||10-18-2011 05:03 PM
Originally Posted by Cruise Fanatic
NOTE: While a private company may have every intent to get you back to the ship on time, extenuating circumstances may prevent them from doing so. If these same extenuating circumstances happened with a ships tour, the ship does know how many people they have out on their tours, and the tour operator contacts the ship. When individuals go out on their own, the ship doesn't know where you are or what has happened. For all they know, you've decided to stay on the island. Taking an independent tour is an individuals choice and perfectly fine as long as they understand and accept the responsibility and any consequences.
CF, well I guess I won't argue with you. You are the moderator and the "expert" after all :) I'm simply a cruiser. But I will simply share my experience. Cruise ship sanctioned tour companies have paid a premium to the ships to offer tours to their passengers. "Non-sanctioned" companies have simply decided to offer tours without the "upcharge" to the cruise ship companies. I was on such an excursion in Costa Rica. The bus broke down, as buses do. Cruise ship tour operators aren't the the only lucky folks with cell phones, the private companies have them too. ;) Our guide called his office, they called our ship. Not to mention those of us with cell phones that could do the same. They would be insane not to call the ship!
I just believe in choices and the wonderful opportunities that thinking outside the box provides. Cruise ship excursions or private excursions...both are adventures, both can be fun. One just allows for smaller groups and a few less bucks. If ANY tour operator caused anyone to miss their ship, they would get BLASTED in these forums and would never be in business.
Of all the unhappy reviews about service, value for the money, rudeness, etc....it's a rare rare account (frankly I've not read even one) of anyone missing a ship.