The cruise only excursions requirement is just another way for the cruise line to make more money.
When I went on cruises, we usually hired our own guide or toured on our own. After you’ve travelled a while, you want the flexibility of your own guide or doing you’re own thing.
But I don’t see things going to back to where they used to be anyways.
Where the cruise lines once again shoot themselves in the foot is with the ship only -no contact with the locals approach.
The reason ports welcome cruise ships is the money spent ashore in bars, restaurants, shops, excursions etc.
When you forbid those ship/shoreside interactions the ports have no problems saying go somewhere else, you are not helping us out financially. This is happening in a lot of ports.
The cruise lines don't seem to know how to handle this. -Tom