Tips for cruise shore excursions
10 things to keep in mind when organizing cruise shore excursions on your own
Did you just weighed all pros and cons and decided to organize your own cruise excursions? Then here are some rules of thumb to make it a success.
Cruise shore excursion tip 1: check the public transport timetable in advance
This way you can better judge what time you need to leave and how to organize your day. You can determine beforehand what is possible and what is not. By doing this in advance you don't lose unnecessary time on the day itself.
Cruise shore excursion tip 2: Ask the cruise line staff where exactly in port you will dock
In some ports are several places where you can dock. Often, these are many kilometers apart. By knowing in advance where you will dock you can better navigate and plan your day. Be careful! Often this information is only available at the last moment, even for the cruise lines.
Cruise shore excursion tip 3: Leave as early as possible
By leaving early you get more out of your day. In many cases, you'll travel along with thousands of fellow passengers who all want to leave the ship along the same gangway... Try to avoid peak times though that's not always easy. Some companies have strict rules. People who have booked an organized excursion can go first.
Cruise shore excursion tip 4: Write down what time you have to be back on board
You receive in advance information on what time you should be back on board. This varies from day to day. Even when you leave your cruise ship, this is well marked. Write down the time or take a picture. Useful if you begin to doubt later during the day. Was it 17h00 or 18h00? Also write down the name of your ship. Sometimes up to 6 cruise ships dock at the same time in 1 port ...
Cruise shore excursion tip 5: First far and then close
If you plan to visit multiple sites on one day, start with the most distant place. On your way back you can visit places that are closer to the cruise port.
Cruise shore excursion tip 6: Buy a return ticket when leaving by train, bus,...
This is not always possible, but if so, do it. If you are in a hurry to catch a bus or train on the way back, you already have your ticket and you won't have to queue at a counter.
Cruise shore excursion tip 7: Check the return timetables upon arrival
When you arrive at your destination, immediately check at what time you have to take which bus or train back. This enables you to better organize the rest of the day and you don't have to stress during your excursion.
Cruise shore excursion tip 8: Visit the Tourist Office
In most places you will find a Tourist Office. Often located in the city center or close to the highlights. Visit it for additional tips or ideas. You can also obtain a free city map.
Cruise shore excursion tip 9: Return on time
Keep an eye on your watch and return rather too early than too late. The cruise lines are bound by time slots in the port and will not wait for you forever. Always provide a small time buffer in your schedule to avoid an unpleasant surprise.
Cruise shore excursion tip 10: Take along useful telephone numbers
You never know ... Something can go wrong. Think of the cruise line, your travel agent, insurance company, local taxi company, etc.