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Royal Caribbean excursions - worth it or not?

West Sussex
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59 posts
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Royal Caribbean excursions - worth it or not?

Hi

Can anyone advise on whether it is worth booking excursions through Royal Carribean or if its better to go under your own steam, i have heard they are overpriced for what you get? We are doing a South Caribbean cruise stopping at Tortola, St Lucia, St Martaan, Antigua and Grenada in January - if anyone can recommend anything that would be great too?

thanks

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
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1. Re: Royal Caribbean excursions - worth it or not?

Here's my take: I've been on several Royal Caribbean cruises and usually book an excursion or two through the cruise line ONLY because I'm visiting places that are unfamiliar to me. Yes, you'll pay more through the cruise line, but if you're not familiar with the lay of the land, do you really want to spend your time searching for an excursion that may or may not be safe? For the record, I generally do not book "sightseeing" tours as I think there are good websites (Trip Advisor included) that can tell you where to catch a bus, walking tours, beach visits, good shopping, etc. I only book "destination" tours through the cruise lines to experience attractions such as dolphin encounters, snorkeling excursions off the shore, nighttime harbor cruises, etc. They cruise line handles transportation to and from the excursion and your ticket all beforehand. That's pretty hassle free traveling in my opinion. If you're on a budget, you could do some good research ahead of time and probably be okay. I'm just one of those travelers who knows I'm going to pay more, but peace of mind and ease of travel is worth it to me. In other words, I'd rather pay a little more and take advantage of the cruise line's connections and expertise of the island vs. saving a few bucks and ending up getting ripped up - or worse yet - hurt by a company I know nothing about. Like every country everywhere in the world, cruisers can be easy prey. I hope this was helpful to you.

West Sussex
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59 posts
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2. Re: Royal Caribbean excursions - worth it or not?

Thanks for the reply, I quite agree - as long as they are worth the money i dont mind paying a little more for the ease of booking upfront.

If anyone can recommend a good excursion or place to visit at any of the above destinations i would be obliged - or if anyone knows if you can walk off the boat and be in the middle of town or next to a beach so you dont have to mess about with taxis etc that would also be really helpful.

Washington State
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3. Re: Royal Caribbean excursions - worth it or not?

We just got back today from a 7 day cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean. I'm sorry that I can't comment on the excursions in your part of the world, but I will say that we were more than satisfied with the quality of the excursions we purchased through RCI in Split,Croatia; Athens, Greece; Kataklon, Greece. They were excellent and this turned out to be one of the high points of our cruise with RCI. My guess is that they do a pretty good job of setting standards for the excursions they market.

Chatham, Ontario
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4. Re: Royal Caribbean excursions - worth it or not?

For me, Grenada is about spices. My ship;s own tour on another line featured a drive around and in St Georges, where the driver showed us nutmeg, cocoa, cinnamon (didn't know why he was peeling bark from an ordinary looking tree!) grabbing bay leaves off bay trees, etc. The closest I see on the RCCL site to that wonderful experience is "Spice and Waterfalls".

If spices leave you cold,a feel free to ignore the recommendation!

For Tortola, practically everyone agrees a visit to "The Baths" on Virgin Gorda is very worthwhile. There's not much going on in Roadtown, so anything that gets you out on the water is a good idea.

On St. Lucia, I hated my exhausting bus trip, which visited the Botanical Gardens and "drive in volcano", but only gave a glimpse of the Pitons. I loved Soufriere, and would dearly love to go back and explore this charming town. So, no experience with a GOOD "ship's own" tour.

For St Maarten, everyone who does the America's Cup Regatta loves it. Loterie Farm zip line is great fun. I enjoyed hopping a taxi to the French side, Marigot, for beaches, cafes, and people watching.

I haven't visited Antigua.

West Sussex
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5. Re: Royal Caribbean excursions - worth it or not?

Thanks for your reply - its all helpful as we are only there for a shorttime i dont want to waste it.

Chicago, IL
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for Cape Cod
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6. Re: Royal Caribbean excursions - worth it or not?

So I have a story, really two, for you as well. In Barcelona we decided to visit a museum but not take the ship tour just to have a guide...we could do it ourselves. We were congratulating ourselves about saving $ when the ship tour came by. We sauntered over to hear the guide and we realized what we were missing. What she described about a particular painting was really cool and something we never would have discovered on our own. We would have liked to have stayed with the group but we were very gently disengaged by the guide.

Then there was Caracas. Many years ago the hotel manager on Royal Caribbean set up four of us with a taxi. Instead of driving around the mountain into the city then riding halfway up the mountain for the view and back down again our driver took us to the cable car on the La Guaira side and we had the whole experience of riding up over the top of the mountain. Somehow he picked us out of the crowd and then we went off on a wonderful full day sightseeing trip of all the things the ship tour was seeing. We had an authentic local lunch and we managed to get the driver to join us and talk about ...well everything. The tour, tip, lunch cost the four of us less than what two would have paid on the ship's tour. This time we really could congratulate ourselves BUT I don't know if it would have worked out this well without the 'intervention' of the hotel manager.

Don't cheat yourself out of getting the full experience trying to save a bit of $ after you've already spent a bundle to get there. Well, that's my advice for what it's worth.

7. Re: Royal Caribbean excursions - worth it or not?

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