1. Do the research
Different from Europe and Caribbean which have many attractions near the port and popular tourism services, Shore Excursions in Asia may have a little bit difficult for those who want to enjoy individually without the help of tour operators. Various problems you can face such as culture barrier, speaking a different language (most Asian countries speak their own languages that have exactly no point similar to your), losing your way, and having no idea of places to go. Individual traveling in China, Vietnam, or Thailand is not a really good suggestion, you can save your money with doing everything by yourself, but can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for solving problems, and even local scams.
That’s the reason why you need to do a research before arriving. Find out which attractions you want to see and the activities you want to do in the city where the ship docks. Have a look at the cruise line schedule and arrival on the official website to get the general information of ports it will dock. Normally, ports include a visit to cultural, historical, and religious sites. However, some cases when the ship docks in port having unique attractions and activities such as farming experiences, cooking classes, and natural landscape admiring, especially in some pure countries including shore excursions to Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and so on.
2. Book tours with reputable travel agencies
There are millions of travel agencies around the world so that choosing a good one to book tour is a big problem. If you make a wrong decision, your trip will be full of terrible experiences that you definitely want to forget. Agencies who have the great reputation on operating shore excursions and day trips to Asia that you can put your trust are Shore Excursions Group, Royal Caribbean, Viator, and Shore Excursions Asia. They provide private or small group tours in various ports where cruise ships dock. More people join in the tour, the cheaper price per pax is. It is very convenient for extended families, or passengers can suggest others join in the tour to gain the cheaper price. However, if you want a private tour, you can freely customer tours as your favor with a higher price.
3. Prepare local currency
Asia is now rapidly modernizing with wide ATM and online banking network, especially some developed countries you will visit such as on shore excursions to Japan, China, Singapore, etc. However, many others don’t have the service of paying by cards that you can face a lot of difficulties when hopping on shore trips to Myanmar, India, and Cambodia. You will surely want to buy something on the way you enjoy the trip such as food, drink, clothes, souvenirs, excluded entrance and outdoor activities fee. In these cases, the local currency is the key to solve the problem. Moreover, most guides and drivers you meet are local people, they would like the tip with local money much more than dollars or euros. Exchanging local currency at home is a good idea that you can get a better exchange rate.
4. Don’t forget the departure time
We all know that coming to another country is a completely strange experience, and its attractions can make you forget about time, or in some cases, you don’t want to go back. However, all cruise ships will not wait for passengers to depart, except who book tours operated by them (with extremely expensive price, of course). Try to remember exactly the departure time of your ship, pay attention to it, and adjust your watch in sync with the ship’s one. The advice is to let your guide know your departure time, and ask him to remind you.
In case you are late and the ship has already departed, the only solution is calling for help to find out the way to catch up your ship at the next port. Take a flight is a common idea. However, the expensed fee is paid by no other but you.