Do Cruise Ships really have your best interests at heart when they book your activities? To a large degree I think this question could be answered: Well, not so much as you'd like! Certainly they would like to make arrangements for your activity and tour needs but is it in your best interest that they be the exclusive agents to do so?
In major ways the cruise ships have you at a disadvantage with regard to your onshore excursions. Their onboard tour desks only deal with certain tours or tour vendors only giving you just so much selection. Do you believe they are thinking specifically about your needs when they make these tours available to you or do you think there is a possibility that a certain part of their intention could be to make certain they are booking the tours for you that make the most commissions for them? If you guessed the latter, you could have a high likelihood of being correct. After all, why would they purposely leave out activity opportunities that they do not represent; isn't choice generally recognized as a mainstay in customer service and price selection... And speaking of price... why do you think it is that some activities they book on the ships actually have their prices marked up above regular retail. If you deal with on shore activity brokers you are very often offered special discounted pricing and at the very worst, regular price, but never ever a marked up price.
In addition, are you aware that many cruise ships actually attempt to create monopolies with regard to the activities they represent? In many cases the activities have been forced to sign contracts with cruise ships that state that their tours at certain times and on certain days can only be sold to the cruise ship passengers booked by the boat, regardless of whether the companies could have filled them up by other means. As cruise ships muscle their way into local harbors they can play very heavy handed tactics with regard to specific tours or activities they sell or represent. If the activities do not choose to play ball with the cruise ships they can be simply black-balled from the list of items for the cruise ship concierges to sell. Now I'm certain you can see how this practice could absolutely benefit the cruise ships, but can you see a possible way this could advantage you.
One of the smart things wise and tested cruise ship travelers make use of are the plentiful blogs and chat groups where they can get together with like-minded passengers and determine the best ways to make arrangements for their own tours which are not simply arranged by the cruise ships. There is much more choice and availability out there than you might imagine. Quite often arrangements are just as simple as having a taxi pick you up at the ship and take you to the tour of your choice. Time restraints can often be problematic as tour ships usually only dock at a given port for just a certain amount of time but still, the choice of tours within those time restraints is often still quite respectable.
As you can see on our cruise ship page that this article is linked to, we have made listings of a number of tours that you might not have realized you can book. There are many more as well and you could peruse your options by just giving us a call or sending off an email inquiry. We are here to help you do what you want to do on your vacation. Cruise ships are a great way to travel and are a ton of fun but they should in no way be limiting your choice of shore excursions based solely upon their desire to maximize their profits at your expense!
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