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ShipShapely

Newbie - Excursion Question - Tours not Available - Not all are posted - confusing.

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Just booked Oceania Cruise for April 2019 London to Barcelona (yes - looked at roll call page - not much activity there). So, put the deposit down today. We are puzzled. We got a PDF emailed to us with the excursions. It is missing excursions for several of the ports that we see on the website. Porto for example. Also, a couple of tours we looked at are already sold out. The one to the Alhambra. So, does that mean our only option is to go with another tour company? We don't want to but if it is sold out eight months in advance what are our options?

I thought we read that tours could not be booked more than 180 days out in the Oceania literature. It also seems that prices are not even given for some of the ports as yet. So, my conclusion is that they release tours in dribs and drabs? Not sure how to go about this. Very confusing. If anyone can clear it up would appreciate it.

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This is a complex question with no easy answer.

 

 

MOST excursions are posted about 6 months out. If they are available for booking prices are posted. If you have O-Life excursion option you can book as soon as they are available with prices. If you have prices and no o-life excursions you must pay for your excursions when booked. Placing excursions in your cart does not book them.

 

 

My next cruise had a change of 1 port, no excursions yet for the new port.

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I have the same question. We are booked on B2B in March 2019. Excursions have been posted with the exception of several ports, including Tokyo. This is the first time we have not had all ports with available excursions. Wondering what the deal is.

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Agree with sitraveler.

I doubt very much that any are sold out this far out (unless it is on the RTW cruise) - most likely they are not listed yet. The excursions for some ports may not have been finalized yet (like Tokyo, for example)

Keep checking periodically.

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Just checked again - the tour to Alhambra on April 30, 2019 is listed as SOLD OUT in red. Rather annoying. In fact, the whole excursion process seems disorganized. The PDF, as I posted, that was emailed to us doesn't even have all the ports listed and they are in different orders than what is on the website. It is a very long time from now to be sold out already - i don't get it. There is also another tour that day to some type of antique car place that is also listed as SOLD OUT>

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This seems like a good time to contact your TA and have them contact Oceania to clarify the situation.

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Does anyone know of anyone who missed getting back to the boat on time because they took a private tour? Ship sailed without them?

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While your experience at The Alhambra will be the same whether you use a ship's tour or find a private one, I would recommend a private one anyway. Visitors are limited to 250 a day and so ship's tours can be convenient, but it's far cheaper to do it on your own. I'm rather surprised that the ship's tours are already sold out, however. (I say it is the same experience because you will be taken through the site by one of their guides. So it really doesn't matter what you do.)

 

 

On our first Renaissance cruise in 1999 we used the ship's tour to The Alhambra from Malaga. We were able to book on board, although they did strenuously recommend DO IT NOW.

 

 

Ten year's later we did a tour with Spain Direct (also from Malaga) which was wonderful. The differences were the non-Alhambra visits. With the 1999 ship's tour we drove to Granada with potty stops on the way. After our visit, they took us for lunch to one of those large restaurant venues.

 

 

 

With Spain Direct we arrived in time for a do-it-yourself pretty much tour of Granada. We then went to a cafe for snacks. Afterwards we drove up to the top of the hill facing the Alhambra for the views, finally got to the Alhambra itself.

 

 

I should add that the 1999 tour was a morning one, the 2009 tour was in the afternoon. They went from opposite directions. I will also note that it's 2-1/2 miles through the site so if walking is a problem, be aware!

 

 

In the end we preferred the private tour but would be very happy with another ship's tour if that was our choice.

 

 

I recommend Spain Direct because we had a wonderful day with them, but there are a number of tour agencies that are also highly recommended. Check Trip Advisor for other recommendations -- or search CC.

 

 

I should also add that Malaga itself is well worth a day walking around! While we really enjoyed our day in Malaga on another cruise, I would recommend that a visit to The Alhambra is NOT to be missed. If you think you won't be back in the future, go there first.

 

 

 

I've seen some cruises where tours to The Alhambra go from another port -- Almeria? I don't recall!

 

 

Mura

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Never missed the ship on any private tours we have taken

I agree just keep checking or call Oceania & find out if the tour is really sold out & if so can you waitlist for it

We are sailing early April & not all of our ports have tours listed yet

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To be clear, I believe that some of the confusion here is based on comparison with other Lines whose ships cruise in endless loops between ports which they patronize continuously.

 

A Line such as Oceania, whose ships literally span the globe, is at a disadvantage when compared to that type of operation.

 

However organized they seek to be, projected Tours simply cannot be announced until the manpower, i.e. the Tour Guides have been screened and hired. This typically happens between nine and six months before sailing. Prices are determined at that time, based on the logistics of the hiring process, the length of the Tour and what the market will bear.

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Thank you LHT. Will do as you suggest. We are waitlisted now. We will look into booking it privately also.

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This is in ref. to SOLD OUT on website excursions. Call Oceania direct and they may have a 2nd. group. I have this more than once. just last week for an excursion during the Australia circumference cruise. excited cruise traveler

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We used Spain Day tours for the Alhambra, they did a great job for a reasonable price. Weve also taken their day trip to Seville. We’ve toured with branches of this company many times, they are very reputable. Just email them and get on the list.

Alhambra is a little unique in that they limit the number of tickets sold per day. Maybe they haven’t gone on sale yet.

I’m on the cruise you are on but haven’t looked at excursions. We prefer DIY and private tours but will consider a ship tour sometimes.

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We used Spain Day tours for the Alhambra, they did a great job for a reasonable price. Weve also taken their day trip to Seville. We’ve toured with branches of this company many times, they are very reputable. Just email them and get on the list.

 

+1

We’ve used them several times in Spain & Portugal (including Alhambra).

Very reputable, reliable and very good.

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This is a mish-mash reply to various tour threads of the past month.

 

The itinerary dept. releases schedules for us to see 1-2 times per year but shorex planning can only start at that point. They aim for 180 days lead time but they need to research what's there, find operators and get a contract. So some tours will dribble in. They are handling 6 ships with 400 itineraries at any given time. The 180 day ATW'19 has 799 tours, overlands and ATW events to organize.

 

In my experience on long cruises only 5-10% of the people stayed through from cruise to cruise and they tended to be people who already had their own plans so ship tours were rarely offered at the turnaround. I find it curious that these ports, some of the more famous places in the world, seldom have ship shore excursions. But with the large number of passengers on ATW'19 however the interests seem to be different so I can see why O is now doing catch up to arrange tours at the turnarounds.

 

Overland tours have traditionally been handled separately; separate web pages, separate ordering (agent if that's how you booked the cruise and O if you booked your cruise directly) and separate sales terms. So unfortunately you have to know to look elsewhere to find them.

 

O's tour listings are in random order on the itinerary part of the website, numerical order in manage my booking and in departure order on the PDF listing that you can request after final payment. Each probably has its own good reasons.

 

Things to note in reading tour lists:

-in overnight ports many tours are available on both days

-when a tour sounds like a lunch time or evening activity check the tour time versus the ship's time in port, sometimes these activities get shifted half a day from what you might first think. There's a lunch cruise at Bay of Islands that runs 9am-12:30, ATW'19 cuts Cartagena short at 2pm to get to the Panama Canal in time and so on.

-be careful of similarly named tours, at Puntarenas 3 start with "Colonial Leon...", at Manzanillo 2 say 'Manzanillo, ...and shopping".

-on vehicles notice if the price is per person or per vehicle, sometimes it's buried in the notes. Other times it's in the title. Four person ATV and two person ATV are for the vehicle with as many as four or two riders respectively. You only tick one passenger when booking these.

-if a tour seems to say sold out, pull down the time choices to see if it's just the first slot that is sold

-look at the limited resources in some locations when you are assessing when to book or why is the price so high. Nuka Hiva has 15 borrowed jeeps for touring, Rangirora has a few vans.

 

Worldies should be aware that once they sail they can no longer book tours online as control of their account data has probably been moved to the ship. Segmenters boarding months later can still be booking up space on those tours from home however. So look ahead at your interests

 

Bill

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While your experience at The Alhambra will be the same whether you use a ship's tour or find a private one, I would recommend a private one anyway. Visitors are limited to 250 a day and so ship's tours can be convenient, but it's far cheaper to do it on your own. I'm rather surprised that the ship's tours are already sold out, however. (I say it is the same experience because you will be taken through the site by one of their guides. So it really doesn't matter what you do.)

 

 

On our first Renaissance cruise in 1999 we used the ship's tour to The Alhambra from Malaga. We were able to book on board, although they did strenuously recommend DO IT NOW.

 

 

Ten year's later we did a tour with Spain Direct (also from Malaga) which was wonderful. The differences were the non-Alhambra visits. With the 1999 ship's tour we drove to Granada with potty stops on the way. After our visit, they took us for lunch to one of those large restaurant venues.

 

 

 

With Spain Direct we arrived in time for a do-it-yourself pretty much tour of Granada. We then went to a cafe for snacks. Afterwards we drove up to the top of the hill facing the Alhambra for the views, finally got to the Alhambra itself.

 

 

I should add that the 1999 tour was a morning one, the 2009 tour was in the afternoon. They went from opposite directions. I will also note that it's 2-1/2 miles through the site so if walking is a problem, be aware!

 

 

In the end we preferred the private tour but would be very happy with another ship's tour if that was our choice.

 

 

I recommend Spain Direct because we had a wonderful day with them, but there are a number of tour agencies that are also highly recommended. Check Trip Advisor for other recommendations -- or search CC.

 

 

I should also add that Malaga itself is well worth a day walking around! While we really enjoyed our day in Malaga on another cruise, I would recommend that a visit to The Alhambra is NOT to be missed. If you think you won't be back in the future, go there first.

 

 

 

I've seen some cruises where tours to The Alhambra go from another port -- Almeria? I don't recall!

 

 

Mura

 

When did the 250 limit start? We went several years ago on a ship's tour and there were a lot more people than that there.

It is well worth doing OP. Agree with those who said get your TA to intervene. It's a two hour drive from Malaga. Although a private tour might be just as good or even a lot better, that distance makes me want to do the ship's tour.

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On 8/29/2018 at 8:49 PM, Paulchili said:

Agree with sitraveler.

I doubt very much that any are sold out this far out (unless it is on the RTW cruise) - most likely they are not listed yet. The excursions for some ports may not have been finalized yet (like Tokyo, for example)

Keep checking periodically.

Yes the Alhambra tour is still sold out and has been from the gitgo. Have booked it privately with Spain Day Tours instead. 

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Given the limited number of people permitted each day, it's not surprising that an Alhambra tour fills up so fast.

 

On our first Renaissance cruise we were able to book the ship's Alhambra tour on board but they warned us that there weren't many spots available so we did so asap.  Ten years later we did the Alhambra with Spain Direct.  Since you have to use the official guide at the site, it really doesn't matter if you use a ship's tour or a private guide (other than that the private guide is cheaper, of course).

 

Mura

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19 minutes ago, ShipShapely said:

Yes the Alhambra tour is still sold out and has been from the gitgo. Have booked it privately with Spain Day Tours instead. 

That’s a good choice - we did it with the same company and it worked out well.

Enjoy!

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