Before you embark upon your first cruise you will normally be sent a brochure or be directed to the ships website where you can read information on each individual destination on your itinerary, and the ship’s organised shore excursions for each place. Generally, on my own cruise holidays I don’t book any shore excursions with the cruise line. I prefer instead to explore each destination independently.

The shore excursions which can be booked directly with the cruise line are a great idea for any older people, who are perhaps not confident with a lot of walking and anyone who has problems with mobility. Each shore excursion is normally graded on a scale of how active it will be, and often there are some excursions where there is very little walking and all transportation is done by coach.

Research In Advance

My family and I usually research well in advance what we wish to do and see in each port of call and what the best way to get there is, if it’s not within walking distance of where the ship docks.

We prefer to use public transport wherever possible and it always works out incredibly cost effective. We have also found that in some destinations which have high volumes of traffic it can be more time efficient than getting stuck in a coach in bumper to bumper traffic.

This is especially true when calling into Civitavecchia, where Rome is around an hour away by train and the traffic is always very heavy. We have previously heard of people getting stuck for almost two hours on a coach and delaying the departure of the ship from the port. In my opinion, time spent stuck in traffic is time that could be better spent relaxing and seeing the sights.

Do you really want to follow a Tour Guide around?

The trouble with organised shore excursions is that you visit the sights as part of a large group, generally a coach load full of people. This means you must follow a tour guide around as part of the group. For me, this part is not appealing. I prefer to be able to explore and discover independently. I like to be able to decide exactly what I want to see and be able to choose the amount of time I spend at each place I visit.

Whilst shore excursions are perfect for some people, why not try and create your own itinerary for a day in port, utilising public transport and seeing exactly what you want to. You might just find that your experience will be so much more enjoyable, and your bank balance will be more healthy too!

Thanks Emma