Most travelers who are new to the world of cruising will spend a great deal of time researching and exploring diagrams and maps of the different ships that they are considering. They will check out all of the features and activities on the ship as well as the location of such necessities as the dining room, the family pool and the adult pool and maybe even the location of the gym or other fitness activities. But what the less seasoned cruise travelers forget to explore are the different ports of call.
Booking An Excursion
The common misconception is that if you book an excursion, you are set for the day. But in most cases, the shore excursion will only provide you with a few hours of activity or entertainment. And in most cases, you will have a few hours or more to explore on your own if you are interested. So don’t rely on your smartphone and roaming data coverage or local WIFI to guide you to all of the best spots to discover the true feel of your new locale.
Before you make a list of great markets, shops or restaurants that you want to visit, you need to explore the modes of transportation that are offered in the area. Some ports will offer taxi service while others will have bikes or even scooters that you can rent. But knowing about the transportation situation before you arrive will save you a great deal of time and walking.
Create Your Own
Many cruise passengers are not aware of how tourist friendly most ports of call will be. If you are more comfortable booking excursions through the cruise ship then do so, but there are other options. Many activities can be booked online, directly with the provider. Local tour companies, dive companies, and even some restaurants will have a driver waiting for you when you disembark the ship if you have booked a private reservation. Explore what is available, and decide if you would rather have a more personal experience to explore the culture and activities of each port you visit.
Enjoying the ship that you are cruising on is very important, but don’t forget to do at least some research on each port that you will visit. Immersing yourself in a new culture and new activities, even for a few hours, can be life-altering. You might discover a place that you choose to make your next vacation destination.