Thursday, November 1, 2007
Pay for Ship's Shore Excursions or Find Independent Tours in Hawaii?
When you take a cruise, the price includes your meals and cabin, but if you want to go on shore excursions, you'll pay extra.
In Hawaii, you probably don't want to miss the good stuff either. We're talking about luaus, helicopter tours, mountain biking down volcanoes, rainforest hikes, cultural center excursions, and all sorts of fun adventures. But the prices can add up.
So can you save money by avoiding the cruise line's shore excursions and signing up on your own? After all, tourism is huge in Hawaii, so equivalents of all those tours must be available for folks who aren't arriving via a cruise ship, right?
Yes and yes.
Here's what a Hawaiian native suggested (someone who has been on 12 Hawaii cruises, so she knows her stuff!):
"Enjoy your cruise (likely with Norwegian Cruise Lines) it is a great way to see each of our islands. Be sure to check out the same shore excursions that they offer direct with the tour operator on line before leaving. Just FYI, like the Old Lahaina Luau is about $100. through the ship and $50.00 direct. Same luau, same seats, etc. Remember, NCL is not a non-profit company they make money where they can. Most all shore excursions can be purchased individually, don't let NCL scare you that only they will get you back to the ship on time. That's silly, these guys do this 3 times a week, they know when the ship sails, it's their business. "