s a good idea to check in with the tour company the day before your trip to confirm that everything is still on track.
On the other hand, there are some things that you can’t reserve in advance, and it may be better to book on the pier. This is a good option to see which tour operators are most popular or if word-of-mouth tips make you change your mind about what you’d like to do. In addition, booking a tour with a local company is usually cheaper than one arranged through the cruise line.
Book a Private Taxi
Sometimes, the ship’s excursions differ from what you’re looking for. In that case, work with a local guide or company to create a personalized tour. They can often offer a better experience for less, and they’ll be flexible if inclement weather prevents the tour from taking place as scheduled.
Look for a third-party provider of cruise excursions that can help you save money. These companies, also known as shore excursion specialists, offer pre-packaged tours with reputable operators at often significantly lower prices than cruise lines.
If the ports you’re visiting are far from your home base, consider booking a private taxi to get you there. It’ll be cheaper than renting a car and can eliminate the stress of packing, dealing with airline liquid rules, and worrying about leaving your car in an uncovered parking lot for a week.
If you’re on a longer trip, consider arriving at the port of embarkation a day or two early. This will give you time to enjoy the local culture and avoid the crowds on your first day aboard the ship. Plus, the ship’s facilities — like pools, hot tubs, and dining venues — will be open and almost empty for your enjoyment. It’s a great way to start your vacation.
For several reasons, many cruisers love to stay onboard the ship when it docks. For one, it allows them to enjoy all onboard amenities without many other guests. Plus, on port-intensive cruises, a day off from touring can be just what you need to recharge your batteries.
Another reason to stay on board is that sometimes a particular port doesn’t interest you for various reasons. Perhaps you’ve been to the place before and have already seen the highlights, or you’re on a budget that only allows for inexpensive excursions. Or, you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of a busy cruise destination.
Insider Tip: When you arrive to board the cruise ship, bring all of your boarding documents with you, including your boarding pass (which doubles as your room key) and luggage tags, sent to you in advance or printed at home. These items will help you get through the line faster at security and eliminate confusion when someone asks for your stateroom number.
You can fly into the cruise departure city a day early. This will give you extra time in case of flight delays or other unexpected travel issues.
Go with the Flow
Cruising is a fun way to see many places in one trip without the stress and expense of packing and unpacking. However, cruising also requires some planning to ensure you see and do everything you want. Your travel advisor can help you plan your cruise and shore excursions by researching port guides, asking questions in Facebook groups and forums, and checking online sites to find tours that are a good fit for what you want. Your travel advisor also has access to a network of thousands of people who have booked the same cruises and can look at pricing for these excursions in advance so you know you are getting a fair price.
When planning your tour, remember that a highly popular or limited-participant tour is likely to sell out before you disembark. You can purchase these tours in advance through your cruise line or a thirty-party.
If you cannot secure your desired tour in advance, or if the price is more than you’d like to pay, consider staying on board for the day. You can explore the city your ship is docked in and enjoy a less-crowded pool deck while on shore. If you can read the tour descriptions and add up the time spent on the bus and driving between attractions, you might be surprised at how much you can save by simply staying onboard during a port of call.