Does Your Dog Miss You When You Go On Vacation Make The Most of Your Shore Excursions

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Make The Most of Your Shore Excursions

A cruise vacation is a great way to see a lot of destinations in a short amount of time, but you need to make the most of your shore excursion. If you think the usual shopping and sightseeing doesn’t sound inspiring, there are plenty of other options. How about scuba diving, snorkeling, dog sledding or kayaking? Or maybe biking, tubing, golfing or fishing? How about a helicopter tour or swimming with stingrays? Excursions like this are now regularly offered by cruise lines around the world.

Whatever you decide, you need to be ‘shore-savvy’. Here is some basic advice.

Cruise line tours

A shore excursion organized by a cruise line is great for people who want the security of a guided tour or are first-time visitors with limited time to experience the port’s many highlights. These tours usually cost more than going out on your own, but they offer peace of mind because the tour operator is vetted by the cruise line for safety and the tour is designed specifically to appeal to cruise passengers. Importantly, these tours greatly reduce the risk of missing the ship.

Tour information, as well as pricing, usually comes with your cruise documents. Decide which tour you are interested in and purchase tickets as early as possible, as popular tours, especially on Alaska cruises, sell out quickly. The good news is that most cruise lines allow you to book your shore excursions on their web sites, so you can book your tour in advance. If you cannot book online, reserve your trip as soon as possible after boarding the ship.

If you are elderly or have a disability or use strollers to transport small children, think carefully about which tour you choose. The cities you visit may be ancient, have narrow streets and steps, or may be isolated or have tropical terrain. Check with the cruise line to see if it’s safe for you to go ashore and if you need special accommodations.

Do the tour yourself

Experienced or adventurous travelers may prefer to arrange their own shore excursions. This is not difficult to do; In fact, most countries have tourist-office websites with lists of popular activities and tour companies. But there are some important things to keep in mind when going out on your own.

When hiring a cab, negotiate the price before you get into the cab. Also, if you expect the driver to act as a tour guide, spend more time with the driver to ensure there is no language barrier. When booking an independent tour, make sure you are dealing with a well-established company with safe transportation and equipment. Don’t hesitate to ask tough questions of independent tour operators. Ask how long the company has been in business; Ask about the company’s accident record; And ask if they have insurance. If the tour operator does not willingly answer your questions, go to another operator.

Finally, if you’re exploring on your own, make sure you get back to the cruise ship 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time, which is listed in the ship’s daily activity bulletin and posted on the gangway. If you miss a launch, you will have to meet the ship at the next port – at your own expense.

All shores!

When traveling abroad, you may find that the way of life is different from what you are used to back home or even on a ship. Here are some things to think about before you set foot on the beach.

  • Dress appropriately for your port of call. A skimpy outfit is almost always inappropriate in public, even if you’re just going to the beach; Dress up in your swimsuit so the locals don’t bother you.
  • Keep expensive jewelry, excess cash and credit cards in the ship’s safe.
  • Wear a “fanny pack” or money belt when going to the beach. It keeps your hands free and protects your money and credit cards better than a wallet.
  • Check with the ship’s shore excursion staff about where to eat ashore. Certain foods and beverages, especially water, may be off limits.
  • Always carry identification on shore excursions, with the name of your ship and its docked location. Also take a photocopy of your passport with you.
  • Be vigilant. Your guide may give you a badge to wear for identification. This can help keep the group together, but it also allows shoplifters and thieves to target you.
  • Use common sense when sailing. Avoid shortcuts through deserted streets or alleys and watch out for unexpected things in your path (cows, chickens, scooters, beggars, pickpockets. You never know what will come near the dock).
  • Make sure your watch is compatible with local time; If you don’t, your ship may sail without you!

It goes without saying that a little research can greatly enhance your enjoyment of the port. Clearly, the best-planned shore excursions will be remembered long after you return home.

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