Shore Excursion FAQs

Published 08/17/2015 04:11 PM   |    Updated 06/20/2017 01:40 PM

Who can book?

  • Guests must order directly through Carnival.com.
  • We will not accept Pre-Sail orders by telephone, fax, email or mail.
  • To be eligible, the guest must have:
    • Fully deposited cruise booking
    • Cabin level booking number
    • Internet access/email account
    • Registered with Carnival.com
  • For a list of acceptable forms of payment, click here.

How do I book?

  • Pre-Sail shore excursion orders must be booked online at www.carnival.com/shore-excursions; the guest's cruise booking must be fully deposited. 
  • The guest must be registered with the site.
  • Only shore excursions relevant to the specific itinerary booked will be shown.
  • Desired selections can be booked and placed in ‘My Shopping Cart’ for review.
  • Full payment is due upon completion of the order process at ‘Check Out’. For a list of acceptable forms of payment, click here
  • Note: If shore excursions are booked online, they must be paid for immediately; if the shore excursions are purchased onboard the ship, then they are billed to the guest’s Sail & Sign account.
  • A confirmation page with order number will be available online in a print friendly format.

What happens after I place my order?
Guests will be able to view and print:

  • A shore excursion confirmation with an order number.
  • A full itinerary/schedule of all shore excursions booked for all guests on the booking.
  • Orders can be added or cancelled online, without cancellation charges, up until the Pre-Sail cut-off time, 11:30pm ET, the evening prior to the cruise departure.  
  • Shore excursion charges and corresponding payment will be posted to the designated responsible guest's Sail & Sign folio account.
  • Shore excursion tickets are delivered to the guest's stateroom prior to embarkation.

When can I book shore excursions?
Shore excursions may be booked online prior to sailing up until the Pre-Sail cut-off time, 11:30pm ET the evening prior to the cruise departure. Excursions for 2018 sail dates are available for purchase. For 2019 sail dates, please check back in the Spring of 2018.

After the online Pre-Sail, the remaining inventory will be available on the departure day onboard the ship. Due to availability, it is strongly suggested that guests take advantage of ordering their shore excursions in advance, online, in order to avoid disappointment once on board.

To browse our shore excursions, click here.

How can I cancel a shore excursion online?
In order to cancel a shore excursion order, please follow these steps:

  • Login or access your booking by going to https://secure.carnival.com/BookedGuest
  • Once in My CRUISE MANAGER, select VIEW DETAILS to view specific information about your cruise vacation.
  • Click on the MY ACTIVITIES tab which will display the excursion purchased.
  • Then click on the VIEW ORDER link on the right hand side.
  • User will be directed to the MODIFY ORDER page.
  • Select the guest(s) that wish to be removed by checking their respective boxes on the right hand side.
  • Complete the contact information located below.
  • Click on CONFIRM CHANGES to remove guest or to cancel excursion.

Can I purchase a shore excursion for the day I debark the ship?
Yes, in many ports of call, shore excursions have been designed for guests with late flights. You will see these listed under your debarkation port name. Please verify your flight time prior to booking this type of shore tour.  

Do I have to book a shore excursion through Carnival or can I go off on my own?
You are not obligated to book shore excursions through Carnival in order to leave the ship. Public transportation is available at each port. We suggest you visit your local library, bookstore or a pertinent website to determine where you would like to go.

Carnival does not offer any alternatives from the established shore excursion program. All shore excursions sold through Carnival are coordinated with reputable tour operators and include all of the most popular sites of interest.

One of the many benefits of booking excursions through Carnival is a guarantee that the ship will remain in port until all guests are back onboard. Carnival will not be aware of shore excursions that are booked independently. Also, keep in mind that some ports have visa requirements that may prevent you from venturing off on your own.

How do I make changes to shore excursion orders after the Pre-Sail cut-off time?
Unfortunately, we no longer have access to any shore excursion orders after the cut-off time (11:30pm ET, the evening prior to the cruise departure). Keep in mind that you will have up until this time, unless otherwise noted in the excursion description, to make new shore excursion bookings, cancel all or part of existing shore excursion orders or change the designated contact person. In order to make any change to your shore excursion orders after the cut-off time, you will need to see the Shore Excursion Manager once you are onboard the ship. In the event of a cruise booking cancellation within the cut-off window, a full refund will automatically be posted to the form of payment used to pay for the order.

What if the shore excursion I am interested in is sold out?
Check back often. Unfortunately, it does happen that some of the more popular shore excursions will sell out. However, cancellations may occur from time to time. We recommend that you book all shore excursions as early as possible after booking your cruise and meeting all deposit requirements for each of the guests you are booking shore excursions for. If an excursion is not available, you may want to search for alternate excursions within the same activity type or see the Shore Excursion Manager onboard to check for last minute cancellations. The option to waitlist an excursion is not available at this time.

When will I receive my pre-paid shore excursion tickets?
Pre-paid shore excursion tickets will be delivered to your stateroom after sailing on the first evening of your cruise.

Which shore excursions are recommended for physically challenged guests?
It depends on the type and degree of the disability. In general, if guests are able to walk on their own, we recommend those excursions that are designated as easy or moderate activity. See specific excursion activity levels.

If guests are non-ambulatory, we generally recommend independent transportation for their comfort and convenience. Our shore excursion staff can provide them with excursion suggestions. We also recommend that non-ambulatory guests be accompanied by someone who is able to assist them throughout the duration of the excursion. Some ports of call require tenders to go ashore and that may preclude non-ambulatory guests from leaving the vessel.

Will I miss meals if I go on shore excursions?
When the ship is in port, the meal times are sometimes adjusted to accommodate the departure and return times of shore excursions booked through Carnival. On most ships, alternative dining is available so guests participating in shore excursions can dine at their convenience.

When booking a morning excursion and an afternoon excursion together, you should allow a minimum of one hour, rather than the suggested 30 minutes, in between excursions to enjoy a quick buffet lunch onboard. If the port requires tendering, you will need additional time for the transfer to and from shore side.

Does Carnival own the tour companies in the ports and is it responsible for what happens on the shore excursions?
No. All of the shore excursions, including any related transportation, are operated by local independent companies and they are solely responsible for their products, excursions and any related transportation. We try to choose the most reputable companies available to provide your excursions. Carnival is not responsible for any losses, damage, death, injuries or claims whatsoever arising from, connected with, or related to any activities engaged in by guests while off of Carnival’s ships or tenders in any port of call.  This includes all shore excursions, whether sold onboard or by third parties ashore. You will engage in all such activities off of the ship at your own risk.

Carnival neither supervises nor controls tour operators actions, nor makes any representation either expressed or implied as to their suitability. Carnival sells tickets for all excursions as a convenience to guests only. Tour operators, transportation providers, and their employees are neither agents nor employees of Carnival, not withstanding their use of any signage or clothing which may contain the name “Carnival” or other related trade names or logos.

Are there any children's prices for shore excursions?
Yes. Children between the ages of 4 to 12 years and teens between the ages of 13 to 18 years will be charged full adult price, or special child/teen prices when applicable and noted. Infants ages 3 and younger sitting on a parent’s lap and therefore not occupying a seat, are not charged for most shore excursions. These excursions are indicated with the 'Infants Free' advisory. There are also some shore excursions that require that each guest purchase a ticket, regardless of age. This will be noted in the specific shore excursion’s description. If a parent would like their infant to occupy a seat, where it is not required, then the parent must purchase an excursion ticket for the infant at the published excursion price or child price, where available. Parents are also responsible for bringing a safety seat for their child if required.

Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult to participate in shore excursions. Some excursions require a minimum age to participate and will be noted accordingly.

Are there any special requirements to participate in a Beginner's Scuba Diving or Snuba excursion?
Yes. There are certain medical conditions that may prevent your participation in a Beginner’s Scuba Diving or a Snuba excursion. You must complete the medical history form and the liability waiver/release form that will be provided either onboard, or by the tour operator at the beginning of the excursion.

There are several medical conditions that may prevent you from safely participating in a Beginner’s Scuba Diving excursion. Having any of the following conditions would require that you are examined by a qualified physician and obtain written permission from that physician to participate in the excursion:  Heart disease or previous heart attack, diabetes, epilepsy or seizures, high blood pressure or taking medicine to control blood pressure, presently taking prescription medicines (with the exception of birth control), pregnancy, asthma or any form of lung disease, recent surgery, blackouts, sinus problems, fear of closed spaces, recurring migraine headaches, recurrent ear problems, and severe motion sickness. Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. For more information you should consult your physician.

What is the Tour Operator's Diving Policy?
Due to the nature and level of physical exertion involved in diving excursions, certain excursions may not be appropriate for individuals with certain medical conditions such as asthma, heart conditions, high blood pressure or serious diabetes. This applies to scuba diving, Snuba, power snorkel, underwater scooter, and sea trek excursions.  Tour Operators require that all guests be able to participate safely in the excursions. You will be required to sign a Medical Waiver/Liability Release form on board prior to your shore excursion.  If you have any medical conditions that may affect your ability to participate safely in the diving excursion, please contact the Shore Excursion Department at shoreexcursions@carnival.com prior to booking your excursion.

What is the cancellation and refund policy for shore excursions in the event of bad weather or unexpected circumstances?
Certain excursions have minimum guest participation requirements and shore excursions may be cancelled or modified depending on the number of guests participating. In the event of cancellation or modification of a tour, best efforts will be made to provide advance notice. Shore excursions may be cancelled by Carnival or the Tour Operator due to inclement weather conditions, or any other reason whatsoever. Full refunds will be made to guests who purchased excursions which get cancelled. If the shore excursions are cancelled prior to the sailing, you will receive a refund directly to the form of payment used to pay for the shore excursion order. If the shore excursions are cancelled while onboard, the amount of the refund will be credited to your shipboard account.

What if I do not have a cruise booking number?
You can always browse shore excursions online at www.carnival.com/shore-excursions. This will help you decide which of our exciting destinations you would like to visit.  However, to make a shore excursion booking, you must first book a cruise and meet all deposit requirements for each of the guests for which you are booking shore excursions. At this point, you should receive your cruise booking number. If you have done so and still do not have a cruise booking number, please contact your Travel Agent or whoever assisted you with your cruise booking.

Will my shore excursion orders change automatically, if I change my cruise booking to a different ship and/or sailing date?
If you have existing shore excursion orders and you change either ship or sail date, all shore excursion orders for your cancelled cruise booking will automatically cancel and any payments will be refunded to the form of payment used to pay for the shore excursion order. Please allow 7-10 business days for the credit to post to your account.

You will need to re-book shore excursions for your new ship and/or sail date by repeating the order process using your new cruise booking number. Keep in mind that new shore excursion bookings cannot be made online after the cut-off date for the new sailing. If you are within the cut-off window for the new sailing, you must purchase shore excursions once onboard. You will find a detailed listing of all available excursions for your cruise, along with a shore excursion order form and instructions on how to book excursions onboard. Some of our ships offer an interactive television system, which allows you to book your excursions from the convenience of your stateroom.

Should I tip the tour guide?
Tipping is a discretionary matter. However, it is customary around the world, if you are pleased with the excursion, to tip the tour guide. A general rule of thumb is one dollar per person for a half-day excursion and two dollars per person for a full-day excursion.

What type of clothing should I wear on an excursion in a port?
It depends on the climate of the port. Given the warm climate and the more rustic conditions in the Caribbean and Central America, we strongly suggest that you wear light, casual clothing and comfortable, low-heeled walking shoes or sneakers. For any brief tropical showers you may encounter, you might want to bring a fold-up umbrella and a light jacket. We have placed a symbol next to the water-related excursion descriptions, for which we suggest you wear your bathing suit, cover-up and hat.  Also, remember to bring sunscreen, a towel and a camera and to leave your valuables onboard, in your staterooms. For all golf excursions, collared shirts and either long pants or Bermuda-style shorts (no cut-offs, bathing suits, etc.) are required.

Given the fluctuating climate in Alaska, Canada, and New England, we strongly suggest you dress in layers – a shirt, sweater and light raincoat will do. This allows you to add or remove layers as needed. Wear comfortable, low-heeled walking shoes or sneakers, or sturdier shoes for activities such as hiking. You might want to bring a fold-up umbrella and a light jacket in your carry on.

Note: Cancellations due to weather are the determination of the tour operator only. See specific questions related to shore excursion cancellations.

Can I take more than one shore excursion in each port of call?
Yes, depending on the length of each applicable shore tour relative to the amount of time the ships stay in port. Make sure that you allow at least 30 minutes between each tour.

Why are some of the shore excursions I saw while browsing unavailable for me to purchase?
While browsing the site, you are able to view details for all shore excursions within a destination and port regardless of ship or itinerary. You are only able to purchase shore excursions that are offered for the specific itinerary you have booked.

How can I receive technical support if I am having trouble with this website?
For assistance with this website, or to report an issue of a technical nature, please contact our Online Support Desk. They are available Monday through Sunday, 8:00am to 10:00pm ET. You may contact them by calling 1-800-845-2599 or by email at esolutionssupport@carnival.com.

Where can I address questions regarding the operation of an excursion?
If you have an operational question about an excursion or you need additional information, please send an e-mail to shoreexcursions@carnival.com. Every effort will be made to provide you with feedback within 48-72 hours, with those queries requiring additional specific research possibly taking longer. Please be sure to include your ship and sail date in the subject line. And be sure to include any other specific information such as port name and exact excursion name in all correspondence.

Are there any special requirements to participate in a helicopter excursion?
The Federal Aviation Administration requires guests’ weights and names for weight and balance calculations as well as flight manifesting. Any guest whose weight is 250 pounds or more will be required to purchase a seat and a half. You must purchase the specific helicopter excursion for guests over 250 pounds or you will be refused service. Once onboard, you may see the Shore Excursion Manager for assistance.

Is it possible to go shopping and participate in an excursion while in port?
Yes. Many of our excursions are only a few hours in duration, leaving you with plenty of time in most ports for shopping, sightseeing or even participating in another tour. Also, many of our longer excursions include a shopping stop.

What type of ground transportation is used for shore excursions?
Standards of transportation vary considerably throughout the world. Air-conditioned equipment is requested, but is not always available. In some cases, the transportation used will be open-air safari buses, minivans, taxis or otherwise noted.

Guests wishing to travel with friends should all leave the ship together, as this will help the shore excursion staff allocate sufficient space in the same vehicle wherever possible.

Please note that motor coaches and other forms of transportation may require guests to climb 2 to 3 steps. Most, but not all motor coaches, can accommodate collapsible wheelchairs. Staff is not obligated to lift guests into or out of vehicles. Tendering may prevent guests in wheelchairs from going ashore at certain ports of call. For further information about specific excursions’ transportation accessibility, please look for the accessibility advisories online, represented by a blue wheelchair icon or see the Shore Excursion Manager onboard.

Will I miss the ship if I go on shore excursions?
One of the major advantages of participating in shore excursions sold through Carnival is that we closely monitor the excursion departures and returns. Therefore, we can assure you that even if there are unexpected delays on an excursion, your ship will be there when you return. Please be aware that if you make your own arrangements, or leave an organized excursion, you will be on your own and it will be up to you to make sure you return to your ship on time.

What happens if I don't want to participate in the snorkel portion of the tour?
For those excursions that include snorkel portions, participation is strictly optional. However, there is no discount taken off the price for the tour.

Can I book my excursions over the phone?
At this time, shore excursions can only be purchased online prior to your cruise or once onboard. If you need assistance with how to book your shore excursions online, please contact our Online Support Desk. They are available Monday through Sunday, 8:00am to 10:00pm ET. You may contact them by calling 1-800-845-2599 or by email at esolutionssupport@carnival.com. Note: Promotional codes (when available) can only be redeemed online.

Can I cancel or add to my shore tour order?

  • Online: Orders must be cancelled online and no cancellation charges will be assessed if done prior to the pre-sail cut-off time (11:30pm ET, the evening prior to the cruise departure). Any cancellations done afterwards must be handled on board. In the event of pre-sailing, online cancellations, a full refund will automatically be posted to the form of payment used to secure the order. Please allow 7-10 business days for the credit to reflect on your account.
  • Onboard: After the pre-sails cut off time, cancellations must be handled on board and cancellation charges are as follows:
    • 25% charge once onboard
    • 100% charge if cancellation within 24 hours of arrival in port
    • Refunds less cancellation charges will be applied in the form of a credit to the guest's Sail & Sign account.
    • Sail & Sign credit balances will be paid to the guest in the form of a Carnival check at the end of the voyage.

Why Book with Carnival for Shore Excursions?
Reliable and Reputable. Yes, you have to take all of these into account, and we are happy to say that Carnival’s shore excursion providers* are reliable, reputable, and required to carry insurance. Carnival has chosen the selected providers because these providers enjoy the best reputation in their respective ports. These shore excursion providers know that Carnival’s guests expect a positive, fun-filled excursion.

Variety, Quality and Value.  Whether your idea of a fun day in port is a relaxing, exhilarating or an educational activity, Carnival sells a wide variety of quality excursions for every type of cruiser. We continuously monitor prices to make sure that all of our guests are enjoying the best possible excursion for the best value. There are never any surprises with extra “hidden” fees.

Confidentiality. Since all your shore excursions are charged or credited if pre-purchased, to your on board account, you will not have to share your credit card information with anyone you are not familiar with.

Hassle Free. With Carnival there is always a course of action that you can follow if something does not go exactly as planned; should there be a weather delay or an unexpected change of itinerary, our professional team on board will assist with any changes needed.

* The shore excursions sold by Carnival are owned and operated by independent contractors over whom Carnival exercises no control.

How can I be sure if I am confirmed on the shore excursions I want?
When you book your shore excursions online you will be able to view and print your order summary. This summary will contain all necessary information regarding the excursions you have purchased, including: the confirmation number, the total cost of the order and which guests are participating in each tour booked. It is recommended that you print your order summary as proof of purchase and bring it with you on your cruise.

Will I need to bring money on a shore excursion?
When noted in the shore tour description, snacks, drinks and even meals are included in the price of that excursion. However, you may want to bring money with you as some excursions stop in areas where you are able to purchase souvenirs, food and various other refreshments. These items will be at your own expense.

Do I need to sign a waiver to participate in any of the shore excursions?
Yes. Some excursions require a waiver to be completed and signed before participation. These are usually the more active type excursions such as snorkeling, diving, kayaking, horseback riding, etc. These procedures are for your safety. Contact the Shore Excursion Manager onboard if you have any concerns.

Are the shore excursions guided?
Yes. All of the shore excursions sold through Carnival include an English-speaking guide except where otherwise noted in the tour description.

Are you able to customize a group shore excursion?
Yes, with one 'common group booking number' as well as a minimum of  50 guests you may customize shore excursions.  

I have a group of 15 guests, but do not have one common group booking number. Do I qualify for a group shore excursion?
No, you do not qualify. You must have at least eight staterooms or more booked under the same group booking number.

Can we book group excursions?
If you have a common group booking number, hosting a minimum of 16 guests, we'd be glad to help you book shore excursions that are perfect for everyone in your party. Bring anyone and everyone, because the possibilities are endless! Whether you’re coordinating a family or school reunion, bachelor/bachelorette party, or planning a professional seminar for an organization, Carnival offers you fantastic group rates and a great variety of amenities to make your event unique and unforgettable. Our representatives can help you prepare for everything, down to the smallest details – including group shore excursions.  

What are the guidelines for writing tour reviews?
We want to publish your review, so please:

  • Keep your review focused on the shore excursion
  • Refrain from mentioning competitors, prices, promotions or time sensitive details
  • Do not include any personally identifiable information, such as full names
  • Avoid writing about customer service; contact us instead if you have issues requiring immediate attention
  • Reviews should be written by the guest who took the shore excursion.
  • Please do not submit a review if you have not taken the shore excursion.

What is the Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee?     
Guests sailing on a Carnival cruise who book a shore excursion through us can be completely confident they are getting the best price and best value with the introduction of our Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee. The only guarantee of its kind in the cruise industry, the program is now available fleetwide for all Carnival Cruise Lines shore excursions on ships sailing from North America.

Under the best price guarantee, guests who find the same tour offered by another operator at a lower price than their booked excursion either before or during their cruise will be eligible to receive 110% of the difference in the form of a shipboard credit.

The best price guarantee is applicable to shore excursion matches on the same date as the tour purchased from Carnival. For details about the Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee, click here.

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