Question reguarding Tours on Cruises

Aug 21st, 2008, 09:50 PM
  #1  
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Question reguarding Tours on Cruises

Hello, Has anyone tried not useing the ships tours, and just winging it? Is this a good idea? I am going to cruise on Princess Lines to New England and Canada in Oct. and wondered if you could see things more intimately with local tours or wanderings on your own. Thanks for any suggestions or your experiences.
groomerbabe is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2008, 02:28 AM
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I don't do the exp. ship tours...esp where you are headed.

cruise over to www.cruisecritic.com, register for free & pick up info on the ports you will be visiting.
Rhea58 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2008, 04:47 AM
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N.E. ports are easy to do on your own.. If your coming into Boston, you will need a cab to get to downtown..which ports are you going to
ParrotMom is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2008, 04:51 AM
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Either has its plus and minus points. Booked thru ship you have convenience, low stress/no planning and no concern about ship leaving without you.

Booked on your own you have greater selection, sometimes lower cost, and more freedom. But you have to be willing to do some research ahead of time.

Location of some of the usual piers for New England is in area where there is not much in that immediate area. Boston - Black Falcon Pier - has nothing interesting within walking distance, but it is a short cab ride to more tourist locations. While Portland pier is visible to downtown area, the walk is longer than it looks (not sure if there are shuttles). And downtown is shops and restaurants - if you want beach, lighthouses, etc. you have to get there by means other than walking.

While wandering thru cities can be great fun - with the limited time available while ship is in port, I would at least have some plan and logistical details for what you want to see at each port if you do it on your own - shopping and eating gets a little old after a couple of ports.
gail is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2008, 08:05 PM
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Thank-you for your ideas and suggestions . I will try to plan ahead. ( :
groomerbabe is offline  
Aug 27th, 2008, 07:48 AM
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Ships excursions are a mixed bag. They are expensive, but convenient. In a really unfamiliar place I prefer them, but I always feel cheated a bit. The trips always include an "opportunity for shopping" which the guides often interpret as the prime purpose for the tour and rush you on to the favored merchants. In places that are more familiar, or contained on your own is better.
Aristotle is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 05:15 AM
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I just about always book independently. With this you can expect more personal tours with smaller groups, sometimes cost savings.

KEY, is to DO YOUR HOMEWORK. I never recommend just "winging it". First off you are wasting valuable port time, I highly recommend all plans and reservations be in place prior to going.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 06:52 AM
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I agree that it's best to do your homework and then go on your own. Reasons being.... you save money and do EXACTLY what YOU want to do.

Every ships tour I've ever attempted to book let me do "Some" of what I wanted and a "Lot" of what I didn't want.

For example, If I wanted a tour of the island we're visiting and had a desire to learn more about it, the ships tours will always mix something else in like... (another poster noted)... a "shopping" experience (translation - They drop you in the middle of high pressure sales people for 2 hours).

Book on your own after doing your homework and you'll do just fine.
Hold is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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We're doing the QM2 New England cruise in Sept.

I signed up for the simple "bus" tours that are short in duration because my husband's recovering from a long illness and I don't want us to get locked into a 4 to 5 hour tours. However, he simplest tour in St. John New Brunswick is sold out. Does anyone have information on how easy it is deal on one's own in that port?

Many thanx.
Grandma is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Grandma, check again when on the ship, they may add tours, people may cancel... don't give up!
FainaAgain is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 05:35 PM
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Get the two St. Johns mixed up..lol, but wen you get off the ship there willbe a free bus to take you to te cemter of town..At the center take the bus to the Reversing Falls...you can walk down the stairs and there is/was a boat to take you back to the tourist area..There is a lobster shack near the ships and maybe you can take a cab there.. or have a lovely lunch
ParrotMom is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 02:06 PM
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Thanx for the input. Just bought a guidebook for the area.....trust that will give some pointers.
Grandma is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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good advice from BudgetQueen.

Do your homework.

Don't just "wing it". because you do not know where you are winging it to !!!

and yes it is Saint John New Brunswick.....
and

St.John's Newfoundland

just in case you google these places for inofrmation.

Percy
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Sep 6th, 2008, 07:59 AM
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I love to wing it once in a while but a shore excursion is not one that you should go without planning.

BudgetQueen is 100% correct. Do your home work. If you have a group of 6 or more, consider booking a limo on your own for city tours.

It is always cheaper to book on your own than through the ship or some online agency.

Depending on where the ship is docked, there could be logistic problem on a self arranged shore excursison although 99% of the ports should not be an issue and for the remainder, you may have to have a short walk.

One small caution on booking things on your own. If you missed getting back to the ship for whatever reason, you are on your own. It doesn't happen often, not even 1/10th of 1%, but if it happens, you literally missed the boat.

I have seen it. It almost happened to us but we got lucky. Just be aware.
Eschew is offline  

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