Off the Ship 

Off the Ship in Nassau

What off the ship activities will your family do on your next all-inclusive Caribbean cruise?

There is much hype today about all the new and fun things available onboard giant cruise ships. If you have not been paying attention to cruising, get ready to be amazed. Gone are the days when you had only rope courses, slides and pools. Now, you have a whole lot more.

Think roller coaster, go cart, bumper cars, skyjumping, ice-skating and ziplining. All these exciting activities are found on one or more cruise ships sailing to the Caribbean. It goes without saying that one does not need to leave one's cruise ship to have fun.

There are many activities packed on board the ship for everyone to do.

That is true, but some cruise passengers still want to get off the ship and have fun ashore too.

That is the reason for this webpage and others that will follow. My aim is show you some of the exciting shore excursions for your family to enjoy.

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Off the Ship Activities
Shore Excursion Options

Off the Ship in Labadee

Going ashore in Labadee, Haiti

When it comes to things to do ashore in any port of call, you have three options:

1. Your cruise ship will have a slew of choices. You now have the ability to review shore excursions before you set sail. However, if you fail to do so, there's a shore excursion desk available on each cruise ship.

Caution: It is important to note that the most popular excursions sell out quickly, so if you see something you really want to try book it early.

2. You may choose to walk off the ship and find a tour company offering something at each port of call.

Caution: You should check with the "Information Desk" located in each port to help you select a reputable tour company. Additionally, do not go off alone. Ensure that other cruise guests are joining you on whichever excursion you select.

3. There are third parties that offer cruise excursions for various ports of call across the Caribbean. Viator is one such company, offering a slew of things to do off the ship. Check with Viator for what is available in the ports you will visit, before leaving home.

Caution: It is always safer to book a shore excursion with a cruise ship. However, Viator is a reputable company and you will be in good hands. You will also save on your port activities.

Be careful to select excursions that will get you back to the port
with a few hours before the ship's departure time.

Off the Ship in Ocean Cay

Yours truly with MSC Seaside in Ocean Cay

Off the Ship Activities
Cruise Line Excursions

There are several big names in the cruising industry that sail the deep blue Caribbean Sea and all of them offer different types of shore excursions.

What you will find is that the shore excursions offered by Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International are somewhat similar, but the prices will vary.

Some popular off the ship activities offered by cruise lines include:

1. Swimming with dolphins
2. Island tour with a beach stop
3. Snorkeling adventures
4. Horseback riding
5. Watersports
6. Specialty ecscapes such as to a turtle farm in Grand Cayman, and,
7. Zipling opportunities.

What you will realize is that these same excursions can be bought on your own. However, choosing a cruise ship excursion adds an element of safety to your going ashore experience.

That is, your cruise ship will wait for you if for some reason the excursion gets back late.

This is not true for excursions that you take on your own. If you're late, you will miss the ship!

Off the Ship Puerto Plata

My Wife & Daughter Posing with Pigeons in Puerto Plata

Off the Ship Activities
Independent Shore Excursions

You have two options to book independent excursions, as noted above.

You may either walk off the ship and book, or book with a third party like Viator before leaving home. You will find that it saves you quite a bit of cash to book shore excursions independent of the ship you're on.

This is especially true when you have multiple people in your family.

Throughout the years, my family has numbered five and some times six members. Consequently, we have never booked an excursion through the ship.

We have found that it is easier to get off the ship and book a tour of a particular island or a trip to the beach.

If you were to compare the island tours and trips to the beach that we book directly at the port with the ships' offerings, we always save a pretty good penny.

Off the Ship in San Juan National Historic Site

San Juan National Historic Site

Precautionary Steps for 
Booking Third Party
Shore Excursions

There are some important steps to take, especially for those excursions booked at the port:

1. Seek out a tour company that is legitimate. 

2. Travel with other passengers from the ship.

3. Book an activity that will last a certain number of hours, with much time to spare between getting back to the port and the ship's departure time.

Things are a somewhat different, if you book your excursion with Viator. You know that you already have legitimacy and will travel with other passengers.

You also need to know how much time your ship will spend in a particular port and choose an activity that will last about half the ship's time in port or less.

Off the Ship in St. Kitts

Excursion Stop on Tour in St. Kitts

Final Word
Off the Ship Activities

My aim is to provide you with a handful of shore excursion options for the popular ports of call in the Caribbean.

Now that you have found this page, you may bookmark it and check in to see which port of call offerings are available for review and booking.

Thanks for reading. See you on the other pages with off the ship activities.

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