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Comparing Shore Excursions

Is it best to get an excursion from the cruise line, a third-party vendor or go on your own? 

The answer is it depends. Which country are you in? How comfortable are you doing it yourself? 

There are definitely countries I would never venture out on my own, but there are many that it is safe. We are in Sydney Australia.

One of our favorite companies to book through is Viator or TripAdvisor. They are now the same company. They are safe and you can use them around the world. Many times they are providing the same vendors as the Cruise companies use. They have a convenient cancellation policy usually up to 24 hours before your excursion. You can change your mind.


Here’s a comparison example

A trip to the beautiful blue mountains outside of Sydney   

This excursion is not offered by the Cruise, but is great for the day before or after your cruise


Viator price- $166 10 hour tour includes bus from Sydney to featherdale wildlife preserve then on to blue Mountain. Includes a sky rail, cable car and scenic train ticket. A return cruise on the Parramatta river to harbor 


On your own. 

Train from Sydney to blue Mountain $24 round trip 

Skyrail, cable car and train $35 ticket all day unlimited. 

Featherdale wildlife preserve $25 

$84 total 

We added hop on hop off bus $32

It takes you to 29 stops all around the blue mountain area to sightsee. Get on and off anyplace you want to.

Both are good options. It really depends on what you want for your day. We like having the flexibility to stay as long as we want at a location. Also, you can add on or takeoff things to do in the area. Even though it’s a savings doing it on your own , there is comfort in knowing that you get on and someone takes you where you need to go.


Second example on the cruise is Airlie Beach 

Carnival cruises offers $245pp

Creek to Cape 5 1/2 hour tour

Takes you by passenger bus to Cedar Creek Falls To swim by the waterfall. Continue to Cape Gloucester resort for lunch and swimming. Then to Frog Rock reserve to visit the rainforest and beach.

We chose to book a ride on a six passenger van through Viator to pick us up at the port and take us up to Cedar Creek Falls. We swam at the waterfall. 2 1/2 hour tour.  $35pp

 Again, it depends on how much time, how much money you have to spend and what you want to see. The bottom line is that you should check your options before choosing which

options are best for you.


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