Does Anyone Not Do Excursions?

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean' started by Princess Katelet, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. Princess Katelet

    Princess Katelet Mouseketeer

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    Are they necessary? If you don't do them, what do you do at the ports? Western Caribbean here, first cruise ever.
     
  2. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    Excursions are not necessary. The thing is, you’re going to places that perhaps you’ve never been, so the natural inclination is to do something you wouldn’t normally see or normally do.

    For example, assuming you’re going to Cozumel and/or Costa Maya, it’s a good chance to see some Mayan ruins and look at a little bit of history. In Jamaica, you could swim with dolphins or climb up Dunn’s River Falls.

    As for what I’d do if not doing an excursion? Probably go to the beach. Most ports have a variety of private and public beaches you can go to, and there’s nothing wrong with getting some sand, sun, and a cheap cold drink.
     
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  4. msjprincess

    msjprincess DIS Veteran

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    I do a little of both. I have 2 upcoming Western Caribbean cruises coming up. Going to Cozumel x2, Roatan x2, Belize, Grand Cayman, Nassau Bahamas and Costa Maya. Out of 8 stops I only have 3 excursions booked, all through private companies.

    In Nassau we're just going to walk to beach for a few hours
    In Cozumel x2, we're going to Paradise Beach one time and just shopping and having lunch downtown the second time.
    In Grand Cayman we're taking the public bus to the Turtle Farm.
    In Roatan the 2nd time we're just hanging out at the beach at the port. That one is a Carnival cruise and they have a private beach area.


    A couple of years ago we did an Eastern itinerary and didn't do any excursions at all.
     
  5. hdrolfe

    hdrolfe DIS Veteran

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    I have done a few excursions through the cruise line, a few on my own and twice not gotten off the ship. Generally I prefer to do them on my own through other excursion providers as they are cheaper. I have also just walked to a hotel that has a day pass, in Nassau twice and once in Cozumel. I'm not sure if you would consider that an "excursion". I tend to research the port and figure out what we'd like to do there, then see what is offered by the cruise line, and compare prices and reviews to those offered by other providers.
     
  6. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

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    Mixed. We have only done Caribbean cruises so that is a different animal, much more pay to play vs true experiencing a new place.

    Last trip was Oasis Western. Labadee (RCI beach no extras done), Falmouth (walked in town no excursion), Cozumel (part went snorkeling DS and I stayed on ship).

    In a few weeks Harmony Eastern. Labadee (RCI beach, booked a cabana), St.Maarten and San Juan we have decided no excursions just walk around town, shops etc.

    I think it depends on the ports and the ship. If getting off means a man made port I have no real interest. Excursions .... I have so far been disappointed in beaches so done paying to go, I don't do little boats so that eliminates many excursions and honestly when I look at cost to value I usually can pass. I'd rather mingle among the local area and spend some money that impacts direct to them or do something very unusual.

    Probably best excursion I've ever done is Cozumel Bar Hop Bus. They take you to western coast that is virtually all natural with no power, to several bars along beach that run on generators. The beaches and bars vary, one is up on cliffs. It is so different, so pretty, so much fun and memorable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  7. kamik86

    kamik86 DIS Veteran

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    It depends on the cruise for me. We did a ton of excusions in Alaska. I have done them in the carribbean as well (Tulum from Cozumel, Dunns river falls from Ocho Rios, Turtle area from Grand Cayman) however we do a carribbean cruise every January so now we are starting to feel like we don't need to see these places again and sometimes just don't see anything really exciting (My husband doesn't swim so that eliminates alot) and I really like staying on the mostly empty ship and getting to do some things with nothing being crowded and just relaxing. Then again our January vacations are more to just go somewhere warm and relax.

    If I do a meditarian or other major vacation cruise then I will spend more time in ports and on excusions.
     
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  8. Zipitidoda

    Zipitidoda Best Day Ever!

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    We are going to stopping at Labadee and Falmouth. I can't say I'm the most excited because I have it in my head both of these places are dirty and don't have the best beaches or excursions. Can someone tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. I haven't been to either (my sweet husband wanted this itinerary and I'm trying to be nice)

    Can anyone recommend any good excursions at either one of these ports? I'll have two teenage boys so watersports or adventurous excursions will be best.
     
  9. hdrolfe

    hdrolfe DIS Veteran

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    Labadee is awesome, my son's favourite port. You don't have to pay for anything if you don't want to. The "worst" part for me was running the gauntlet of sellers trying to get you to buy something as you went from one part of the port to another. We did the roller coaster, spent an hour on the water park floating things, swam at the quiet/calmer beach and snorkeled on the other beach. It was awesome. They serve lunch at a few places around the beaches, BBQ style, it was pretty good too. They have ziplining as well, but kiddo was too small (and mama too terrified of heights). I'm hoping the next time we go he's taller, because I'd like to do the one where you superman through the air, I think I could manage that (or close my eyes if I can't lol). You can definitely find something to do there. If you want free or to spend some money there. This is the beach in Labadee, on the side we snorkeled.

    labadee beach.jpg

    Haven't been to Falmouth. I would like to climb Dunn's but it's far from that port (closer to Ocho Rios). There is also Blue Hole and I'm sure other things to do there your kids would love. I would do a ship tour there if you've never been before.

    I assume your third port will be Cozumel? that one is easier, there are so many places there and things to do depending on what you are interested in. Paradise Beach is a good one you can do on your own that isn't too expensive.

    Man I need to book another cruise, I even enjoy the planning part!
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
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  10. shh

    shh DIS Veteran

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    Look for a private excursion to Blue Hole - my DH and I did it. Breathakingly beautiful and fun - less crowded than Dunn's and better.
     
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  11. Zipitidoda

    Zipitidoda Best Day Ever!

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    Thank you! I'll definitely look it up!
     
  12. Zipitidoda

    Zipitidoda Best Day Ever!

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    Your picture alone helps to calm my nerves. When I looked up a few excursions there were cabanas on certain beaches you could rent for the day and there was a boat ride to a private island where you could swim and snorkel that sounded nice. I just saw a few pictures that had me a little worried. Thank you for the reassurance.
     
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  13. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    We generally do our own thing and we'll just taxi to a beach. On our Allure cruise we chose to go with Royal excursion for Blue Lagoon. That was because (1) we were only in port from 9am - 2pm so we wanted to be on their time if any delays, (2) they provided ferry which you caught right from the port.

    In earlier years I've also done an excursion in San Juan and Jamaica but these were more sight seeing tours.
     
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  14. phinz

    phinz Special

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    I did excursions in Alaska, and that was enough for me to realize that I don't like doing excursions.
     
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  15. Princess Katelet

    Princess Katelet Mouseketeer

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    Do you mind elaborating? What happened to turn you off? Cost? Travel to the excursion place? Not worth the time and money?
     
  16. lovin'fl

    lovin'fl DIS Veteran

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    We book maybe 1 ship excursion per cruise. Last 2 cruises it's been the party boat (catamaran snorkels). The private islands we never typically book any excursions because we consider it a free day. But next cruise, in Jan, we think it will be chilly so we booked the swimming pigs tour while on Cococay. Don't have anything to book in the other ports so why not. Other ports: Charleston (we doing our own foot tour), Port Canaveral (uber to Disney as we have annual passes), Miami (may uber to Key Largo), Nassau (we are doing our own foot tour).
     
  17. phinz

    phinz Special

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    Being stuck on a bus without being to blaze my own trail. Not being able to follow my own schedule. Standing in the pouring rain waiting on our bus, even though we could see the bus 20 feet away, because the Mendenhall Glacier people wouldn't tell the jerk who had parked his bus for 30 minutes (violating the time rule) to move so our bus could move forward into the "loading zone". I'm not very tolerant of illogical things and I don't like being beholden to inflexible schedules. I like to get off the boat when I want to, do what I want to and get back on the boat when I want to. Plus it was more expensive than just doing our own thing.
     
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  18. sweetpee_1993

    sweetpee_1993 DIS Veteran

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    I loathe and abominable cruise line excursions. The slow pace following a meandering mass of humanity only moving at the pace of the slowest person in the group. It’s a lot of waiting. Wasted time. I prefer to find my own things to do by researching trip advisor and cruise critic. I typically spend as much or more often less to do more. I like moving at my own pace.

    That said, I just got off a 7-night on Liberty that visited Belize, Roatan, & Cozumel. We did nothing. Belize & Roatan I couldn’t find anyth8ng that appealed in a very short amount of planning time (we booked very last minute). Cozumel we had a huge port load day with 7 ships. The big beach clubs were already sold out. Been to this port a LOT of times so not a big deal. This cruise we chilled for our port days, wandered the port area, and had a nice lunch in Cozumel.
     
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  19. phinz

    phinz Special

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    In Cozumel I go to the grocery store (usually MEGA) for rum and Mexican snacks, La Internacional Cervezaria for beers and hanging out with Jose then back to the boat for a quiet time before everybody else gets back. A perfect port day as far as I'm concerned.
     
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  20. gumbypee

    gumbypee DIS Veteran

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    I LOVE excursions

    *backs out of post quietly*

    :)
     
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  21. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    Interesting that you’re very specific about cruise line excursions. And I don’t think you’re wrong about some of them.

    By contrast i was just in Vienna and the two excursions the firm booked for us were excellent. Well paced, informative and we never felt like we were rushing or lagging. I suppose that’s the advantage of not needing to get back to a departing cruise ship.
     

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