Not Taking Official Shore Excursions
If you are interested in podcasting, don’t miss the PodcastCon Cruise on December 4,2009. Check out the wiki for more information.
Another suggestion for getting revenge on a cruise line is by not taking their official shore excursion.
As I mentioned before, I think that revenge is a harsh term. I have taken both official and independent shore excursions. There are advantages to both.
For example, if you have a language barrier, you may wish to go on an official tour. Same if you are entirely comfortable exploring a port on your own.
When we were in Lima, Peru, we joined with several other passengers looking to save a few bucks. We shared a van into Lima, which is quite a jaunt from the port of Callao. We had been warned about the dangers of Lima and had we not been all adventurous types, we may have felt very intimidated being on our own. The strong military presence on the main square and warnings from security at museums to watch our bags and watch out for “preachers” (we think it was a poor translation and beggars may have been the intended word) could cause misgivings about traveling without the security of an organized tour.
If you decide to go out on your own and you have a poor sense of direction or aren’t good at keeping to a schedule, you might return to the dock as the ship heads into the horizon.
With an official tour, you are paying for security and services. If your excursion is delayed, the ship is aware of your situation. Your guides ideally know the area and local customs well. They don’t need to stop on a corner and analyze a map making them look like a target. They know how to deal with annoyances like panhandlers. Best of all, everything is planned out for you. You don’t need to spend time organizing anything.
Personally, I usually visit ports on my own, but I know the risks involved. For me, it works. Others ask advice on cruise boards for reliable non-ship tour operators. You need to do whatever you personally feel comfortable with. Be sure that booking independently or touring on your own doesn’t turn into self-revenge.