Posted November 21st, 2012, 10:26 AM
Yes, I know that Alla offers this as well and the price is only $300 regardless of the number of participants that sign-up (there were only 6 on a group from our ship, but not our group). I believe that other operators offer a set price as well.
I think the situation to which John is referring is a little different from the norm, but I can't remember the details. Perhaps he will return & explain.
At least in part, it's to do with which ship you're on.
Yes, on at least one website (TJ Tours) it states that the tour goes ahead, at the advertised price, even if just one person books.
To me that sounds like the road to ruination
& it wasn't borne out when we e-mailed - TJ and the others needed minimum bookings from our ship (10 for TJ, 8 for SPB or Alla) to be able to offer their listed price. A slightly higher price from SPB & Alla for 6, significantly more for four or less.
They had this stipulation for our ship, P & O's Aurora, because from experience they didn't get a lot of business from the ship. Surprising because Aurora's a decent size at around 2000 pax & not full of wimps, but hey, they know their business.
They suggested I use CC's RollCall to drum up sharers, which I did as well as a UK-based cruise website. I found sharers via both websites & Alla had direct enquiries from others. SPB also found others, though by that time we & Alla between us had found the minimum numbers. In fact, we ended up with 20 & were all able to choose the tour that we wanted (like others, Alla offer two levels) with 10 on each. Once up to those numbers, I directed later RollCall enquiries to SPB so that they'd get up to a viable number. That reminds me, I haven't invoiced SPB for the introductions
I suspect that for most ships they all offer the set price regardless of numbers because they're confident that they'll very very rarely fail to make a viable number. But they didn't have that confidence with our ship.
So we didn't have the task of deciding which operator to use, it was kinda forced upon us. But we were very pleased with the tour, so was everyone else on both Alla tours. Don't know if TJ or SPB eventually ran tours for the ship - I suspect SPB got the numbers but TJ didn't.