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Win a cruise aboard the MSC Magnifica

This month we're giving you the chance to win a Cruise Nation Smart Package for two aboard the spectacular MSC Magnifica in a balcony cabin. Simply enter your details below for a chance to win!

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What are shore excursions? Shore excursions are the bookable activities and experiences that you engage in during your port visits.

Where can I book shore excursions? You can book shore excursions directly with your cruise line, on a dedicated excursion website such as Cruising Excursions or you can book your excursions directly with the provider via their online website or whilst in port.

What are the pro’s and con’s of booking an excursion with the cruise line? The pros are that you the cruise line is a trusted, reputable provider and also if you are late back from your excursion, the ship WILL NOT leave port without you. On the negative side, cruise line excursions can be a bit more expensive.

How can I find out what excursions are in port that I can book directly? The best way is to do some online research. For many destinations there will be sights that you’ll probably want to see e.g. Whale watching in Alaska. You can search this and determine which provider is right for you. Bear in mind which is closest to port and the timings. Remember if you’re not back in time the ship WILL GO without you.

What do I do if I’m late back from an excursion and the ship has left? Always keep your passport and money with you if you’re leaving the ship in case of incidents such as this. Each day on the ship you should receive some kind of daily newsletter with contact details for the port representative; it’s also a good idea to carry this with you. If you miss the ship you can contact this port representative to help advise you on finding your way to the next port of call. If you have travel insurance you should be able to claim back any expenses incurred as a result of you missing your ship such as hotel stays or flights.

Do I have to book cruise excursions in advance? You don’t have to book in advance, however it is recommended to avoid disappointment. Most cruise lines offer you the ability to book excursions whilst you are onboard, so you don’t necessarily need to book them in advance if you’re unsure.

What type of excursions are usually available? Typically you’ll find many guided tours of the city as well as hop on and hop off buses, culinary experiences, wine tasting and watersports. Then you’ll find activities which are unique to the destination e.g. Bear safaris in Alaska or swimming with sea turtles in the Caribbean.

What can I expect to pay for excursions? Excursions vary widely in price, starting from £20 per person to £300 per person depending on the excursion and who you book it with. Bus tours tend to be £20 per person whilst the unique experiences (such as swimming with sea turtles) can be around the £85 per person.

What should I bring with me on an excursion? It’s a good idea to pack a bottle of water, waterproof camera, mobile phone, sun cream, extra camera memory card, emergency phone/camera charge, the cruise line port rep contact details, money and your passport.