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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-23-2011, 08:45 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1
Exclamation should you book excursions now or when off ship
i heard from my brother in law everything is cheaper when you get off ship but i dont want to miss out on the things i want to do need some feed back please cruising on the carnival liberty aug 20th
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-23-2011, 09:37 AM
CruiseDad's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 848
Originally Posted by hippygurl39 View Post
i heard from my brother in law everything is cheaper when you get off ship but i dont want to miss out on the things i want to do need some feed back please cruising on the carnival liberty aug 20th
Here are a few things to consider.
1) If you book thru the ship and your excursion is late, they wait for you
2) If you book thru the ship you have some assurance that it is not a scam and has been checked for safety
3) If you book thru the ship, when you get off ready to go, so is the tour
4) some excursion sell out early. If you want one of those book through the web before you even reach the ship.

With that being said, if you are familiar with the port, been there before and know the ropes yo may be able to save a bit. I personally don't think it is worth the trouble, you are on vacation spent a bunch for a cruise, don't save $25 and risk a bad tour.

Several Islands are really not safe if you leave the regular tour areas. I include Jamacia as one of those, even St Thomas is trouble if you get to far away. I took a run and in about a half mile saw abandon cars and houses, I turned back quick. But other islands you can walk around in perfect safety.

If it's your first cruise stick to the ship excursions
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:30 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: cape cod/ Rotonda West FL
Posts: 639
A lot of that depends on what you like to do. Personally, I'm very comfortable on St. Thomas. If you just want a beach day, there are cabs to Magen's bay, emerald beach etc. It's very easy to take a cab to the ferry and go to St. John also. But if you want to go on a sailing charter or parasailing, it just makes sense to book it through the ship. You'll spend half your day finding a place to do it, and you'll have to wait until the cruise ship passengers who prebooked have their turn.
San Juan is a very easy walking city. But again, if you want to zip line in the rainforest, book it through the ship.
I've never been to Grand Turk, so I can't help you there!
The ship excursions some times sell out, so if it's something you're really anxious to do, book it early. I think you can also cancel them with 48 hours notice, but check the cruise line policy, as they can vary.
If you're like many of us on this site, you'll quickly go from thinking in terms of once in a life time opportunity, to...I'll do that NEXT time.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06-23-2011, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 1,213
I also agree with lots of whats being said here. We have also found that you can pick up a cab and get to lots of places lots cheaper that thru the cruise lines; this is especially true if you do know the island and know what it is you want to do...That being said, we have, during our last couple of cruises started early on and listened to others that have booked tours outside of the lines for much cheaper and we have found that many times, the tour is not as crowded and this is very nice when doing a snorkel.


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Old 06-23-2011, 11:26 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,602
Hi hippygurl39, welcome to CruiseReviews! Maybe if you can let us know what you really want to do, we can better assist. Many of us know the islands very well and may be able to save you some money. Picking up on Marsha's reply, I'm thinking you're doing San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. These are all islands that you can easily do excursions on your own. However, you MUST remember to be back to the ship on time if you are not on a cruise excursion. The ship will NOT wait for anyone that is not on one of their excursions.

Knowing what you really want to do, will help us be able to guide you to how to accomplish your goal! Just be warned, cruising is addictive
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:21 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 848
A lot of that depends on what you like to do. Personally, I'm very comfortable on St. Thomas. If you just want a beach day, there are cabs to Magen's bay, emerald beach etc...... End quote

Poormom has a good point for St Thomas. Cab to the beaches is fine. I have a tip however, Going out is easy to find a cab, coming back is NOT easy to find a cab. So ask the driver who takes you out to come back at a specifed time. Give him a good tip on the way out and you will be set to come back. Be ready at the appointed time. BTW I thought Meagans Bay was very nice. Going up the skyway was fun too, don't need an excursion for that.
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 801
I was not going to post but I really like to mention a few things considering that I live on the caribbean (Puerto Rico). First I have been on 6 cruises so far and I have always book my tours directly from the company.
Because you are safer that way, not all the islands are safe enough to venture yourself alone or to be wiser than the company ($$$)...

For example

I have a friend in the st Thomas border patrol and he told me that every week some cruisers are left behind the island by a cruise company becuause they don't arrive a the time the cruise line ship leaves port,

St Thomas is a small Island if you think you can rent a car, travel around the island without problems think again, remember they don't have interstates, so if you are in the other side of the island it will take more than 2 hours arrive to the port if there is a car jam and many cruisers think "two hour is enough to get back" and forget that around 3 pm everyone in the island is off work getting to their houses.

also how much chepear that is 25 dollars?? 50 dollars??
try to think
if you are left behind how chepear this will be or if they hit you and take away your passport and money...

also, living in an island, I know for sure that you have to be careful where you go
not all the people of the island are friendly and if you don't know where is the crime how can you avoid it?

so In the end, for me, is not an option
When I go in cruise I like to leave my problems at home not to get new ones
but that is just me many cruisers do it the other way and never had a problem...
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2011, 03:39 PM
Berick1234's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,497
25 cruises and soon to be 26...and I've always booked my excursions from the ship....
Call it insurance.....If you want to save money by booking your own, well, figure in the cost if you don't get back to the ship in time....I've seen many times where we left someone waving at the ship trying to get it to come back....Doesn't work.....Be safe and enjoy the total cruise....

Bob E
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 07-23-2011, 06:41 PM
todd ham's Avatar
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: newyork
Posts: 29
Default Didnt book with carnival
dint booked with carnival and try to do it on my own and save some money, but when I got to half moon every thing was sold. I was real mad at my self for not booking, and thenI went to nassau And got rip off for $80.00 renting a jet ski that was suppose to be for 40 min.and he came and took the jet ski with 15 min to go and said that I needed gas got off jet ski ,and he jump on it with my sun glasses , wallet, and flip flops still inside jet ski and never came back.
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