We advance booked a tour with a local tour agency. We visited Lanhydrock House, a 15th century English house/mansion in Cornwall where we toured the house and beautiful, vast gardens. There was a cafe and gift shop on the grounds. The bus driver took scenic routes to and from our destination showing off the beautiful rolling green landscapes of England. A very enjoyable day.
We did not choose a ship's excursion because the ship docks just a short distance from the town hall. Dress warm. It's quite chilly in Copenhagen in May. For approx. $35. pp, we jumped on a Hop on Hop off bus at the pier, which took us all over Copenhagen pointing out the highlights of the City. We took a canal boat tour with Netto. Although this was only $8 pp, it was a great tour except for the fact that the noise from the engine drowned out the tour guides voice making it impossible to hear what she was saying. Either do the boat tour or the HOHO bus tour because they are very similar tours. We stopped at a local restaurant, very quaint and very old, and had 2 berry pies and a pot of coffee. Cost was about $40. Then we headed back to the ship. An enjoyable day.
My husband and I took different Princess excursions. I went to Paris and he went to Normandy. It is a two hour drive to Paris from Le Havre. The tour guide was very good and descriptive with her dialogue. I loved experiencing Paris and seeing the beautiful architecture and cathedrals. However, there is so much to see that it's impossible to see it properly in just 4 hours. My husband loved his excursion of Normandy.
We did an "On your own" Princess Excursion because we wanted to guarantee getting back to the ship on time since London is 2.5 hours from the port of Dover where our ship was docked. Luckily we did because it was a bank holiday on the day we visited London and the traffic was a nightmare. It took our tour bus 1.5 hours just to get out of the city and the ship was waiting for us.
As soon as we arrived in London, we hailed a taxi to Buckingham Palace where the changing of the guard was about to begin. Again, since it was a holiday, the crowds were 5 deep, making it almost impossible to see. But at least I did see the Palace. We got on the HOHO bus which was recommended by Frommer's online. My recommendation would be to "Not get on a HOHO". The person taking our money over-charged us and the ear buds were not working.
If you are not the adventurous type while traveling abroad, stick to the ships excursions even though they are quite a bit more expensive. It's a once in a lifetime trip, and you don't want to miss anything.