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Shore Excursions - Cruise Ship or Private?

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An increasing number of shore excursions I have booked through the cruise line have been cancelled at the last minute - two out of three on my last Mexican Riviera cruise in April.  The reason for both was insufficient numbers of passengers signing up.   The result has been that other shore excursions were already full and it was too late to book private tours so I spent days on my own.  


I have used other avenues for local excursions including Viator, Tours by Locals, and now my travel agency is offering their own.   I know that the one advantage to cruise ship sponsored excursions is a guarantee that the ship won't leave without you if the excursion is delayed.  I can't see any other advantage and private companies tend to provide more notice if an excursion is cancelled.  


I'm interested in the experience of other cruisers.   I have 35+ cruises, mostly on major cruise lines including Princess, Holland, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.   I have three more scheduled for this year and am struggling with planning.



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Join the roll call for your cruise. Most of the shore excursions that we do is done by members of the roll call who organize private tours. Also a lot of ports have locals at the dock offering tours. best to get two-three others and share the cost, also safety in numbers. Good luck, enjoy.

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