One of our editors Lisa, worked onboard P&O Cruises for three years, first assisting and then managing the shore excursions department. She shares her insights below into booking shore excursions verses sightseeing independently.
So after hours spent researching cruise lines, different cabins and cruise itineraries you’ve finally booked your cruise… If you think you can now sit back relax and dream about sipping a cocktail as your ship sails away I’m sorry to burst your bubble… The planning is just about to start! To ensure you make the most of your cruise you now need to plan your time ashore.
You basically have three choices… explore the ports your ship will call into independently, book via a tour operator in the port or book shore excursions via your cruise line. So what should you do? The all important question of course is are shore excursions worth the money? In short, it depends. It depends on the port itself, the proximity of where your cruise ship docks, the nearest town/attractions and how you want to fill your day. To be honest it also depends on how much of an effort you are prepared to put in researching the port, or whether you would prefer to just jump on a tour bus and leave it to the experts.
Are shore excursions worth the money?
To help I’ve listed below the main advantages and disadvantages of booking shore excursions –