What to do in each port? That’s a difficult question. So much to do and so little time.
If it’s a new place, sometimes we just want to take a tour to get an overview. That’s the case for the first and last stop of this cruise. We are taking a cruise line shore excursion to see the coast and in another city we are doing a whale watch.
Yet another city, San Francisco with a two day stop (we have been there before), what to do? Our original thought was to go to Yosemite for the day. We even worked out the details to make it work for us. But now the wildfires may derail this plan.
For us, the research is critical to saving money. First, what do we want to do? To start, we look at the cruise line shore excursions for ideas. If we find something that appeals to us – great! Then the research begins. What other companies offer this excursion? The research piece begins with for these other companies:
- Is there a cruise guarantee? Do you get your money back if the cruise line doesn’t come into port?
- Will they guarantee you will make it back tot he ship in time?
- Will they pick up and drop off at the pier or very close by?
- What are the companies reviews like (both on the website and with outside companies)?
- What is the cost and what does it include?
- Are there discounts?
These are important questions that we need the answers to.
Some of my favorite websites are Trip Advisor, Viator, Cruise Critic and more. I should tell you that Cruise Critic is the best. You join the chat room for your specific cruise and this puts you in touch with others sailing with you. This is a great resource, as we have shared private tours many time by joining others (and sometimes we have booked the tour and are looking for others to share with us).
All these are factors in determining what to do in port.