First Major Cruise need advise

Nov 10th, 2006, 06:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 8
First Major Cruise need advise

Our first major Cruise: Please advise; should we book the excursions. China,Japan, south Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Alaska.
excursions from cruise line add up to over $4,000.00.
should we book excursions
1 prior to cruise with cruise line?
2 from cruise director on ship?
3 from on shore tour guides?
Thank you for sound advise!
superrookie is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I know nothing about this cruise but ones I have been on I have booked trips the night before I took them, onboard ship.

That sounds an awful lot of money for just excursions. Is it worth taking in any of them as a full blown holiday at a future time instead?
kaneda is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Thank you for your reply, your right sounds like alot of $, H A is recommending we take the overnight excursion @ $850.00 each, for Beijing, and The Great Wall. As travel from port to Beijing, is 2 hours each way?
Your right excursions can cost us in 32 cruise days more than another cruise?
superrookie is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 08:03 AM
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$850 each for one night in Beijing and a trip to the Great Wall sounds extremely high. Why not look at doing it yourselves?
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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Book a hotel in Beijing, call or email hotel travel desk, and book tours of the city and Great Wall. The Great Wall is a half day if you just want to walk the Wall for an hour or so. Most people find that enough. Transportation in China is not expensive. $1700 for 2 days/one night is WOW!
Elainee is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Can I make a suggestion that you try the cruise forum for more information. You can chat with people who just might even be cruising on your same dates! You'll get up to the minute information on tours and the like. I always go to cruisecritic when I'm getting ready to cruise. It's really a very helpful site. And no, I don't work for them... lol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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My husband and I have taken several cruises, so perhaps I can share my experiences with you. Generally, the cruise lines over charge for their excursions. Often, you can arrange the same experience yourself when you arrive, or sometimes even in advance. There are some advantages of going through the cruise line - everything is done for you, you just have to show up! This next one is important - if there is a problem or a delay in an excursion that would cause you to miss the boat sailing, the boat will wait if it is a cruise-scheduled excursion. They will not wait for you otherwise!!
So, if you arrange something on your own and there is a delay of any kind that causes you to return to the ship after the sailing time they will leave w/o you, and you will be responsible for getting yourself to the next port to rejoin the ship.
Also, if you arrange something on your own in advance, and there is a change in itinerary (which can happened, i experienced this myself), you will lose your $$ with the tour company you booked on your own. I prepaid a $300pp glacier hiking trip in Juneau, only to have that port dropped from the itinerary when our ship sustained damage after crashing into a dock. I lost my $$.
In some ports there are tour co's waiting for you to get off the ship who will offer the same excursion at 1/2 the price. If they allow ample time to return before ship sailing, you could consider this. Also, depending on the port you may not need to take an excursion - you may just need a van or bus ride into the city and you can explore on your own. It really depends on how close the port is to the areas of interest.
However, if there is a particular excursion you have your heart set on doing - I'd book in advance through the cruise line so you aren't disappointed. It could be sold out when you get on board (i've seen this), or the port doesn't have tour co's operating out of it.
dperry is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 8
Thank you to all, who were kind enough to answer.
Yes I will check out cruise critic.
Check into tours in the ports we are to stop in .
Sound advice from great people .
From Calgary Alberta Thank you.
superrookie is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 05:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Spending $1700 just for a quick look at Beijing and the Wall? What would it cost for the two of you to fly from home to Beijing, a reasonable priced hotel for a week, with a trip to nearby Badaling to see the Wall? Probably about the same.

With such prices, you could probably get a taxi to Beijing and back for maybe $50 each way, in a country where many people are on only a few dollars a day. I found on some cruise tours it is cheaper to do it yourself.

I think you should review all your trips. Post details on this site and ask people for suggestions.
kaneda is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2007, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 10
Hi Superrookie

We are also booked on that cruise
we are booked in to the YMCA Sailsbury in Hong Kong

I think we will do most of the tours ourselves as the HAL tours very expensive

See you on Board
bmr is offline  
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