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newcruzer2

Booked all excursions thru X ,so ship would wait for us

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On all the other 4 Cruise lines we've been on ,the selling point of booking thru the cruise line is 1st and foremost, the ship will ship NOT leave you because your on one of THEIR excursions.

I've already booked and most are nonrefundable because of train or helicopter caveat.

But I don't actually see that phrase in their website. (That they will wait)

does anyone know if indeed , the excursion runs late they will wait.

Because one is scheduled back at 845pm and all aboard will be 930pm

Ty

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The fine print says they either will wait, or will get you to the next stop to catch up to the ship.  As a practical matter, they will wait if possible, but they do not promise to wait.

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While I agree that the question of 'to wait or not to wait' is entirely up to the Captain, I can tell you that I have been on a tardy ship's tour where the ship DID wait for us. It was on Equinox, several years ago. We had a port day in Tortuga (BVI) and we took the ship's tour over to Jost Van Dyke. There was some sort of time mix-up between the ship and the tour-boat crew, and we ended up returning nearly an hour late. The folks from the Shorex Desk were waiting on the pier, when we docked. They escorted us directly onboard the ship -- pulling the gang-way up, behind us.

 

So yeah -- I do book my own shore excursions, for the most part. But if a tour involves taking a bus into the middle of the jungle, or taking a boat to another island -- I'm definitely going with the ship's tours.

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I really wonder how often people miss the ship because a private tour is late and not because of their own stupidity??

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I have been on ships tours and have been on late back excursions. The guide gets a phone call from someone either ship or tour company for an ETA. Never missed one yet.

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1 hour ago, PelicanLvr said:

I really wonder how often people miss the ship because a private tour is late and not because of their own stupidity??

If you book a private tour through a reputable private company, they have a vested interest in getting you back in time. You are more likely to be late when you are on your own at the mercy of local transportation and the siren call of shops and bars.

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1 hour ago, PelicanLvr said:

I really wonder how often people miss the ship because a private tour is late and not because of their own stupidity??

 

Or in our case, a ziplining injury in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle on an independent tour.  We didn't miss the ship, but came very very very close and easily could have!!

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We have been on numerous private tours and have NEVER missed returning on time.  We rarely  take a ship tour.😃

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13 hours ago, newcruzer2 said:

On all the other 4 Cruise lines we've been on ,the selling point of booking thru the cruise line is 1st and foremost, the ship will ship NOT leave you because your on one of THEIR excursions.

I've already booked and most are nonrefundable because of train or helicopter caveat.

But I don't actually see that phrase in their website. (That they will wait)

does anyone know if indeed , the excursion runs late they will wait.

Because one is scheduled back at 845pm and all aboard will be 930pm

Ty

 

As stated in the General Information link from the shore excursions brochure, here is a copy and paste:

 

What happens if a tour is delayed?
If for any reason a Shore Excursion offered by Celebrity Cruises is delayed, the ship will be notified and await the tour’s return.
Please Note: We are not responsible for any delays or cancellations regarding tours that are not booked through Celebrity Cruises. In the event a tour that is not booked through Celebrity Cruises is delayed, it will be the guest’s sole responsibility for making any necessary arrangements to return to port or their ship.

Is it possible to miss the ship?
Any number of unforeseen circumstances may contribute to a tour’s delay and cause a guest to miss the ship. However, Celebrity Cruises guarantees return to ship for all guests on Shore Excursions booked through Celebrity Cruises, at no expense to the guest.
 

Here is the initial link that I used to get the brochure for my specific cruise:

https://webapps.celebritycruises.com/excursion-brochure/celebrity/

 

After entering the information for your itinerary and downloading the brochure request, scroll through the ports of call schedule and you will see a link for General Information and one for Terms and Conditions. The General Information link is the one that has the paragraphs copied above. FYI. I've only been aware of one instance where the ship left when people were still ashore on ship's tours and that was because port authority required the ship to move for its own safety due to a mishap in the dock area. I think a very low probability occurrence, but the people were taken care of by Celebrity and rejoined the ship at the next port of call.

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In Bvi this year we were really glad to be on a ship tour on the way out the main rd got closed no warning (the powers that be just put a rope across and dug it up) so the tour took to the hills but this got even worse as there was then a bad accident that closed the 2nd route we ended on dirt tracks - very scary as we were up the top of the mountains and the tracks were just crumbling away down the sides as we passed 😱.   When we made it back to port late we were panicking.  However a crew member ended up being several hours later and we waited for them (captain announced he was missing and we were waiting) - no reason was ever given as to why he was so late

A place I know the ship will not even wait for their own tours is Belize as the ship has to race the tide.  Our ships tour got delayed and the guides were in panic they explained their company (employed by the ship) would have to pay the cost of getting us to the next port. Also an eye opener for us as we thought the ship would wait and only had a emergency insulin (would get by on this) with us, but now daughter also takes pump sets and setter off with her too.

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In the Norwegian Fjords the Splendour OTS, August 2000, left without all the passengers returning to port. Fortunately it was a boat tour and one of the tenders was waiting for the passengers of the bus. The tender navigated the fjord until reaching the ship, they were moored and by means of a ramp the passengers boarded.

 

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9 hours ago, 2theship said:

If you book a private tour through a reputable private company, they have a vested interest in getting you back in time. You are more likely to be late when you are on your own at the mercy of local transportation and the siren call of shops and bars.

 

8 hours ago, Husky61 said:

We have been on numerous private tours and have NEVER missed returning on time.  We rarely  take a ship tour.😃

 

Agreed ....  but how many threads go on and on about.... "take a cruise line tour so you won't miss the ship"??

 

Really wonder how many have "missed the ship" because they booked an independence tour that was delayed.  Anyone??

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Late last century, DH and I were on a RCCL sponsored tour. It was a snorkeling and lunch tour in Belize. The boat was new, well stocked with beverages and two working toilets 😉.  We get back on the boat to return to the ship. They cannot get the engine to start. I’ll spare you that story. The important thing is that, while we were sitting there waiting for other boats to come get us, we were told to pay attention to an announcement coming thru the radio. It was the captain of our ship, who told us that he was aware of the problem and The Ship Would Wait For Us. There are extreme circumstances where the ship has to leave. The cruise line will get you to the next port. This experience is why I now only book ship’s tours.

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2 hours ago, gerelmx said:

In the Norwegian Fjords the Splendour OTS, August 2000, left without all the passengers returning to port. Fortunately it was a boat tour and one of the tenders was waiting for the passengers of the bus. The tender navigated the fjord until reaching the ship, they were moored and by means of a ramp the passengers boarded.

 

That must have been exciting to see, Gerardo! Glad to hear that it all worked out for the folks on that delayed tour.

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5 hours ago, PelicanLvr said:

 

 

Agreed ....  but how many threads go on and on about.... "take a cruise line tour so you won't miss the ship"??

 

Really wonder how many have "missed the ship" because they booked an independence tour that was delayed.  Anyone??

It is an interesting question.  We have been cruising (extensively) for over forty years and nearly always do our own thing in ports all over the world.  Sometimes we will join a few others on a private tour...but rarely (perhaps 1 out of 100 ports) will we do a cruise line excursion.  We have never missed the ship and we have never even met anyone who has missed a ship (unless it was deliberate).   We also help lots of folks who want to travel independently (ports and otherwise) and have met quite a few folks like the OP who almost seem to have an obsession about missing the ship.  For those folks, there is really no other option but to take a cruise line excursion.

 

DW once told me that if had to take cruise line excursions she is not sure she would want to even cruise (we sometimes cruise over 100 days a year).  To say we dislike large cruise line bus excursions would be an understatement :).  

 

Hank

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On our last cruise in March there were two not on board on time. This became apparent by the numerous announcements asking them if on board could they report to guest services. It appear in these circumstances they enter your cabin and room safe to get your passports and any money you have and we could see these being handed to a port official. Just as the gangway was being pulled in they were spotted running towards the ship to much whistling and cheering from our ship and the P and O one docked opposite. They made it by the skin of their teeth but we weren’t waiting for them. If they hadn’t appeared when they did they would have to have made their own way back to Fort Lauderdale. 

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7 minutes ago, Edinburghgirl1 said:

On our last cruise in March there were two not on board on time. This became apparent by the numerous announcements asking them if on board could they report to guest services. It appear in these circumstances they enter your cabin and room safe to get your passports and any money you have and we could see these being handed to a port official. Just as the gangway was being pulled in they were spotted running towards the ship to much whistling and cheering from our ship and the P and O one docked opposite. They made it by the skin of their teeth but we weren’t waiting for them. If they hadn’t appeared when they did they would have to have made their own way back to Fort Lauderdale. 

Yup - but were they on a private tour, or just forgot the time.

 

This ‘we won’t go without you on an official tour, but won’t wait otherwise’ is the standard scare tactic of all cruise lines. It’s tiresome, but lucrative for them.

 

Imagine for one moment what would happen to a private tour company which missed the boat. Reputation torn to shreds; every cruising or travel forum across the world told. Sales would plummet. So it might happen occasionally - like the zip-line accident referred to above. But if someone needs protracted medical attention on an official tour, the ship would probably go.

 

Have always taken private tours; never ever been worried about being back in time.

 

Stuart

Edited by Wiltonian

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We actually book cruise line excursions for multiple reasons besides the fact the ship will wait for us.

 

The first reason is low stress when choosing them. We look to see which excursions via the cruise line web site we like, usually the ones that include wild life viewings, and pick the ones that suit us. This process is usually accomplished in one sitting. 

 

Second, we can use the OBC issued to us in advance by the cruise line to pre-pay for most of the excursions. Then, once onboard we can use the OBC given to us by our TA to pay for the rest. 

 

Third, if a port is cancelled at the last minute, the excursion fare is automatically refunded to our account, no questions asked.

 

And fourth, if we have issues with the delivery of an excursion and/or the guide, which rarely happens, we can usually get some form of compensation from the cruise line. I think on 30+ cruises, this has only happened twice. 

 

We've also on occasion booked private tours, but this usually only occurs on either a transition day or pre/post cruise when the cruise line doesn’t have any to offer. 

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We usually take private tours and have never had a problem getting back to the ship on time. But we also have trip insurance to cover the rare occurence of getting left behind.

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On 5/4/2019 at 2:17 AM, Wiltonian said:

Yup - but were they on a private tour, or just forgot the time.

 

This ‘we won’t go without you on an official tour, but won’t wait otherwise’ is the standard scare tactic of all cruise lines. It’s tiresome, but lucrative for them.

 

Imagine for one moment what would happen to a private tour company which missed the boat. Reputation torn to shreds; every cruising or travel forum across the world told. Sales would plummet. So it might happen occasionally - like the zip-line accident referred to above. But if someone needs protracted medical attention on an official tour, the ship would probably go.

 

Have always taken private tours; never ever been worried about being back in time.

 

Stuart

I agree that most people can take private tours without real concern under most circumstances. Notice the disclaimers in my sentence.

 

However, to say it is only a scare tactic is also not fair. Sometimes a private tour is a "one man operation". I've taken private tours with larger companies, but I have also done some great tours with a "person" holding a sign. Not much reputation risk. In other cases the private tour could be offsite or a "on your own experience". Taxi's, buses, traffic, or unforeseen circumstances can happen. 

 

Ever been late for a meeting? Ever been stuck in traffic? Hike took longer than planned? I've had these things happen in my own backyard so I think it is fair to say it can happen to others.

 

When do I take ship tours? I am a time sensitive person and will always leave myself a cushion. I would be more inclined to take a ship tour when the time window is tighter than I would normally choose but the excursion is something that I wouldn't want to miss. A tight timeframe with a ship tour can help reduce stress vs the alternative. 

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Of course you need to do what is most comfortable for you.

I am not willing to sacrifice small tour sizes, flexibility, value and quality of a private tour for the minuscule chance that I might miss the ship. I may never get a chance to visit these places again and I want to make sure I have the best experience possible. To us - that means no big bus tours.  I reasearch companies thoroughly and discuss return times and traffic when relevant. I adjust times if warranted.  As a previous poster stated, no reputable tour company would ever risk missing a sailaway- their livilihood depends on it. We've participated in private tours in ports from Asia to Alaska, never once have we even come close to missing the ship. In probably over 50 tours - two have been ships' tours due to remote locations.

 

That being said - I have been on a ship that sailed without two of its own shore excursion groups (Royal Caribbean) in Italy.

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On 5/4/2019 at 4:49 AM, Ken the cruiser said:

We actually book cruise line excursions for multiple reasons besides the fact the ship will wait for us.

 

The first reason is low stress when choosing them. We look to see which excursions via the cruise line web site we like, usually the ones that include wild life viewings, and pick the ones that suit us. This process is usually accomplished in one sitting. 

 

Second, we can use the OBC issued to us in advance by the cruise line to pre-pay for most of the excursions. Then, once onboard we can use the OBC given to us by our TA to pay for the rest. 

 

Third, if a port is cancelled at the last minute, the excursion fare is automatically refunded to our account, no questions asked.

 

And fourth, if we have issues with the delivery of an excursion and/or the guide, which rarely happens, we can usually get some form of compensation from the cruise line. I think on 30+ cruises, this has only happened twice. 

 

We've also on occasion booked private tours, but this usually only occurs on either a transition day or pre/post cruise when the cruise line doesn’t have any to offer. 

 

We book cruise line excursions for all of these same reasons. It's just so easy and pain-free. Also, we are never rushing to try to get off the ship to meet a tour, because we have a designated meeting time and place. The only time we did not book a cruise line excursion is when we overnighted in Maui and rented a car. That being said, we have never found ourselves stuck on a big bus tour, which seems to be the generalization of all cruise excursions. While those are out there, you just have to research and pick things that really interest you. Most of the time you can tell by the description if you will be stuck on a bus.

 

Some cruise line excursions we have enjoyed are:

Helicopter flight/dogsledding on top of a glacier in Alaska--only 4 people on this excursion

Volcano hike in Hawaii--small group, about 6-7 of us. The van driver even made a detour to a black sand beach since it was 2 of our birthdays!

Rainforest hike in Hawaii--about 6-7 of us, it was awesome and everybody helped each other cross streams, etc.

Helicopter flight over Kauai--only 4 other people with us and we were split into 2 helicopters

Kayaking the mangroves in Key West--about 10 people, doubled up in 5 kayaks. So fun!

Private beach house in Cozumel--maybe about 8 in our group plus there was another group that arrived separately, so probably less than two dozen people altogether.

 

All of these experiences have been SO AMAZING that we have no reason to not book cruise line excursions, unless they are not offering anything we are interested in.

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Couple of years back on Equinox waited 2 1/2 hours in San Juan (pre hurricane Maria) for a dozen passengers.  No announcements so must have been official tour.  They finally came flying down the pier on golf carts.

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Everyone has a different tolerance for risk.  Some feel very comfortable with ship excursions andcare willing to pay a premium for that security.  Others are more aggressive and are willing to accept the risk assoviated with third party tours for the (sometimes) lower cost of the tour. Neither option is better than the other; just different.

 

However, something to think about......often people quote reputational risk as a point of comfort in their decision, what if a tour does miss the return time cut off to the ship...and the ship does sail leaving 20 people on the dock.  Would it be all that difficult for business "A" to shut down and reopen as business "B" to avoid the stigma of missing the ship.  ??????

 

 

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