This question was answered on our Q & A Wednesday show on June 14, 2017.
Guided shore excursions are a great way to take in a port-of-call and make sure you get to see the highlights. You will find that in many ports, the excursion companies contracted with the cruise lines use, are the same that independent shore excursion companies use. In fact, it’s not uncommon for guests booked though these companies to join cruise line guests on the same tour. While pricing may be similar between both options, you may receive a longer tour for the same price from the independent provider. One important thing to keep in mind, is that when you book a cruise line excursion, you are guaranteed to get back to the ship on time or they will hold the ship. The same is not true with independent excursions.