Question: What are the advantages of taking organized shore excursions?
Answer: There are a number of advantages to taking organized tours offered by Princess, such as:
- Quality: We have carefully inspected all of our ports and we offer you shore excursions from only the most reputable local agencies. Variety: All our tours are designed both to feature the most popular and interesting attractions in each port and to satisfy the diverse needs and interests of our passengers.
- Service: What could be easier than letting us arrange your tours for you? By having your tours organized onboard, you can best maximize your time in port and avoid having to make independent, last-minute arrangements.
- Safety: Your safety and security are of the utmost importance to us and they are the primary consideration in the development and operation of our tour programs.
- Value: We endeavor to select local tour operators who provide shore excursions of the highest quality. And we carefully monitor prices to ensure that you are receiving good value.
Question: Is a visa required for any of the ports I visit?
Answer: Please review the information detailed in the cover letter included in the Pre-Cruise document folder regarding any applicable visas for your specific voyage.
Question: How do I reserve my tours in advance of my cruise?
Answer: Visit our website at princess.com to read full tour descriptions and the most up-to-date tour information and to complete the Tour Reservation Form online. This new and exciting feature provides the fastest and most convenient way to reserve your tours. Please keep in mind that you will receive your tickets when you arrive onboard, and all of your tour purchases are charged to your shipboard account. Therefore, advance payment is neither required nor accepted. Since some excursions have capacity limitations, we encourage you to reserve your tours as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Reservations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. We suggest you bring this tour brochure with you on your cruise for reference purposes.
Question: How can I be sure I am confirmed on the tours I want?
Answer: If you elect to use our online booking form at princess.com, you receive an immediate confirmation of the status of your requested tours. The site shows the remaining capacity on all tours, so you know if you are confirmed or waitlisted.
To avoid disappointment, please reserve your tours as early as possible. Many excursions have limited capacity and reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. If the specific tour time you requested is fully booked, Princess may schedule you on an alternate departure that corresponds with your other tour selections.
If your tour choice is not available, we will put you on a waitlist and attempt to obtain more space on the excursion. If you have companions traveling with you or in other staterooms and would like everyone to be on the same tour departure, order all the excursions on one Tour Reservation Form. Forms sent in individually, even if at the same time, may be separated and entered at different times. This might cause you to be booked on a different departure than your companions or waitlisted on a tour for which your companions are confirmed.
Question: How does the adventures ashore program operate onboard?
Answer: Our Shore Excursion Manager runs the onboard portion of the Adventures Ashore program. Tour Office staff are available to answer questions and make tour reservations for you. Once onboard and in your stateroom, you will find tickets for the tours you reserved in advance. If you have not yet reserved tours or would like to purchase additional excursions, you’ll find a Tour Order Form in your stateroom. You’ll also find a schedule of daily activities in the Princess Patter, which features Adventures Ashore program information, including Tour Office hours and the closing time for bookings. Throughout your cruise, the Tour Office will be open for additional shore excursion bookings. Remember, tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis and space on tours is limited, so please bring your order form and book early. A drop box is located near the Tour Office where you may deposit your order form at any time.
Question: Does princess own the tour companies in the ports?
Answer: No, all of the tours are operated by local, independent companies not by Princess, Princess retains a portion of the total sale. We selected only the most reputable companies available to provide your excursions. The companies providing your excursions are selected by Princess based on their excellent reputation for service and safety.
Question: Are the tours guided?
Answer: Yes. All of our tours include local English-speaking guides except for On Your Own tours and where otherwise noted.
Question: Should I tip the tour guide?
Answer: Tipping is a discretionary matter. It is, however, customary around the world, if one is pleased with their tour, to tip the tour guide. A general rule of thumb is $2 per person for a half-day tour and $5 per person for a full-day tour.
Question: Are there children’s prices available?
Answer: Yes, some tours offer children’s prices for children under the age of 12 years. If you are traveling with children, please pre-reserve the number of child tickets you would like on the Tour Reservation Form or on the web site. Once on board, check your tour tickets to ensure you have received the correct number of child tickets. If you have received the incorrect number of child tickets, visit the Tour Office as soon as possible to make any necessary adjustments. Child prices are not available for tours involving flights or hotel stays. Toddlers aged 3 and younger sitting on a parent’s lap (not occupying a seat), are not charged for most tours. If a parent would like their infant to occupy a seat or would like to utilize a safety seat, the parent must purchase a tour ticket for the infant at the published tour price. Parents are also responsible for bringing a safety seat for their child.
Question: Are there any age restrictions on tours?
Answer: For most tours, there is no minimum age for children as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Guests under the age of 18 years cannot participate without a parent or guardian. A few operators may allow an unaccompanied minor on tour if a wavier is signed by the parent or guardian in the operator’s presence.
Question: What type of clothing should I wear while on tour or in port?
Answer: During your cruise, the climate can range from temperate and cool to hot and humid. Please plan to dress in layered, light to medium– weight clothing and comfortable, low-heeled walking shoes. Since weather conditions may vary, we suggest you also pack a sweater, a light jacket and an all-weather coat. In addition, don’t forget a hat or visor, a collapsible umbrella, sunglasses, sun screen and of course your camera and extra film. Remember to bring your binoculars and camera, and please pack extra film, as it is often very expensive at the different venues you will be visiting. If you plan to participate on an overland tour and will need to recharge video equipment or use a hair dryer, we suggest you bring an international adapter. Whenever you plan on going ashore, we highly encourage you to leave your valuables and jewelry onboard. While ashore, please take care in protecting your purses, cameras and other personal items. We suggest you carry a photo copy of your passport when going ashore as you may need your passport number to exchange currency. Please be mindful that in some of the countries you’ll visit, the local people may have somewhat more conservative views concerning dress than those to which you are accustomed. Generally shorts, tank tops, and short skirts are not accept able dress when visiting churches or places of worship. Specific information regarding appropriate dress in these ports will be provided onboard. Please note that for those water-related excursions where we suggest you wear your bathing suit, cover-up and hat, we have placed a symbol next to the tour description. Also, please remember your sunscreen, towel and camera and to leave your valuables onboard. For all golf tours, collared shirts and either long pants or Bermuda-style shorts (no cut-offs, bathing suits, etc.) are required.
Question: Will I miss the ship if I go on tours?
Answer: One very important feature of taking an excursion organized by Princess is that we closely monitor the departures and returns of all our tours. Therefore, our ships do not sail until all of our organized tour transportation has returned, so you can be assured that you won’t miss the ship. Please keep in mind that when you make your own arrangements in port, or if you leave an organized tour, we will no longer be aware of your where about; so be sure to schedule yourself with ample time to return to the ship before it sails.
Question: Will I miss meals if I go on tours?
Answer: When the ship is in port, the meal times are adjusted to accommodate the departure and return times of the excursions, so passengers on tour do not miss any meals. The only exceptions to this are passengers on longer tours that include lunch.
Question: Can I cancel an excursion I’ve purchased?
Answer: Due to the nature of the packages involving hotel accommodations, flights and private vehicles, these excursions are not refundable after the closing date on the Tour Reservations Form, which is 30 days prior to sailing.
Due to the limited capacity and high demand for helicopter flights, these excursions are not refundable unless cancelled by 12:00pm on the day after embarkation.
For other tours in each port of call, a “Closing Time for Bookings” is listed on the Tour Order Form found in your stateroom. This is the time when the bookings for the tours in that port close and we notify the local operators of the final excursion requirements. You may cancel an excursion if it is prior to the closing time whether you reserve an excursion in advance or book onboard. We cannot cancel a tour if it is past this closing time, nor can we refund tours on which you choose not to go.
Question: What is required to participate in a certified dive tour?
Answer: An open-water scuba certification must be presented in order to participate in a certified dive tour. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate divers with either a Junior Open Water or a Scuba Diver rating due to the depth limitations imposed by these certifications. The sport-diving industry recommends that divers take an update course if they have not been diving within the last six months. Please note that some dive operators may reserve the right to refuse to take divers who cannot provide proof of the date of their last dive or scuba review course. We recommend you bring a log book or proof that you’ve recently completed a review course. Passengers are welcome to bring and use their own personal equipment, but is must be stored in their stateroom and there is no reduction in the tour price.
Question: Are there any special requirements for participating in an introductory/discover scuba diving tour?
Answer: Yes, there are certain medical conditions that may prevent your participation in our Introductory Scuba Diving Program. Accordingly, you must complete a medical history form and liability waiver/release form that will be provided on board or by the tour operator at the beginning of the tour. Following is a non-inclusive list of several medical conditions that may prevent you from safely participating in scuba diving. Any of these conditions would also require that you are examined by a qualified physician and obtain written permission from the doctor prior to your cruise. Heart disease or previous heart attack, diabetes, epilepsy or seizures, high blood pressure or take medicine to control blood pressure, presently taking prescription medicines with the exception of birth control, pregnancy, asthma or any form of lung disease, recent surgery, blackouts, sinus problems, fear of closed spaces, recurring complicated migraine headaches, recurrent ear problems, and severe motion sickness. For introductory Scuba Diving tours there is a minimum age of 10. Passengers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Question: Are there any special requirements for participating in a Snuba® diving, helmet diving or underwater scooter tour?
Answer: Yes, there are certain medical conditions that may prevent your participation. Accordingly, you will be required to complete a medical-history form and liability waiver/release form that will be supplied onboard or by the tour operator. Additionally, children must be at least 8 years old and weigh at least 75 pounds in order to participate on the helmet or Snuba dives and at least 10 years old to participate on the underwater scooter tour. Following is a non-inclusive list of several medical conditions that may prevent you from safely participating in scuba diving. Any of these conditions would also require that you are examined by a qualified physician and obtain written permission from the doctor prior to your cruise. Heart disease or previous heart attack, diabetes, epilepsy or seizures, high blood pressure or take medicine to control blood pressure, presently taking prescription medicines with the exception of birth control, pregnancy, asthma or any form of lung disease, recent surgery, blackouts, sinus problems, fear of closed spaces, recurring complicated migraine headaches, recurrent ear problems, and severe motion sickness.
Question: On sportfishing tours, do I get to keep the fish I catch?
Answer: On most sport fishing tours offered by Princess are part of a “catch and release” program for endangered sport fish. On the catch and release tours the fish that are edible and not endangered are typically landed and kept by the boat crew. If your tour is not designated as catch and release, your catch can be processed and shipped home for an additional charge as arranged by the tour operator. Other fish that are edible and not endangered are typically landed and kept by the boat crew. As one of our boat captains said, “We guarantee fishing, not catching.”
Question: What is included in the princess golf program?
Answer: Princess Golf tours include priority debarkation, knowledgeable golf pro escort, roundtrip transfers and all cart and greens fees. Caddy fees may be required at some locations, but will be noted in the description and are payable directly to the course. Princess Golf reserves the right to modify course selection and pricing to best serve the needs and experience of the participants. Seasonal rates and passenger minimums may also apply. Check with your onboard golf professional for any last minute details. Please log onto www.princessgolf.com or call 1-800-324-1106 for additional information and to reserve rental equipment, golf simulator or instructional requests with the golf pro on your Princess ship.
Question: What should I know before taking a helicopter excursion?
Answer: Due to weight and balance limitations, as well as passenger safety and comfort, the helicopter excursion companies have advised that passengers weighing 250 pounds or more (fully clothed) will be charged an additional surcharge to reserve adequate space onboard the helicopter. The additional surcharge will be approximately 50% of the cost of a single seat on the tour.
Carry-ons are limited to cameras and secure storage is provided at the heliport. Helicopters may carry up to six guests depending on combined group weight. The flight lengths are approximate and may vary due to weather conditions. Tours may cancel on short notice due to weather / safety issues.
Question: May I take more than one tour in a single port of call?
Answer: Yes. In Alaska, allow at least 30 minutes between each tour. In all other regions, allow at least 60 minutes between each tour. All tours depart from, and return to, the cruise ship pier. By scheduling 30 minutes between tours, you will have sufficient time to take multiple tours.
Question: Is there time for shopping on the tours?
Answer: Shopping is, for many, an important part of travel and, wherever possible, time for this activity is allowed within the framework of most of our excursions. Please note, however, that the actual amount of time available for shopping is generally limited.
Question: Do the tours include much walking and stair climbing?
Answer: All of our excursions involve some walking and some excursions include more walking and stair climbing than others. Walking may be over uneven surfaces such as cobblestone city streets or the rocky pathways of ancient ruins. On many tours, it is necessary to negotiate stairs. Please keep in mind that most of the buildings you will be visiting were constructed well before conveniences such as elevators were invented and have been preserved in their original state. Please refer to our tour symbols following each tour description for more information and guidance.
Question: What does princess do to ensure my safety while I’m ashore?
Answer: Our primary concern at Princess is your safety and security. We are in continuing contact with authorities concerning any travel advisories that might impact our cruises. If the U.S. State Department advises against travel to specific locations we visit, we would make the necessary changes to the published itinerary. Although such itinerary changes occur infrequently, please understand that these changes are for your own safety and security and are beyond our control. Despite all of our efforts and in light of recent world events, we remind all of our passengers that they must ultimately assume responsibility for their actions while ashore. In this regard, we would like to remind you of some common sense precautions when visiting ports-of-call:
- Stay in the normal tourist areas and don’t travel to out-of the- way places without the benefit of a guided tour.
- Do not leave any of your belongings unattended in public areas.
- Be generally aware of people and activities around you.
- Do not accept packages from anyone you don’t know personally.
- Keep a low profile–dress and behave conservatively.
- Be careful when eating and drinking ashore. We thank you in advance for following these recommendations, which we believe will enhance the enjoyment of your cruise.
Question: What else should I anticipate in ports?
Answer: Keep in mind that some sites you’ll be visiting are extremely popular among both tourists and locals. Therefore, you may encounter crowded conditions, whether participating in one of our tours or sightseeing on your own. Regrettably, we have no control over this situation. With regard to photography, some venues may prohibit the use of flash cameras, so fast-speed film is recommended. In some places, photography may be prohibited altogether or a fee may be imposed for the use of cameras or video cameras. We ask that you observe any restrictions and, if in doubt, ask your guide for assistance.
Question: What do you recommend for physically challenged passengers?
Answer: Our answer, of course, depends on the type and degree of the disability. In general, if passengers are able to walk on their own, we recommend those tours that we designated as requiring a moderate level of activity (see Tour Symbols section inside the front cover). The transport on some tours may be able to accommodate a collapsible wheelchair stored below the bus; scooters or motorized wheelchairs are often too large to be stored on the transports used for the tours. If passengers are non-ambulatory, we generally recommend independent transportation for their comfort and convenience. Our Shore Excursion staff can provide them with suggested tour itineraries. We also recommend that non-ambulatory passengers be accompanied by someone who is able to assist them throughout the duration of the tour. For more information on the terms and conditions for Adventures Ashore, please refer to the Special Information section. Every effort will be made to accommodate all passengers on the tour of their choice but, tours are operated by independent local companies and not by Princess. The final determination to let any passenger participate is made by the tour operator and therefore if, in the judgment of the tour operator, the safety or comfort of any passenger is in question, guests may be denied participation. This evaluation may not be able to be determined until meeting directly with the local tour operator. Guests who need any special accommodation (wheelchair use, etc.) should check in with the Shore Excursion Manager once onboard to communicate their needs so advance arrangements may be made with the tour operator.