I'm all booked for Caribbean Princess to Eastern Caribbean. What are the advantages and disadvantages of reserving shore excursions through Princess, or individually through the vendors themselves? For example, the Atlantis Submarine tour in St. Tbomas can be reserved through Princess, or directly.....of course Princess charges a little extra.
If I ever had to make a claim through trip cancellation insurance, would the shore excursion that was booked through Princess be covered?
We met a single dad on the ship, his girls and my girls just clicked and were together constantly, we told him we were going to stingray city in Cayman Island, he tryed to book onboard but they were sold out, we talked him into buying the excursion through an outside vender...Cost $45pp the advantage was there were only the 7 of us on the boat. not only were we taken to stingray city but he also took us to a great snorkeling area. We Never book onboard, i always go online and reserve a spot through the independent shore excursion operators for each port.
Can you tell me what tour company you used on these shore excursions. I am a first time cruiser, and very nervous about getting off the ship, unless on a ship booked excursion, but they say if you do it yourself its alot cheaper. thanks..
If you book in advance, through Princess, you are not charged until you get on board. And then, if you decide to cancel, they will refund your money if it is a valid reason or they have to cancel the excursion. Last year we cancelled Curacoa snorkeling because it was lightning. We cancelled on the morning of the excursion. They told us they probably could not refund the money, which I understood. However, later that morning, they had to cancel all excursions due to the weather, so they refunded the money. We usually book through Princess for our excursions. The reasons are: you know where you are going, when you are going, how much you are going to spend, what you are going to do, you are guaranteed a space, you get to pick what you want to do, and you know the ship will not sail without you. We also do some on our own when we get to a port. We'll ask one of the cab drivers how much he'd charge to take us around the island or some place we may have seen that looked interesting. It usually is a reasonable price, and we've had a lot of fun. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you allow plenty of time to accomplish it. Have a wonderful cruise!!
Booking through the cruise line might be the best way sometimes, you don't have to deal with the stress of not knowing where you're going, getting lost... If you find a private excursion right off the docks, or book it on line, remember that if you're late the ship won't wait, so be back in plenty of time. Planning is the key to a fun time on any island, do lots of research on your ports to find the best tour for you.