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  • Writer's pictureColeen Bolton

What kind of excursions do you do?

Updated: Jun 9

Hello and welcome to this Thursday's Travel Talk!.  I am writing this in the Anchorage airport on my way back from another amazing adventure in Alaska!   More on that next week.   This week I want to talk a bit about shore excursions.  The cruise I was just on offered a great assortment of included excursions which was fun since I normally opt to explore on my own.  I also recently cruised with a friend that only ever got off the ship via a cruise sponsored excursion so I thought this was a good time to talk excursions.

Traveling opens up unique experiences, and cruising offers a multitude of ways to explore. We all have our travel styles, and I've realized this after cruising with different folks. I enjoy embarking on adventures independently, but not everyone shares this sentiment. I recall a recent trip with a friend who had only ever experienced ship-sponsored excursions. Her concerns were palpable when we planned to explore the island independently. This trip was a leap out of her comfort zone, involving a 45-minute taxi ride from the port and another later to return. Despite her initial reservations, she had a terrific day and began to see the merits of exploring beyond the ship's offerings.

Here are some friendly tips for those considering non-ship sponsored excursions:

1. Invest time in researching cruise-friendly excursions. Third-party companies often provide this information, indicating that they're conscious of your port times and can accommodate last-minute itinerary changes. Remember, unpredictable weather can disrupt your plans, so it's reassuring to know the company's cancellation and changes policy.

2. While booking a shore excursion through the cruise line guarantees your return to the ship, there's no assurance that the ship will wait for you. Cruise ships can be fined for late departures, so if you're held up on a cruise-booked excursion, they'll ensure you rejoin the ship. However, if you explore independently or book through a third party, the risk of being left behind exists so be sure to consider if your next stop would be easy to get to if you were left behind. 

3. If you're apprehensive about independent exploration, start small. The port area often offers fantastic experiences, and the locals can share exciting places to visit. They're usually delighted to share their world with you!

Regardless of your choice, embrace the adventure and enjoy every moment!


Cruise With Me

Join me on one of my next cruise adventures! The more the merrier! I will be leading groups on these sailings so there will be some "extras" included and other fun things planned.

  • November 6, 2004 - 3 night Disney Dream - Round trip Fort Lauderdale visiting BOTH Lighthouse Point and Castaway Cay

  • January 11, 2025 - 7 night Disney Treasure - Round trip Port Canaveral visiting Western Caribbean

  • July 27, 2025 - 14 night Wild British Isles - Round trip Rotterdam onboard Holland America

  • JUST ADDED - October 4, 2025 - 11 night Portugal River Cruise on the Douro with 3 nights in Lisbon on Avalon Waterways (very limited rooms available)

I also have some destinations on my wish list like - Greenland, Iceland, and South America. If you want to join me on any of those let me know and I will keep you updated on when I add those to my schedule. If you have a small group and like the idea having me come along with you to help add some adventure I would be happy to set that up as well.

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