Free Excursions

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Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

As I read about the family that was kicked off of a MSC ship in Europe because they didn’t follow protocols and decided to take their “own” excursion at one of the ports, I started to wonder how Americans will feel about having to book all their excursions through the cruise line.

As a cruise lover and a cruise addict myself, I know my husband and I enjoy private excursions. We get recommendations of great tour guides in different cities and enjoy being selfish and going to places that we choose, and not having to wait for the last of the other passenger to ask all their questions, go to the toilet or buy a new souvenir. Honestly, we don’t like those bus excursions – even if they give them to us for free.

It makes complete sense though, that with the pandemic still not totally in control, cruise lines are trying to foresee any possible situation that could bring in outside contagion, such as cruisers going on private excursions and not being careful.

I believe travel agents/advisors should make sure that these are the precautions that all cruises are taking and advise your clients. Many Americans feel like me and prefer to save money and explore the port/city by themselves with a map and speaking to locals. Lots of cruisers do this in the Caribbean.

Apply the same idea and make sure to understand about the concept of “free time” on land group packages. Do travelers have really free time or free days to explore on their own, or will that be monitored as well?

The last thing travel agents need is to deal with regretful clients demanding refunds because they had to spend “extra” on excursions or tours when they did not expect to. Let it all be known in advance to avoid inconvenience and headaches.

Cheers!

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