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Old January 18th, 2014, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by zydecocruiser View Post
The cruise ship will wait for cruise ship excursions, or in the rare case where the ship can't, the passenger isn't stuck paying to get to the next port. Yes, private tours should get the customers back in time, but, what if they don't? And yes, sometimes that happens to. Perhaps this will force independents to up their game too, and provide complete coverage insurance.

There is no way I see this as a lose for the cruiser, which would be me!
Good independent shore excursion companies, like Shore Trips, the one we have a contract with, has sold tens of thousands of excursions and have never had anyone miss the ship. Julie Karp, President of Shore Trips is very proud of this when we talked about this very issue.

However, like any other reputable independent shore excursion company, they have insurance whereby they will cover any and all expenses associated with getting the passenger to the next port of call.

But I've had this very conversation with three captains from different cruise lines and all of them have told me the exact same thing. First, they do not ever want to leave anyone behind at a port and will do whatever they can to avoid that. However, they also point out that communication is the number one major factor in this situation.

Almost always, those who miss the ship do so because they simply lost track of time - often due to intoxication. Or they were doing their own thing and didn't realize it would take as long to get back to the ship.

None of them ever had a situation where they left any organized shore excursion behind or were even aware of one. That's not to say they were late - in fact, we were on the bridge with the captain once where we were waiting for an independent group to come back to the ship. But again, that's because all of them know how important it is to be in communication with the ship.

This is why we always tell clients to make sure they take the ship's daily newsletter as the local port authority information is included in it and should they ever have a situation where they're going to be late, they know how to get in touch with the ship.

In the absence of communication, the captain has no choice in the matter. You could be walking down the street, trip and break your ankle, and end up in the hospital. Do you think the ship is going to wait for you? This has nothing to do with a shore excursion, but it definitely has to do with communication. I've known captains to hold a ship for an hour waiting for someone to return from the hospital. (Lady actually did break her ankle.)

So reputable shore excursion companies are just as safe and even sometimes safer than those operated by the cruise line because of the number of people involved.

Both our clients and we have been doing independent excursion for years with no problems and I can't think of a better way to do them.

Pete
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