Holidays are relaxing, right? Well, strangely enough, cruising can sometimes be a little hectic. On a cruise, you can be hopping your way round more countries than most people see in a lifetime, and there’s a lot to see. Let’s say you wash ashore in Rome; do you wander around the Roman Forum, Colosseum, slowly making your way to Trastevere. Or do you sit in a local restaurant with a glass of red wine and pizza in hand, spending your day people watching? With a day shoreside, making these decisions can be tough. Below we’ve compiled an easy guide to making the most of your stopovers.
Do Your Research
Guidebooks are wonderful way of dipping your toes into a new culture; they truly make for a whirlwind and in-depth introduction to the highlights. In the weeks before you leave, grab an armload of guidebooks, snuggle down in your favourite chair and start making notes. Find the areas that tickle your fancy; the monuments you have to see and get a clear idea of what you want to do. Also, seek research in other areas; ask friends who have travelled to the destination, read online forums for insider tips and tricks and head over to Pinterest for significant inspiration.
Choose Your Tours
You may prefer going it alone for your time ashore, and there’s plenty to recommend to that option, but tours do have distinct advantages. With a tour, you can let someone else organise what to see, how to get there, and what you can do when you are there. Tours can give you an inside into your destinations local culture, and you can gain in-depth knowledge of your destination along with all the insider tips and tricks.
All cruise lines offer optional guided shore excursions of your destinations, which can easily be organisation onboard.
If you prefer to go it alone; an essential skill you can have is time management. The ship can only wait so long for you to return from whatever corner of a city you’re lunching at. Look carefully at the list you complied of the places you want to see and pick the four most important ones. Make sure you give yourself enough time at the sites, as well as enough time to get to and from. Pick your itinerary carefully: a good idea is to start at the farthest point from the ship and make your way back, so you’ll be within walking/running difference if time becomes tight. Ideally, your last activity should be in the port area, just to make sure. Finally, don’t forget your watch! Trust us ‘guesstimating’ the time can lead you astray.
The most important one of all. Take it slow, see the sights you really want to see and don’t try to cram too much in. You’re here for a relaxing holiday, not to stress yourself out. Kick back, soak up the city and enjoy.
Contact our My Cruise Holiday Experts today or call us on 1300 461 630.