Planning shore excursions for each port city can quickly add to the cost of your trip. In this blog post, we’ll walk through 5 tips to help save your family money on your next cruise!
Tip 1: Sign Up for Email Notifications from Your Cruise Line
Booking excursions directing through your cruise line is the easiest way to explore each port city. One benefit of booking directly with your cruise line is you have the guarantee that you’re booking with a reputable company. They also guarantee that the cruise ship will wait for your party if your shore excursion runs late.
As soon as you book your trip, make sure you’ve signed up to receive promotional emails. Once you book your trip, you’ll begin receiving emails to incentify you to book your excursions ahead of time. Cruise lines want to encourage your party to book excursions ahead of your cruise so they can plan and coordinate with each port city. So it’s no surprise that they’ll send out promotional emails for 20-30% each shore excursion!
Tip 2: Skip Excursions & Wander on Your Own
Some families will book excursions every day of their trip, but we have not done this yet. When we cruise, we like to include a couple of days where we wander around the local shops or head to a local beach. Not only does this save us money, but this also allows us to have a have a few days to explore on our own!
Tip 3: Research and Hire a Private Guide
One way to save money is to research and hire a private excursion(s) guide. How will you save money? By booking directly with a local company, you are not paying for the overhead and planning from your cruise line.
I know people love to do this and rave about the experience, but we have never done this. One reason that has discouraged us from booking with a private party ahead of time is the risk of your cruise ship leaving you behind. Private tour guides are not in contact with the cruise ship, so if you’re not back in time, the cruise ship will leave without you. If you book excursions through a third party, research the company and read reviews from other travelers. Keep in mind, tourism is a huge part of the port city’s income, so they’re going to do their best to get a positive review.
Tip 4: Hire a Local Taxi Driver
One our non-excursion days, we will use a local taxi driver to take us to a local beach if we’re not able to walk to one. Before you leave the ship, ask the cruise ship’s shore excursion guide for travel recommendation. They’re here to help you and will be more than happy to help provide you with local tips.
Tip 5: Be Flexible, See What Happens and Enjoy your Trip!
The best advice I’ve received when cruising is to sit back, relax and enjoy your trip! Be flexible with your schedule and enjoy being on vacation.
I hope these tips help save you money on your next cruise! Planning your cruise excursions before you set sail will not only save you money but will take away the stress of planning once you’re onboard. Let me know where you plan on cruising (or if you have any additional tips) in the comments below.