#1 What excursions are offered in this port of call?
You should research all of the excursions offered in your port of call. If you are going to be booking your shore excursion through your cruise line find our what shore excursions that you can choose from. If you are going to book through an independent company make sure the operator is reliable and trustworthy. Many cruise lines recommend you book through their shore excursions department because of conveince and help if your excursion is delayed or cancelled. When you are looking through the list of excursions in a port of call keep track of what you are interested in. If you are not interested in any of the excursions a shore excursion in this particular port of call than a shore excursion may not be for you in this particular port. Use tourism websites to learn about other attractions in ports of call that are places and things you can do without being on a shore excursion. Keep track of those attraction's prices and proximity to the ship. If you see an activity or attraction that interests you and it is not a shore excursion you could do that activity/attraction instead. If you don't see anything that you would like to do or see in a port of call you could either get off the ship and walk around the shops or stay onboard the ship of the entire day.
#2 What is the price of the excursions?
Keep in mind that shore excursions will cost you additional money. Make sure the shore excursions you want to do will fit into your cruise budget. If shore excursions do not fit into your budget or you do not want to pay extra for a shore excursion then you should consider not doing one. If you really want to do a shore excursion but it does not fit into your budget you could consider not doing a shore excursion in another port of call to make up for adding amount to your budget. Also keep in mind that you may only get to experience Alaska once and this could be your only chance to do this particular activity.
#3 How much time will the excursion take up?
Shore excursions typically take up a chunk of your time in a port of call. Research how long the shore excursion will take and how much time you will have left after the excursion to shop or look around. If you find yourself with little time left in the port or your excursion's end time is too close to the "get back onboard time" you should consider not doing the shore excursion because you do not want to jeopardize your chance of getting back on the ship. Each shore excursion will last a different amount of time which means you can probably find one that will fit into your plans for the day. Cruise line offered shore excursions typically are set up to where you will have plenty of time to get back to the ship after your shore excursion ends.
#4 What does the excursion involve?
Research what you will get to experience and see on the shore excursion. If you see that a shore excursion will take you to many attractions that you would like to see you may enjoy the shore excursion. If a shore excursion does not go to attractions that you would enjoy the particular shore excursion may not be for you. Since everybody has different interest shore excursions offered will often visit different places and do different things. Some excursions also require more walking and physical movement than others. If you are a person who has difficulty moving around you might want to make sure that a particular shore excursion does not involve intense physical activity.
Whether or not you choose to do a shore excursion on your Alaska cruise vacation keep in mind that you can always walk around and browse shops in the port of call. Always keep track of the time in your port of call, make sure you stay on the ship's time, and get back to the ship at the proper time!
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