Excursion cruise ship reviews can be found on just about any cruise website, but some cruise review sites are much more informative (and fun) than others. Before we discuss the top excursion cruise ship reviews sites, read on the find out what cruise excursions are all about!
A cruise excursion can be defined as “a tour of the port of call or a specific attraction prearranged by the cruise line and guided by professionals (belonging to the crew) or locals.” The duration and type of cruise shore excursion offered will vary greatly depending on the type of cruise. For instance, a 14-day Mediterranean cruise may feature cruise shore excursions that last several hours or even overnight, while shorter cruises, such as a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise may feature cruise shore excursions that last an hour or two. Your cruise vacation will certainly include stops at exciting ports of call where you can do everything from shop and dine to hike and swim. If you are taking a cruise that highlights shore excursions, you are definitely in for a treat!
If you’d rather spend most of your time exploring on land, rather than at sea, choose a cruise that focuses on excursions. Repositioning cruises and freighter cruises are a great bargain, but they may not be the best choice for excursion enthusiasts, as they tend to spend the majority of the time at sea. Just about every other type of cruise vacation will offer cruise shore excursions.
Excursions are optional, and in most cases passengers will have the option of taking a guided excursion or exploring on their own. Because excursions can be pricey — ranging from $35 or less per person up to $150 or more per person (depending on type of excursion) — some passengers may opt to spend the day at port (onboard) or simply take a self-guided tour. While this is a great way to save money, a guided excursion is an experience that, for some, you can’t put a price on.
There are many different types of shore excursions — some may require a guide, others do not. The following list includes just a few examples of the types of cruise shore excursions available:
Exploring local gardens, museums, and zoos
Glacier tours or tours of ruins via helicopter
Golfing, hiking, kayaking, or sailing
Historical bike, bus, jeep or walking tours
Horseback riding along beaches, or through wildlife
Pub-crawls (popular among young couples and singles)
Reef and wreck tours via glass-bottom boat or submarine
Snorkeling and scuba diving
If you’re interested in booking a cruise shore excursion, it’s easy. Most cruise lines will allow you to select and book your shore excursions when you book your cruise. This is the absolute best way to book your excursion as you will bypass the stress and hassle of standing in line at the excursion desk. Additionally, cruise excursions tend to fill up rather quickly — long before you board the ship. If you book in advance you can take your time and browse through the seemingly limitless options, and those options will actually be available if you choose to book. FYI: The cost for cruise shore excursions is usually in addition to the cost of the cruise.
Cruisecritic.com offers more than just passenger reviews, this site has several search functions to help you find everything from bargains and discounts to theme cruises, and exotic itineraries. The site also includes features, news, planning tools, and a variety of cruise message boards where fellow cruisers can exchange stories and information.
Cruisemates.com offers short passenger reviews and ratings. The two types of ratings include: star ratings and value ratings. Star ratings are based on one question: how good is this ship? One star is the worst, five stars is the best. Cruisemates.com takes everything from age and accommodations to food, service, and entertainment into account when rating the worlds cruise ships. Value ratings, or “thumbs up” ratings, are all about the “Bang for your Buck.” Five thumbs up means the ship is an excellent value while one thumb up means you won’t find much of anything that resembles a value here.
Passenger reviews, ratings, rankings, and popularity contests at Cruisereviewsonline.com find out which cruise ships are at the top and which ones are not. Get other information on cruise lines, as well as information, ratings and rankings on embarkation ports, and ports-of-call.
Cruisereport.com offers the lowdown on cruise lines from A to Z. Unbiased passenger reviews, cruise searches, quotes, and feature articles are just a few of the sites extras. You can also search for “the perfect cruise” and browse through news pieces about cruising. After checking out their ratings and reviews, you can also search for discounts and deals. With more than 50,000 visitors per month, Cruisereport.com has information on roughly 8,500 current sailings.
Cruisedirectonline.com relies on reader surveys to help keeps reviews & ratings in check. In addition to cruise ship reviews and ratings, visitors to the site will find top ten and top thirty lists, as well as feature articles about the best of the best in the world of cruises. The site has other information about discounts, as well as information on roughly 12,000 sailings. Cruise Direct Online has been featured in Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine, and on MSNBC, CNBC, MSN Money, and more.