I hope everyone is having a great day so far. I wanted to take some time to talk about excursions for cruising. Cruise lines will typically have an excursion desk on board each ship and will also have excursions for purchase on their website prior to cruising. When you purchase ahead of time you can save some money if they run promotions. For my upcoming cruise, I have seen 30% off promotions which is definitely a great savings!
When I used to cruise with my parents, we always did excursions through the cruiseline. Booking an excursion through the cruiseline gives you piece of mind and a back up if something goes wrong. If you are someone who needs extreme peace of mind when booking, the cruise line will probably be your best bet.
Myself on the other hand is a little difference, of course. I am fortunate enough to have grown up traveling with my family and feel pretty confident when I travel. The first time I went outside of a cruiseline was two years ago on Grand Bahama. I had researched a beach called Taino Beach. This beach was said to have pink sand so of course I had to see it. This beach was a good half hour from the port but I was able to find a roundtrip taxi for $40. My friends and I spent the entire day there. It so was beautiful. There were some resorts where you could rent jetskis and snorkel equipment. There was also this little shack that sold beer and conch which was amazing!
Since that island the following year I went on a great tour in Falmouth, Jamaica by Liberty Tours. I was a research freak about doing this. I found that they had a Tripadvisor with amazing reviews. I will include their link below. For $80 we had roundtrip transportation up to Ochos Rios to the Blue Hole to jump off of cliffs and waterfalls and to go tubing on the White River. We also stopped on the way back to port and bought some authentic Jamaican food and rum punch! That $80 was for a 6 hour tour and was ten times better than Dunn’s River Falls plus a fraction of the cost!
This same trip, I had also found an awesome snorkeling map online (link below) and decided to rent a car with my friends and go up to Rum Point and Starfish Point in Grand Cayman. I always bring my own snorkel equipment so that is a money saver right there. These Points were 40 minutes away from Georgetown where the port was. We really got to see Cayman life in its raw beauty. The best part was being able to snorkel on our own in the coral gardens since the cruiseline excursions were cancelled for rough seas.
Tours outside of the cruiseline tend to be cheaper. I usually do a mix of tours and freelance beaching when I cruise. Here are my biggest tips:
- Decide what you would really like to do. Are you looking for a beach or some adventure?
- Hop on youtube and type the activity with what you are looking for i.e. “snorkeling antigua”
- Browse videos, if you see something you like, check out the description and see if you can find a location.
- Then google tours in that location.
- Once you find one you like, look for online reviews like tripadvisor.
Just remember to be mindful of your own abilities. Don’t got out and free dive if you are not a strong swimmer and have never practiced it.
I hope this provided some good insight for all of you and inspires you to go beyond the excursion desk from time to time. 🙂
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