|Burano in Venice, Italy|
Check reviews, use websites like Tripadvisor and don’t pay in advance. You are unlikely to get cheated by a tour company because this is their livelihood and their reputation is at stake. They will definitely show up, but sometimes bad weather will result in your ship not stopping at a particular port and if you’ve paid in full, you’re not getting that money back.
|Ziplining in Costa Rica|
Another option is to simply get off the boat and look around. Ports cater to tourists, so there should be plenty close by to occupy you. If nothing else, most Caribbean cruise destinations have many nice beaches you can go to and European destinations are short taxi rides to major cities with lots to do. There will also be tour companies outside, with signs, so if you did not book something in advance, you can book through them.
|Swimming with the Dolphins in Mexico|
Items you can commonly expect to find in Caribbean port-area stores will be jewelry, both fine and silver, fake purses, arts and crafts, carved wooden sculptures and masks, souvenir t-shirts and shot glasses. Bigger cities will have more selections in terms of stores. If you are looking for something specific, or want more tips specific to where you are going, shopping talks are common on board cruises and they are often featured on the cruise TV.
|Swimming with stingrays in the Cayman Islands|
Whenever you leave the ship, you will be required to take your ship card and a piece of photo ID with you. You obtain this ship card when you arrive for your cruise and it will act as your credit card and ID, as well as your room key, while you’re on board the ship. They will take your picture when you get on the ship and whenever you leave or come back on, they will be able to see your picture to confirm you are who you say you are.
You must make sure that you are back in time for the ship’s departure. I have heard of instances where people have missed the ship and had to arrange transportation at the next port, to meet with the ship again.
Trip excursions range hugely, depending on where you are going and what your budget looks like and what you want to do. Most tours on the ship have a rating for how physical the tour is and how much energy you’ll have to exert. In many cases you may be in an area where you’ll have an opportunity to try something you have never tried before and may never get to try again, so take advantage of some of the unique excursions that are offered.
|Let's all just pack up and go enjoy this view in Greece|