The cruise lines offer some great shore excursion options, but sometimes it makes sense to ditch the group and go off on your own — for example, when the line doesn’t offer exactly what you’re looking for, or when you want to spend more time in, say, Florence’s Uffizi Gallery rather than just seeing the highlights.

In addition, you get flexibility when you tour on your own — you can plan to leave the ship whenever you feel like it — and it’s almost always cheaper than booking a tour through the line. 

Here are five tips to consider before deciding if you should skip the ship’s shore excursions and book an independent tour: