Planning ahead for your trip is always a good idea, and pre-booking your cruise excursions is no exception. Here are 7 reasons to book before you cruise.
1. Excursions Sell Out
Popular excursions like dolphin swims, highly-rated snorkel tours, and dune buggy adventures will sell out quickly on Caribbean cruises, and the same goes for Alaskan excursions involving floatplanes and helicopter flightseeing. Don’t miss out on an unforgettable experience because you waited until you were onboard the ship to look at excursions.
2. You Can Pre-Pay
We all love how budget-friendly cruises are, and pre-booking (and therefore pre-paying) your excursions is yet another way to minimize your on-board expenses by purchasing them before you sail. This way, you’re not skimping on drinks or souvenirs in order to squeeze excursions into your on-board budget because you already took care of them ahead of time. Sometimes you just can’t put a price on peace of mind.
3. Not Always Pier-Side Excursions
Not every port offers the pier-side excursions where you can walk off the ship and decide what you’re going to do that day. Without those as an option, you could be stuck wandering aimlessly through a port because you didn’t plan ahead.
4. May Require Outside Transportation
Sometimes, excursions require transportation outside of the port the ship docked in. Maybe you’re docking in Cozumel and visiting the Mayan ruins in mainland Mexico, or maybe you’re docking in St. Thomas and taking an excursion over to St. John. The point is, these are the types of excursions that you want to pre-book to make sure your spot is solidified. Extra transportation of this kind is risky to try to plan on your own without booking through a company, because the cruise ship won’t wait for you if you’re not there when it’s time to sail away!
5. Allows for Research
Whether you plan to book your excursions through the cruise line or through a third party company like cruisingexcursions.com, booking ahead gives you time to research the company you are purchasing from, allowing you to read other cruisers’ reviews, compare prices, and determine if the excursions you’re looking at match your needs.
6. Plan a Backup
While shopping around, you’ll probably find a few other excursions that catch your eye. Write these down as a Plan B and maybe even a Plan C in case something like weather disrupts your plans. For example, you may have plans to go cave-tubing in Belize. However, if it rains too hard the day before and the caves flood, the excursion may get canceled. Luckily, you will have planned ahead and know of a second-choice snorkel tour that you’re ready to book instead.
7. Know What to Pack
Pre-booking excursions also comes in handy for when it’s time to pack. It will help you decide whether you should bring your own water shoes or snorkel gear, or if it will be available to rent where you’re going. Likewise, if booking something like zip-lining you’ll probably need a pair of tennis shoes or closed-toe shoes. Be sure to read the descriptions and understand everything your excursion involves.