Everyone has their own reasons for booking a cruise over a different type of vacation. A common reason is the ability to do an excursion when the ship is in a port. Interested in local cuisine, island tours, historic sites or ziplining? There’s an excursion for that. It’s always a bit of a thrill to see the tickets waiting for you but what happens when the voucher for an activity you already paid for is missing?
Recently, a friend and I sailed on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas and had this very thing happen. My friend, a first-time cruiser, had followed my instructions and booked excursions for each port before getting onboard. When our excursion vouchers were delivered to the room one of his was missing. It can happen, I assured him. The fact is, especially since the cruise lines re-started after the Covid shutdown, you are very likely to have an excursion canceled. Here’s what we did to resolve the issue, and what you should do if your excursion gets canceled.
Take a deep breath and visit the shore excursion desk. There’s no point in going to guest services or asking random crew members. Calmly — something my friend was too upset to do — explain the situation to the crew member. Our conversation went like this: My friend booked a snorkeling excursion for tomorrow and the voucher isn’t in the envelope. The crew member looked at his account and explained that, according to her screen, he had not purchased a snorkeling excursion.
She suggested the excursion had been canceled for one reason or another, either not enough interest or some other issue with the vendor. Her guess was my friend had received an email saying this and confirming that his money would be refunded. He was convinced no email had arrived and no credit had been issued so the crew member advised us to check with his bank or credit card company to make sure.
Solid advice, and if your excursion was canceled by the cruise line, that’s what you should do next. Of course, an email had been sent and based on the date, the refund would show up on the next billing cycle so there was a choice to be made: stay onboard, book a different excursion, or wander around the island on his own. He chose to purchase the same excursion I had and got a 20% discount for his frustration.