Do most people do excursions?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by onemaybaby, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. onemaybaby

    onemaybaby Mouseketeer

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    Since I've never been on a cruise before, I am unsure as to what expect on the days when the ship visits the different ports. Do most people do excursions? stay on the boat? Is the boat just docked in the middle of nowhere so you pretty much have to do an excursion?
    These probably seem like such silly questions, but I honestly have no idea. :confused3
     
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  3. jilljill

    jilljill <font color=blue>Collects Disney men!<br><font col

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    It depends on the port and the make up of the guests on the ship. Some cruise to enjoy the ports and some cruise to enjoy the ship and all it has to offer.
     
  4. Zeppelin

    Zeppelin DIS Veteran

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    yes...don't want to be sitting on the ship all week....unless you want to tour the island/stop by yourself or take a cab to a beach by yourself- some people prefer that...
     
  5. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    It depends a lot on the ports too. In some ports it is very easy to go off on your own or to book something independently. At other ports, that is more difficult.

    Doing an excursion thru DCL is easy and as safe as anything can be--while crime exists everywhere, the ship won't leave without a DCL tour group. If you go off on your own, the ship won't wait for you if you are not back by "all aboard" time. Some ports have beaches near the port; others are at least a taxi ride away. Some have shopping at the port; others require transportation.

    If you don't book in advance, there will be many vendors at the ports trying to get your business, but you don't have the advantage of checking them out on line.

    What I found was that the first time in a new port, I might tend to choose a DCL excursion; after I knew the port a little I was much more comfortable going off on my own. And on our last cruise, we did it specifically to enjoy the ship and we didn't get off.
     
  6. D-Dreamer

    D-Dreamer Earning My Ears

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    We have done excursions on every cruise.:)
     
  7. CruznLexi

    CruznLexi DIS Veteran

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    We never do them. We feel safe in all ports. Way over priced and have to wait on people. Rent a car in some ports like Cozumel go swim with the manatees.
     
  8. becpee

    becpee I see sock puppets

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    We've just completed our first cruise and didn't book any excursions, and I found there was a lot more people than I thought that didn't do any as well.

    We got off the ship, had a bit of a look around the port, did the "mandatory" tourist shopping :p then returned to the ship, the ship was much nicer than the ports :goodvibes (my opinion only :thumbsup2)
     
  9. anc876

    anc876 Mouseketeer

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    We didn't book any excursions, but we went out and did our own thing. At one port, we happily stayed on the ship because we wanted to take it easy and didn't have any interest in what that particular port offered.
     
  10. quickcat

    quickcat Mouseketeer

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    We love going on excursions. We, 99% of the time, do the excursions offered thru Disney, yes they are expensive but I like having everything already set up. Seeing other places is always interesting to me.
     
  11. rcchello

    rcchello DIS Veteran

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    Most people do not do the excursions. We have done only done one while going on five cruises.There are several websites where you can look up each ports and figure out what are the must see things for you - Cruise critic, budget travel, etc.

    Then you can determine if you can see the sites on your own or go on an organized tour. If you decide on a tour you can search here to see how people enjoyed the Disney tour or whether an independent one might work better.

    Also, if you are not adventurous it might be better to go on a tour since I have seen many people who are afraid to go more than two blocks from the ship. The only thing within a couple of blocks of the ship is usually a chain restaurant and people hawking tourist goods.

    Good luck on your travels.
     
  12. Cheerio

    Cheerio Mouseketeer

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    We didn't do any excursions, just got off the ship, explored and right back on :)
     
  13. zacaronius

    zacaronius Earning My Ears

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    Depends on the port and what is offered. We always at least get off of the ship at each port, wander around for a bit if we dont have an excursion booked. When we did the Mexican Riviera cruise earlier this year we didn't book any excursions with Disney. In Puerto Vallarta we took a tour with one of the "Government sponsored" guides that was allowed within the port itself. In Cabo we didn't have anything planned, just expolored, and ended up taking a water taxi to Lovers Beach. Ended up being less expensive than booking with Disney and was alot more fun!
     
  14. chateau

    chateau DIS Veteran

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    We went to Sammy Hagar's bar in Cabo.... excellent!
     
  15. CruznLexi

    CruznLexi DIS Veteran

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    In Alaska I do plan on doing the Deadliest Catch tour and doing several rental cars. Alaska is very expensive on those.
     
  16. Luv2Diz

    Luv2Diz We love the Wonder and Magic of Disney cruising!

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    We didn't do any on our last cruise and I'm not sure we will do any on our next cruise. I enjoy getting off the ship and doing our own thing in port at our leisure. We would usually spend a few hours sightseeing and shopping then be ready to get back onboard.
     
  17. ravensilverlight

    ravensilverlight I reject your reality and substitute my own.

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    The only silly question is the one you refuse to ask.

    As far as excursions vs. exploring vs. staying on the ship, you'll get different answers depending on what port, and what person! Some people like to do excursions through Disney. Others swear by booking independent excursions. Still others will tell you to research the port on your own and walk around or taxi and skip the "organized" excursions altogether. It's a VERY individual choice. DH and I have done all three at one time or another, depending on what port we're visiting!

    The ship will be docked, or set up for tendering, in the same place all the cruise ships dock or tender from. (I know, it sounds snarky, but I promise I'm going somewhere with this!) Wherever you are, there will be shops/carts close by, and transportation will be readily available (taxis, buses, etc.) to take you to nearby places (museums, beaches, etc.). For most ports, the locals RELY on tourists spending money, so they make it easy for you to do that by keeping things to do, see, and buy easily accessible!

    Most ports DCL visits, and most excursions they offer, have been discussed on the boards at one time or another. I suggest you skip the boards' search function and just google "disboards" with the port or excursion you want to know more about, I've found those results to be more helpful. If you can't find info on the DIS, then you can ask in a new thread, or search other websites (cruise critic, etc) and probably find some good sources.

    Congrats on planning your first ever cruise. I have no doubt you'll be hooked and start planning your second before the first is over! ;)
     
  18. Momma2Jax

    Momma2Jax DIS Veteran

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    I think it really depends on your family.


    For us, we didn't do official excursions, and won't next time. Our son is pretty young still (and special needs, so developmentally he is younger) and we don't always know how he will react to things. We try to just keep flexible, and change plans at a moments notice.

    And the practical reason... The cost. I stay home with my son, and we don't have lots of extra money. We save up and spend our money on the cruise. We would rather spend the money for a great dcl experience, than to spend tons of money doing touristy things in the ports.

    In Alaska, we got off each morning, walked around, and found things to do. In Skagway we went to a playground, and took a nature type walk. In Juneau we did end up riding the mt Roberts tram, and then walked the strip. In Ketchikan, we stumbled upon a free shuttle, and took it to the park district and took a walk in a beautiful park, and watched salmon going up a ladder. All free.

    We then got back on the ship for our paid-for lunch, and spent the afternoon on a pretty empty ship! It was perfect!

    We are doing the L.A to Vancouver repo next. We plan to walk to pier 39 in San Francisco, maybe ride a cable car to see the sights, and come back to the ship again!

    When DS is older, we may look into more active things, but this works for us now!
     
  19. cristit14

    cristit14 <font color=blue> An older <font color=red>I am Do

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    We always at least get off the ship. For some ports we do the DCL excursions and for some we just either walked around or went to a beach on our own. For our upcoming cruise as of right now my thought is one of the ports a beach day and then an excursion on the other two.
     
  20. Happy100

    Happy100 DIS Veteran

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    We have done all options. Booked excursions through Disney and not Disney(others), stayed on boat, got off boat and just walked around.

    Since we have a child with us I decided to do this based on the port and the ease and safety of the island. That is a personal choice and everyone has a different comfort level. Good Luck and have a wonderful time. :beach:
     
  21. Eleblanc

    Eleblanc Mouseketeer

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    Depends on which itinerary you are doing. When we went on the Baltic Cruise, at some of the ports we we docked right within walking distance to everything in the city. For Oslo it was just a few mintues walking along the water right into the city center from the boat. In Stockholm and Talin it was a very short bus ride from the port to the city. Same thing in the Med, for Malta and Palma de Mallorca you are docked right in the city, just a few minutes walking to all the sites.

    We are fairly comfortable getting around new locations on our own, so we usually do our own transportation in the ports. Our teenage daughter loves trying to figure out buses, trains and metro systems so that is part of the adventure for us.

    We have done full days and half days in various ports and stayed on the ship for some locations we have explore before. It can be very nice to have a quieter boat to enjoy on your own.
     

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