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"I am still looking forward to my first big ship cruise." Good for you, if you go with a negative attitude you have already handicapped yourself so go with an open mind and prove the Jove's comforters wrong if you can.
I gave up NCL a long time ago (when it was still owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines for personal reasons) so can't be too assertive about their systems but I have booked excursions that I really wanted to do on the net with other lines with great success, all gave me the option to cancel if I wanted to so long as it was within a reasonable time and I take it that should apply to NCL. The downside is that they take your money when you book and have it until you go and I understand that it is difficult and lengthy to get a refund should you change your mind. Booking on the ship can take a great deal of time with queueing and odd opening hours and with the most popular tours you may miss out....so the choice is yours .. Ida.
We booked on line to save time but be prepared their excursions are very expensive,if you are confident enough you can do it a lot cheaper on your own there are always plenty of cabs,in Barcelona you can get a shuttle bus for 3euros return it will drop you at the Columbus memorial there you can pick up an open top bus which will take you round the city enabling you to hop on and off at different places of interest,regrettably you will not get much help from the desk as they only want you to go on their organised tours.Enjoy.
We are off to the med on Jade in Aug. I have booked two excursions by phoning their customer services number. I did try to book online but we could only get adult prices for our two children so our travel agent gave us the number to call - I think it may also be on the website. We were sent a confirmation of the booking by email and have been told that we can cancel on board if we change our minds. I expected to have to pay upfront but was told that it will be added to our account to be paid at the end of the trip. We are really looking forward to it despite the mixed reviews - some people do not seem to read brochures before booking!
Thanks, that was very helpful, I also thought you would have to pay up front and worried about cancellation, so you have reassured me. I hope you enjoy your trip and as we have been saying on our Cruise Critic Roll Call try to go with an open mind. I totally agree with your final comment and I have tried to stop reading reviews.