|Subject: Re: Spain|
I'm a little confused by your itinerary.
Your ship stops in 2 ports on one day? If your ship stops in Motril and you go to the Alhambra Palace from there, how long would you have to see it and then get back on ship before setting sail to Malaga? That seems like a very odd itinerary.
In any event, we're not big on taking the ship's excurions and almost always make our own arrangements. However, on our cruise, the Alhambre was the one excursion we did through the cruiseline and we were glad we did.
When you say you were planning on hiring a driver from dockside, did you mean in Motril or Malaga? Either way, it sounds like a tight schedule and personally, I'd be nervous about getting back to the ship in time.
If you're set on hiring your own transportation, maybe you could question the drivers. Perhaps some of them buy tickets ahead of time to sell to tourists when they pick them up at the dock??? I see that someone else posted that they went there on their own, bought tickets for the same day, but had to wait 3 hours to gain admission. Clearly, this would not work for you. You'd miss your ship.
So, do you HAVE to prebook? I guess the answer is no, but can you afford to wait 3 hours if that's the earliest entry available? You might want to go on some cruise specific cruiseboards, like cruisecritic.com and ask people what they have done in these ports.