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cruisingnewtoit

Jitters 1st excursion not with X

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Hi all

My DH & I are taking a speedboat tour in St Lucia that includes snorkeling & a stop at a mudbath and to  Soufriere. It's from 9-3. 

 

We are in St Lucia till 5 which will probably have all.on board time of 4:30 pm.

 

Is 3 cutting it to close? All I think about is the other pax  on our excursion making us late because they don't get back to the meeting place on time. 

 

Thanks for any feedback.

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Three isn’t cutting it too close.  Did you join a excursion with others from your Roll Call? If so they will want to back on the ship in time just like you do.

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22 minutes ago, jelayne said:

Three isn’t cutting it too close.  Did you join a excursion with others from your Roll Call? If so they will want to back on the ship in time just like you do.

 

Our roll call isn't active. Hopefully more members will chime in with excursion tours closer to sailing in Nov.

 

I have a X tour booked in case I want to cancel our private one. I just read a few low star reviews and it's about it being a booze trip so I'm not sure about it. It does have 5 star rating on Trip advisor. I was excited that the boat only holds 14 people but more boats from the operator comes to the stops. 

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We’ve done that speedboat tour in St Lucia, it was fabulous, not a booze cruise (although rum punch was available). The tour operators know when your ship departs (doublecheck your departure time before getting onboard. They do not want you late either, it’s their livelihood 

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9 minutes ago, awhfy said:

We’ve done that speedboat tour in St Lucia, it was fabulous, not a booze cruise (although rum punch was available). The tour operators know when your ship departs (doublecheck your departure time before getting onboard. They do not want you late either, it’s their livelihood 

Did you go with JJ speedboat?

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6 minutes ago, awhfy said:

 They do not want you late either, it’s their livelihood 

 

I was just going to post this ^^^^.  A tour ending 2 hours before sail way should be no problem.  When we were younger we cut it much, much closer than that.  Keep in mind, many of these small companies rely on cruise customers. IMO, if there is some emergency (boat breaks down etc) the islands are small and they will tap in to their network to borrow a boat or boats to get cruisers back to their ships on time.

 

Enjoy the savings... have fun.... and best wishes for Smooth Sailing!

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And private tours are well aware the adverse impact of them not getting you back on time....to you And to themselves. All they need is to do that and have their customers complain and they wouldn’t be able to recover. Getting nailed for that as a private tour company is a death sentence since so many of us are always concerned about that. 

 

Not that it doesn’t happen, but great majority who miss the ship do so being on their own and failing to make it back. 

 

Den

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3 minutes ago, cruisingnewtoit said:

Did you go with JJ speedboat?

No, I can’t find the name right now, but that doesn’t sound familiar. I booked it thru Trip Advisor 

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1 minute ago, awhfy said:

No, I can’t find the name right now, but that doesn’t sound familiar. I booked it thru Trip Advisor 

There are a couple speedboat tours thru TA. I'm thinking about going with a different Co  maybe Joe Knows Tours. 

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If this is Cosol tours .. we used them 2 times and they know exactly how ships schedule works.

Fantastic company.

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I have done many tours in Europe booked with other Cruise Critic people on private tours and never had a problem. Actually the were smaller groups(6-10 people) and less money.  Would do it again in a heartbeat! Even arrangwd for pickup from hotels to ship and back privatesly.  Met some nice people.

 

I was nervous at the beginning …. Enjoy yourself!

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Spencer is another widely-used operator on St. Lucia, which we are booked with for the second time.  As others have said, their business is their (and their employees) livelihood.  I'm sure there is also a mutual agreement among the various boat/van operators to assist each other if problems arise.

 

Go and enjoy!!  I haven't booked through the ship for 25 years.

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Posted (edited)

Been doing private tours for years without any issues and had tours come back 1 hour before sailing and no problems (3pm return is a good plan)

Edited by Luckiestmanonearth

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Posted (edited)

We book many private excursions and have never had a problem.  They are all aware of Cruise Critic and they are concerned aboout their reputation.  We have booked three ship's excursions recently (different cruise lines) and two of those were late getting us back to the ship.  The third's bus broke down in the middle of our tour.  Thank goodness they were ship's excursions!

We have booked twice with Cosol and had no problems.  It's a great your tour with a lot packed in, but you will be back on board in plenty of time!

Edited by Terre

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We agree with all the others, have booked private tours for many years (often with others from our roll call) and never had a problem. Plus, the operators always make it clear that they are well aware of the time we need to be back onboard, and they also don't want to cut it too close. Their reputation is everything to them. You'll be fine.

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My question- if you book with a private tour operator, are all the participants from the same ship or do they combine passengers from different ships? I realize that most of these tours are small in number and often filled by a Cruise Critic group who preplan together. What happens if the tour isn’t full with passengers from the same ship?

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13 minutes ago, Straughn said:

My question- if you book with a private tour operator, are all the participants from the same ship or do they combine passengers from different ships? I realize that most of these tours are small in number and often filled by a Cruise Critic group who preplan together. What happens if the tour isn’t full with passengers from the same ship?

I'm booked on a tour that will probably have a lot of pax from Sandals resort. 

 

My tour ends at 3 so all pax from all the different cruise ships have all on board time after 3. We will get dropped off at the terminal and go our own ship.

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In St Lucia, our  tour  to snorkel near the Pitons was booked through X but stopped at two sep resorts to pick up  others.  It slowed things down and crowded the boat for the last leg but we did get a glimpse of the resorts...one of which was Sandals.

 

Suggest OP check out their excursion on the CC port board...seems like a long day..Hope you can relax!  If you are still concerned maybe cancel and go with an X excursion.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Straughn said:

My question- if you book with a private tour operator, are all the participants from the same ship or do they combine passengers from different ships? I realize that most of these tours are small in number and often filled by a Cruise Critic group who preplan together. What happens if the tour isn’t full with passengers from the same ship?

 

It varies.  Sometimes the participants are all from same ship, sometimes from different ships, and sometimes various combinations of ship passengers and tourists from land resorts.

 

The private tour operators are extremely conscientious about getting cruise passengers back to their ships on time because their reputations depend on it.   

They typically build a safety buffer into their schedules and are much more diligent about getting us back to the ship earlier than necessary than we are ourselves.

 

They keep close track of the ship departure schedules and when they have a combination of passengers from different ships, they drop the passengers from the earliest departing ship off first.

 

Like many other cruise passengers, through the years we have done a mixture of private tours and ship tours, depending upon the circumstances involved each time.

 

The only tours  that were ever late getting us back to our ship were the ship's tours.

Those tour operators don't need to be as diligent about getting their customers back on time because they know that the ship will wait for them.

 

 

Edited by varoo

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