• Hello visitor!

    We are happy to see you have stopped by and hope you will consider registering with our community. Whether you have a question related to an upcoming cruise or just want to meet other fellow cruisers, you are always welcome!

    Hope to see you on the forums soon!

Enjoy Cruising

cctexan

Deckhand
My wife and I have gotten into cruising. We have been doing several cruises a year. We are currently thinking about taking a world cruise in the future.

We are interested in finding out with other folks experiences with independent tours during port visits. I would hate to miss the ship when it left port.
 

Pam in CA

Captain
My wife and I have gotten into cruising. We have been doing several cruises a year. We are currently thinking about taking a world cruise in the future.

We are interested in finding out with other folks experiences with independent tours during port visits. I would hate to miss the ship when it left port.
A world cruise sounds wonderful!

Often, I take independent tours; sometimes, I take ship's tours. It all depends. If it's a country I'm not familiar with or the language is indecipherable to me, I tend to take ship's tours. I also take a ship's tour if the ship is sailing early.

When planning an independent tour, plan on starting the tour at least 1/2 hour after the ship arrives in port, at least an hour (or later) if the ship is tendering. When returning, plan to arrive back in port an hour before sailing when the ship is docked, at least an hour and a half if the ship is tendering.

Never use an independent tour operator that requires payment in full at booking or has a non-refundable deposit. Unless the deposit is very small. For instance, when I booked an independent tour in Belize for last February, the non-refundable deposit was only $14. I can afford $14.

You can't go wrong with taking ship's tours but often, buses are packed and the tour moves only as fast as the slowest member of the group. Invariably, there's someone who can't tell time or is a shopper in the group. All it takes is one person delaying the bus by five minutes at each stop to significantly impact the tour for everyone else.

Independent tours usually cost a lot less and have smaller groups. It's a lot easier to see a palace, for instance, if the guide is herding and talking to 15 people than the 40 on a ship's tour bus. Independent tours also tend to be more flexible. Instead of going to a huge restaurant serving hundreds of people, independent tour guides will often refer you to a local restaurant which is a much better experience.

Ask here on Cruising Talk for tour recommendations. People's personal experiences are invaluable. Do your research.
 
Top