5 Questions You Need to Ask Before Booking a Shore Excursion

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Seeing the sights and exploring foreign cultures is one of the many joys of a cruise holiday. In a single trip you could chance upon some truly unforgettable experiences in several different countries, so it’s a great way to see the world whilst enjoying the luxury and comfort of an ocean-faring liner.

On most cruises, you’ll be given the opportunity to partake in a number of shore excursions. These port-side trips can be booked through your cruise operator, or else in advance before you travel with a third party excursions organiser. We wouldn’t recommend booking trips when you reach a specific destination, as these often cost more and could be of poor quality.

To make sure you get the most from your shore time, here are 5 questions to ask before booking excursions, either before or after embarkation.

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Ask your travel agent how much excursions are likely to cost when booking aboard

So you have an idea of how much extra money you’ll need to save for shore excursions, try to find out how much trips cost at the time of booking. Your travel agent, or the cruise operator itself, should be able to provide you with this information — meaning you’ll be able to compare the cost against a third party before you travel. 

Ask what’s included, and read the description carefully

If the price of an excursion sounds too good to be true, it probably is. To avoid booking trips with extra hidden fees, ask exactly what’s included and read the description carefully. Some trips might exclude transfer fees, or additional entry fees upon arrival at the attraction. By asking for detailed information, you can avoid being stung by any additional charges.

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Ask yourself — am I really up for this?

A three hour snorkelling session or a mountain hike sound great on paper, but it’s important to know your limits and not sign up for anything too strenuous. During an excursion you could be away from the ship for a full day, and this requires plenty of stamina — particularly if you’ve signed up for something overly adventurous. Lesson: don’t overdo it, and remember that holidays are for relaxing.

Ask yourself — could I do this cheaper on my own?

Some cruise-goers don’t realise they’re free to explore beyond the limits of the ship on their own, and therefore automatically sign-up for excursions on embarkation day. One option which could save you money is to avoid booking trips and make your own way to a specific landmark or sightseeing attraction. Provided you do plenty of research beforehand, and know your way to and from the ship, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go it alone. Indeed, many cruise passengers often favour this, as it offers a more authentic experience than being crammed on a tour bus with forty of your fellow passengers.

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Ask about the dress code and other finer details

Cruise dress codes aren’t reserved for time spent on the ship; they often extend to shore excursions, too. Certain trips require different outfits, so be sure to find this information out before turning up at the gangway. Depending on the type of excursion, we’d recommend sturdy shoes and comfortable clothing, as you’ll most likely be doing plenty of walking. Also, find out if you’ll need any local currency, as well as anything else that could prove handy during your time away from the ship.

Cruise1st Australia are specialists in all things cruising, and are here to help answer any questions you might have about your upcoming sailing. To speak to a member of our team, or browse our complete range of cheap cruises, visit the Cruise1st Australia homepage or call us on 1300 857 345.

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About Author

Alyssa Beit

Alyssa lives in Sydney, NSW. Born on the 14th October and is a Social and Human Service Assistant at Cruise 1st Australia. She is in her early 40’s and loves tranquility on luxury cruises.

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