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I've just been looking at the shore excursions for our up coming cruise R506 Venice etc.Having traveled with P&O several times I have come to the conclusion that for what they are these trips are over priced.If we where to book a trip at every port it would probably add another £500-£600 to our holiday bill and most of the trips I don't fancy anyway anybody feel the same,or do consider them good value?

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Guest Solent Richard

I've just been looking at the shore excursions for our up coming cruise R506 Venice etc.Having traveled with P&O several times I have come to the conclusion that for what they are these trips are over priced.If we where to book a trip at every port it would probably add another £500-£600 to our holiday bill and most of the trips I don't fancy anyway anybody feel the same,or do consider them good value?

 

I must confess that all the ship's excursions I have been on were rated very good or good by both myself and my wife.

 

Of course you need to be selective when choosing. There is a variety on offer and we all have differing interests.

 

I note you say that ..."most of the trips I don't fancy anyway...". So I don't see any problem.

 

The fact remains there are thousands of cruisers who do fancy and do book ship's excursions.

 

I know it goes against the grain on many cruise forums but not all cruisers have tight budgets and most cruisers actually enjoy having a dedicated and knowledgeable guide to explain differing aspects of wherever one is visiting.

 

One of the best P&O excursions I went on last year was at Corfu. Here is what i wrote at the time...

 

Our next port of call was Corfu. For this visit we had pre-booked a full day ship’s excursion (7 hour )  taking in the picturesque village and monastery at Paleokastritsa,  the rather beautiful Achilleion Palace and a visit to a vinyard for lunch and Greek entertainment.

 

The Achilleion Palace

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We rated this  excursion  outstanding and excellent value for money. Apart from the actual sightseeing and the accompanied knowledgeable commentary from our guide, the lunch, wine and entertainment that were included at the Ambelonas Vinyard was faultless: The wine flowed freely throughout the visit and the food was possibly the best Greek fare we have had the pleasure of eating.

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That was just 12 months ago.

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Good morning Bigbri,

There are many private companies that do excellent tours a lot cheaper than the cruise lines. There is also this site which may assist you in your various ports of call. http://www.whatsinport.com/

Click into the port you are visiting and you will find a lot of information that will assist you. Have a good cruise.

OWT

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Morning Bigbri,

 

We always look through the shore excursions on offer and eliminate those of no interest, then consider whether a privately booked tour might be more appropriate and finally, if it fits our bill, we book the official cruise line excursion.  Sometimes, the risk of not making it back to the ship in time makes the cruise line offering the only viable option.  We have rarely felt we did not get value for money.

 

DavidH

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Guest Solent Richard

We are on this cruise and like you have looked at the P & O excursion program. Most of the ports we have been to before but we have got a large on board credit and will use some of that on a couple of trips. Without the OBC we would not bother. 

 

Interesting comment.

 

I see that Cadiz is on the itinerary. We were there on Britannia two months ago.

 

I obviously don't have access to the list of excursions for the Aurora cruise however I would guess there are excursions to Seville and Jerez.

 

I did an excursion to Seville with Celebrity and it was good. In march, while on Britannia, we took the ship's 'Jerez on your own option and had a great time, visiting both the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art ...

 

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...and the Villavicencio Palace. At the top of one of the Palace's towers, some six storeys high, we enjoyed a half hour tour of their 'Camera Obscura'...

 

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Guest Solent Richard

Morning Bigbri,

 

We always look through the shore excursions on offer and eliminate those of no interest, then consider whether a privately booked tour might be more appropriate and finally, if it fits our bill, we book the official cruise line excursion.  Sometimes, the risk of not making it back to the ship in time makes the cruise line offering the only viable option.  We have rarely felt we did not get value for money.

 

DavidH

 

Good morning David.

 

I can but fully concur.

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I agree that cruise line excursions are very expensive. In our limited experience, in such a large group much time is wasted waiting for late comers, or queuing at toilet stops. We do lots of research, often using the cruise line offerings as a starting point, and work out how we can see the places that interest us either independently or in a small group private tour. Occasionally, particularly if lengthy travel is involved, we will take a cruise line excursion, but at a rough guess we have done this three times on our last six cruises. Planning how we will spend our time in port is part of the enjoyment of the cruise for us and now we are retired we have the time to do it.

Sheila

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Guest Solent Richard

attachicon.gifBrazil again 076.JPG

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Cadiz is indeed a wonderful city and one that you don't have to travel outside of to see some beautiful sites. The cathedral is stunning. I was there in December on our way to Brazil on Splendour of the Seas.

 

It certainly is a nice place OldWorldTraveller.

 

But what if you have visited it on a previous cruise?

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Guest Solent Richard

attachicon.gifBrazil again 076.JPG

attachicon.gifBrazil again 069.JPG

Cadiz is indeed a wonderful city and one that you don't have to travel outside of to see some beautiful sites. The cathedral is stunning. I was there in December on our way to Brazil on Splendour of the Seas.

 

As I stated earlier, Cadiz is good if you have not visited before. It can, however, be covered in around 3 hours unless one wishes to linger over a decent lunch...

 

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Guest Solent Richard

The way i see it in general is that everyone wants to do an excursion but some don't want to pay the price.

 

That is fine, but why moan about prices all the time when, without exception, they are similarly pitched across the cruise industry.

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It certainly is a nice place OldWorldTraveller.

 

But what if you have visited it on a previous cruise?

We have had this discussion before Richard when someone was saying there was nothing to do in, was it Vigo or Civitavecchia? We both agreed if my memory serves me correctly that there is always something to do if you are prepared to explore and look for it. That is why I always recommend the web site http://www.whatsinport.com/

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Try cruising excursions.com they offer similar trips with guarantees yo get you back to the ship at a lower cost. Depending how many are traveling to can often negotiate a private taxi to take you round for the day. I have been on many P&O excursions but have found them not to be the best value for money or the best way to utilise your in port time as they often spend too much time in souvenir type shops.

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I think some of the P&O excursions are becoming more reasonably priced. I was sorting out some old papers and came across an old bill from 1995, we paid £115 each for the full day excursions with lunch. Our last P&O cruise in October the full day excursions were £65 including lunch. I recently booked a full day excursion for my sisters cruise and that was £60. Only one of the excursions in 1995 included an entrance fee,  one last October included 3 so that couldn't be the reason.

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I've just been looking at the shore excursions for our up coming cruise R506 Venice etc.Having traveled with P&O several times I have come to the conclusion that for what they are these trips are over priced.If we where to book a trip at every port it would probably add another £500-£600 to our holiday bill and most of the trips I don't fancy anyway anybody feel the same,or do consider them good value?

I think the key is to be selective.

We once took a helicopter trip over Athens. It was a really different perspective on a city that we knew well. It also happened to be a very hot day so it was the nicest way to see Athens that day. We also took a ship's tour to Loro Parque in a Tenerife. We had a really fun day and any saving we would have made by organising transport ourselves would have been more than offset by the hassle.

On the other hand my son and I made our own way to Pompeii by train from Naples. Not only was this a cheaper option but more importantly we could organise our own day and (in my opinion) had a better day.

On the whole I don't like going to visit places in large groups and I'd rather visit less places more slowly and spend more time in each place. So generally I prefer to organise my day myself! However, I recognise that others find a different perspective works for them.

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Thanks for all the comments,having been on several trips with P&O I have learnt to be selective on what we go on and some of the trips on offer IMO aren't value for money.Cadiz never been so as we dock in the city get off and walk same with Malta and Venice leisurely lunches in all in fact I think that will happen in all ports but you never know,I might find a trip that's interesting when we view the port info on board.

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When we first started cruising we would book a number of ship excursions, but obviously this proved rather expensive. As our confidence grew we started doing our own thing, using public transport to go further afield when we returned to places we had already visited in the past. We got to a point where we didn't bother with excursions at all, but then started to miss the information that only guides can best provide, so now we choose one excursion per cruise that we hope will be interesting and educational for us all, and disregard the cost. I have noticed that P&O have stopped giving exact times in port on our itineraries before sailing now. They just say "arrive early morning, depart late afternoon", etc. I guess this is a ploy to try and make it harder to book private excursions.

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Guest Solent Richard

We have had this discussion before Richard when someone was saying there was nothing to do in, was it Vigo or Civitavecchia? We both agreed if my memory serves me correctly that there is always something to do if you are prepared to explore and look for it. That is why I always recommend the web site http://www.whatsinport.com/

 

It was Vigo as I recall. Best oysters on the west coast of Spain. 

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I like the HoHo buses… When I was in Izmir there was a group of us who wanted to see the archaeological site. The bus driver said that if you just wanted to see it and not physically go around it (hence paying an entry fee) you could go down a lane at the side and see it all in one go. As we all trundled off the bus, he gave us about 15 minutes and waited for us. That was brilliant service.

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