Client Column: ALL ABOARD!
So many places to go, so many places to see, but the thought of moving from one destination to another, checking in and out of hotels, packing and unpacking, going to airports, train stations, or renting cars can be overwhelming! A cruise eliminates these hassles and takes you places. True, it won’t provide you an in-depth study of the ports of call, but it is a wonderful overview of those spots, and an opportunity to decide if you want to return for a longer stay.
I do recommend spending a few nights before or after the cruise in the area around the arrival or departure of the ship. For example, on our cruise out of Istanbul, we stayed three days in Istanbul before boarding the ship. On a Mediterranean cruise, we enjoyed time in Rome at the end of the cruise.
Most ships have scheduled sightseeing for passengers, or, it has been my experience to schedule my own daily adventures, either planning a driving trip with a driver (who gets the most out of your limited time in port) or a walking tour with a local guide – thank you Huffman Travel! Once, we even chartered a private boat for our family while in port in Capri, so that we could get a little closer to the water and snorkel. The other option on your cruise vacation is to spend your day on the ship. There are numerous activities on board: spa treatments, socializing with other passengers, relaxing, reading, or just watching the beautiful scenery around you.
A cruise may not be for everyone and is certainly not the only way to see the world, but it can take you to places not necessarily on the beaten path, while still seeing major cities, all in a very comfortable manner. With many sizes of ships and a variety of accommodations, there is something for everyone and you should try it once! You may find yourself looking for the next itinerary as soon as you return home.
CRUISES I RECOMMEND:
• The Mediterranean, which usually includes ports in France, Spain, Italy, and the islands around.
• Istanbul and the Greek Islands
• The Croatian Coast and down to Montenegro
• The North East from Boston to Quebec, such a special French city!
by Marty Higgins
World Traveler and Grandmother of seven