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Old 03-14-2003, 03:40 AM
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I was reading thru the port of call section of this website and now I'm concerned about booking in advance the shore excursions I've picked. Is it better to just go off on your own? I'm not that adventurous and since I'm bringing my family, safety is of concern. I kept reading all of these horror stories. This is only my second cruise, my first one was too short to base any experience on. Anyone have an opinions on this?

Amy
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Old 03-14-2003, 03:40 AM
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I was reading thru the port of call section of this website and now I'm concerned about booking in advance the shore excursions I've picked. Is it better to just go off on your own? I'm not that adventurous and since I'm bringing my family, safety is of concern. I kept reading all of these horror stories. This is only my second cruise, my first one was too short to base any experience on. Anyone have an opinions on this?

Amy
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Old 03-14-2003, 04:34 AM
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We've only cruised once before as well. We did book two excursions thru RCCL and one on our own when we arrived in port. This time we expect to do the same. Some will depend on interest of the family, some will depend on weather, and of course availability is a concern. I think booking in advance alleviates some fears that it may be sold out. Do lots of research on the web and you will find many tour operators in your port cities, you can always book direct with them...some offer different excursions that the cruise lines.
Good Luck-happy cruising.

Brian
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Old 03-14-2003, 05:49 AM
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Our first cruise was in 1994, long before I would "go out and research my little heart out on the Internet!"...and now as I've prepared for our second cruise leaving in just a few weeks, I'm so thankful for the opportunities to do so much on-line ahead of time. We took one shore excursion through the cruise line on our last cruise - snorkeling in St. John (it was fantastic), but I vividly remember standing in line for about 30 minutes to book it, hoping there would be availability. I don't know about you, but I stand in line enough in day to day ....don't want to do it on vacation, if I don't have to. For our upcoming cruise - April 6 Rhapsody of the Seas, I've booked 2 things online through the cruiseline: I've pre-purchased our tickets to the Mel Fisher's museum (actually 50c cheaper each! thru cruise line, and my tickets will be delivered to the cabin the first night; we'll only have a short time to tour that, and again, we won't have to stand in line to buy tickets when we get there!) AND a shore excursion in BELIZE. My research (and all the help I've gotten on this site)brought me to decision to get a cab and explore Cozumel on our own.
I'm not a very spontaneous person when it comes to knowing I have a short period of time somewhere...don't want to spend time on buses, in line, in huge crowds...Once we arrive at a destination, that's when my husband and I will go down very unplanned paths, and have found the most wonderful surprises! BUT, I always have my original plan! Enjoy!
txtraveler
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Old 03-16-2003, 07:20 AM
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Just returned from 11 day Brilliance and we booked 4 different excursions on line from RCCL. It was very convenient and our tickets were delivered to our stateroom the first night we arrived. Many of the tours are early when you dock. We docked some mornings at 7-7:30 am and a couple of the excursions left between 8-9 am. There were a lot of people standing at the terminal holding signs for all kinds of tours but I don't know who was affiliated with the cruise lines. Personally I don't want to just go off with anyone, being in a foreign country. We did rent a jeep on our own on Aruba, the rental place is right as you come off the ship at the terminal. That was great and we got to get away from the crowds. Unfortunately it was the day after "Carnival" which is like Mardi Gras, and everything on the island was closed except the shops right at the terminal. We did get to see most of the island and had no problem driving around. The beaches on the other side of the island are covered with coral washed up on shore. Can't swim on that side because the undertow is intense, but it was beautiful area.
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Old 03-16-2003, 08:04 AM
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Amy, it really depends on what you want to do, and which ports you will be visiting - some are much safer than others. I usually do not book from the cruise line, but make my own arrangements. However, the one major aspect of planning your own excursions that you need to be aware of is: Guaranteeing you make it back to the ship on time to set sail. If you book through the cruiseline and there is a delay returning to the ship - the ship will wait for your group. If you make your own arrangements, it is totally your responsiblity to get back on time.
Nancy
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Old 03-20-2003, 10:51 PM
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We always book with the cruise line, with the exception of St. Thomas (shopping). We've seen way to many people have bad experiences or miss the ship. In Oslo in August, 3 young men missed the ship, was brought out by the Norwegian Coast Guard, and had a rope ladder thrown out for them. At 60, this is not my idea of having fun. Ship excursions may be a bit more, but we feel it's worth the extra money for the safety and security issue.
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Old 03-21-2003, 04:12 AM
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One thing to think about is that if you choose to book one on your own- DON'T schedule it to where you will have to be off the ship the first thing in the morning. Our last experience on the Rhapsody proved this to us. We had booked an excursion with Capt. Dexter to go out to the stingrays, and he was to pick our group of 15 up at 9:00 AM. However, since we did'nt book with the cruise-line they would'nt let us off the ship until all booked excursion were off. Talk about sweating bullets. When we finally were released we had to run with Capt. Dexter because at that point he was late to pick up the rest of his group. Captain Dexter did tell us that it's only a problem with RCCL. In our opinion it's better to schedule your own excursions because the groups are much smaller, and you can get more for your money. Just don't schedule it to early. Hope this helps!
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Old 09-24-2005, 02:16 PM
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Where can I get information about renting a jeep in Aruba, right at the cruise terminal?

quote:
Originally posted by txtraveler:
Our first cruise was in 1994, long before I would "go out and research my little heart out on the Internet!"...and now as I've prepared for our second cruise leaving in just a few weeks, I'm so thankful for the opportunities to do so much on-line ahead of time. We took one shore excursion through the cruise line on our last cruise - snorkeling in St. John (it was fantastic), but I vividly remember standing in line for about 30 minutes to book it, hoping there would be availability. I don't know about you, but I stand in line enough in day to day ....don't want to do it on vacation, if I don't have to. For our upcoming cruise - April 6 Rhapsody of the Seas, I've booked 2 things online through the cruiseline: I've pre-purchased our tickets to the Mel Fisher's museum (actually 50c cheaper each! thru cruise line, and my tickets will be delivered to the cabin the first night; we'll only have a short time to tour that, and again, we won't have to stand in line to buy tickets when we get there!) AND a shore excursion in BELIZE. My research (and all the help I've gotten on this site)brought me to decision to get a cab and explore Cozumel on our own.
I'm not a very spontaneous person when it comes to knowing I have a short period of time somewhere...don't want to spend time on buses, in line, in huge crowds...Once we arrive at a destination, that's when my husband and I will go down very unplanned paths, and have found the most wonderful surprises! BUT, I always have my original plan! Enjoy!
txtraveler
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:10 AM
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dkk47,
Welcome to cruise-chat.
Yes, there are jeep rental companies located at the pier in Aruba.
Nancy
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