Tips for Booking a Shore Excursion

Enjoy thrilling adventures ashore, like horseback riding in the Caribbean, with the help of these tips for booking shore excursions

One of the best parts about going on a cruise vacation is the variety of available shore excursions. Travelers looking for a fast and easy way to check off a handful of items from their bucket list can rest assured that with Princess Cruises, they will see and experience all the world has to offer. Princess Cruises is the destination expert, and all tours are carefully selected to bring you the highest quality.

Here are some useful tips for making the most of your time off the ship.

Plan shore excursions ahead

Passengers who decide to book shore excursions through Princess Cruises can spend more time enjoying their experience and less time stressing about transportation or reservations. Thinking about visiting the Colosseum during a Mediterranean cruise? With a planned excursion, travelers can avoid the crowds and enjoy the added advantage of sharing their adventures with newfound friends.

Because there are limited seats for some shore excursion programs, passengers should decide what they want to do several weeks before their ship departs. Travelers with special requests such as wheelchair access and dietary concerns should inform their booking agent, cruise vacation planner or Princess directly to ensure that they can fully enjoy their time on land. Families with small children who may need strollers should take extra consideration when selecting excursions. Many Caribbean shore excursions, for example, involve snorkeling and water sports - some of which may not be suited for youngsters.

Additionally, depending on what passengers decide to do during these fun activities, prices will vary - the details of which are available online.

Independent touring

Passengers who speak multiple languages have an added advantage and can ask locals for advice once they disembark, whether they are looking for a favorite local restaurant or hidden beach.

Most destinations with Princess Cruises have informative tourism offices that travelers can check out before departing. Because many port cities are accustomed to welcoming international travelers, they make it easy for cruisers to book adventures or tours mere minutes after leaving the ship. Explorers should also ask local businesses questions about how long they have been in operation and if they have insurance plans to make sure nothing goes awry during their adventure.

Independent cruise travelers should also keep in mind time constraints. While participants of Princess' shore excursion programs have an optimal and tight schedule, those exploring on their own may lose track of time while immersing themselves in another culture. Booking an excursion through Princess ensures that the ship will wait for any tours that may be running late.

Additional considerations

During a European or Asian cruise, female passengers may want to research customs and cultural dress codes. In Thailand, for example, women rarely wear shorts or skirts above their knees and tend to wear sleeved shirts, no matter how hot it gets. Even in some parts of the Caribbean, beach-going visitors should cover up when walking to and from the shore so as not to offend locals.

With any shore excursion, passengers should leave their valuables onboard and avoid bringing too much cash. Travelers should always bring proper identification once leaving the ship - including passports and visas - as well as specific information about their ship just in case they get lost.

If a port is cancelled or an arrival delayed, Princess will also refund all shore excursions.