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Old 03-16-2007, 08:16 PM
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We depart May 05 Emerald Princess (first cruise and very nervous) - received our entire package two weeks ago. It included information on all of the day tours. There is a deadline of April 10 to book through Princess. Do the experinced cruisers recommend we book this early or take our chances and wait until on board? Thanks for your suggestions...
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:39 PM
 
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Do not wait until on board to book. You may miss out on many excursions. It would not surprise me if many were already booked up. Have a great trip!
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Old 03-16-2007, 09:25 PM
BJS BJS is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Albertagirl:
We depart May 05 Emerald Princess (first cruise and very nervous) - received our entire package two weeks ago. It included information on all of the day tours. There is a deadline of April 10 to book through Princess. Do the experinced cruisers recommend we book this early or take our chances and wait until on board? Thanks for your suggestions...
Book them immediately! Since these tours were probably available 120 days before your cruise many of them may already be full.

This is how Princess pre-booking shore excursions works: Go to Personalizer, on the Princess web site, and select the ones you want. You are not charged when you do this. When you arrive on the ship you will find the excursion tickets in your stateroom. At that time they put them on your shipboard account. This account is paid for at the end of the cruise usually by the credit card you have provided. There will be a posted date and time by which you will need to cancel and get a credit back to your shipboard account. This is usually about 1-2 days before the tour. If you wait until you get on the ship the excursions you want might be all booked.

With the itinerary you are sailing you will not find people waiting at the dock to take you on an excursion. You will either have to pre-arrange for private guides or book through Princess. It would be a shame to visit such wonderful ports and not see the sights.
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Future cruises:
Star Princess - Dec. 2007-Rome- TA
Crown Princess- May 2008 TA & Baltics
Pacific Princess-Nov. 2008-Holy Land & Egypt
Diamond Princess- Apr. 2009 Asia- Bangkok to Whittier
Past cruises:
Golden Princess-2007-Alaska
Sea Princess-2005 Canada/New England
Diamond Princess- 2005 Mexican Riviera
Star Princess- 2004 x2 Med. Venice to Barcelona/ Barcelona to Rome
Dawn Princess - 2004 x3- Southern Caribbean
Grand Princess- 2003 x2 W.Caribbean/ 2004 Panama
Sun Princess- 2003 Mexico
Tahitian Princess- 2003 Tahiti & Cook Islands
Royal Princess- 2003 x2- British Isles / Norwegian Fjords & Iceland
Island Princess- 2003 Panama Canal / 2007 Hawaii
Sky Princess- 2000 China & Orient
Sitmar's Fairwind - 1979 x2- Caribbean/Panama Canal
-------------------------------------------------
HAL-Amsterdam- 2004 Alaska
HAL Ryndam - 2001 x 2- S. America
------------------------------------------
Viking Spirit/Pride -2006 Budapest to Amsterdam
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:02 PM
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Thanks for your reply, when you say there will not be people waiting, is that because of the 'location' of the port or the time of the year? We are at the beginning of the season? Thanks
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Old 03-20-2007, 06:46 AM
BJS BJS is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Albertagirl:
Thanks for your reply, when you say there will not be people waiting, is that because of the 'location' of the port or the time of the year? We are at the beginning of the season? Thanks
In Europe generally, and there are exceptions, people are not waiting at the ports to take you on tours like you find in the Caribbean, South Pacific and Mexican Riviera. Some of the ports are quite a distance from the sights and that might be the reason. Another reason might be that the majority of tourists arrive by air rather than cruise ships. You rarely see many taxis waiting to take people on tours.

People tour Europe all year long but you are right you are at the beginning of the cruise ship tourist season. I would think if their business relied on getting tourists off of cruise ships rather than other methods that they would be there every day that a cruise ship was docked no matter what point in the season it was.

Now that I've told you this you will probably find people lined up waiting to take you on a tour. Personally I would not chance this.
__________________




Future cruises:
Star Princess - Dec. 2007-Rome- TA
Crown Princess- May 2008 TA & Baltics
Pacific Princess-Nov. 2008-Holy Land & Egypt
Diamond Princess- Apr. 2009 Asia- Bangkok to Whittier
Past cruises:
Golden Princess-2007-Alaska
Sea Princess-2005 Canada/New England
Diamond Princess- 2005 Mexican Riviera
Star Princess- 2004 x2 Med. Venice to Barcelona/ Barcelona to Rome
Dawn Princess - 2004 x3- Southern Caribbean
Grand Princess- 2003 x2 W.Caribbean/ 2004 Panama
Sun Princess- 2003 Mexico
Tahitian Princess- 2003 Tahiti & Cook Islands
Royal Princess- 2003 x2- British Isles / Norwegian Fjords & Iceland
Island Princess- 2003 Panama Canal / 2007 Hawaii
Sky Princess- 2000 China & Orient
Sitmar's Fairwind - 1979 x2- Caribbean/Panama Canal
-------------------------------------------------
HAL-Amsterdam- 2004 Alaska
HAL Ryndam - 2001 x 2- S. America
------------------------------------------
Viking Spirit/Pride -2006 Budapest to Amsterdam
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2007, 02:50 PM
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I'm on the April 11th Emerald Princess sailing with a very similar itinerary to your trip. I'll try to post our experiences from the ship's internet cafe.

I haven't seen any deadline for booking shore excursions on the Princess site. They are still open for our cruise. A few of the tours are completely booked for our dates.

Something to think about: On our last European cruise we booked all day tours at most ports and got very, very tired. This time around we are booking mostly half day trips. Shorter excursions allow for time to shop or explore on our own.

You picked a very beautiful and interesting part of the world for your first cruise. Enjoy!
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Old 03-20-2007, 05:29 PM
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GrannyC,
my wife and I had the same experience; we booked either an all day or two half day excursions in every port. It was our first time in that part of the world and we wanted to see as much as possible. But we came home exhausted. Now we just do half day tours, usually in the morning to beat the mid-day heat, and save the afternoon for shopping and relaxing.
 
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