We've been on numerous cruises, and dont take excursions. They cost so much and you are on their time table. Try researching a port you are going to and go off on your on. I bet you will enjoy it more!!! You can rent mopeds and cars if you want, or take metros, trains, buses. You will actually get the real feel for the port you are in and see more interesting things and people. Just try it once, you cant go wrong!!!