One of the most-commonly-asked questions about cruises involves shore excursions:  “Should I book them through the ship, or do it on my own?”

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but this column  from online resource most closely echos what I tell my clients.

The cruise line sponsored excursions will most likely be the most expensive and the most crowded options available.  BUT, depending on the specific port, your ship’s arrival and departure times, and your tolerance for risk, they are probably also your safest option, because the ship is least likely to leave without you if you’re on one of their excursions.

That being said, as long as you’re comfortable with a little bit of independence, you can often find some really different (and much more reasonably priced) options through private companies like and other local vendors. 

Be sure to ask your travel consultant to help you explore the shore excursion 0ptions that best suit your needs.