Your cruise ship will be visiting some exciting destinations, and it would be a terrible waste if you didn’t experience at least one of the best features about the island or city you’re docked at for a day or a few hours.
I’ve talked to some cruisers who just prefer to “wing it” – disembark and just stroll around, hit the most popular beach or visit the local watering hole. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes it’s a good thing to take a chance and learn by accident. Still, it’s a great idea to learn the basics of the place you’ll get a glimpse of – the history, culture and the 5 best things to see. An organized tour – whether a ship excursion or local taxi guide – can be the best way to experience a place in the short amount of time allowed in a port of call, especially if you’re a first-time visitor.
Perhaps the biggest reason for port research is learning about the transportation logistics. Some ports require a 1 or 2-hour drive to the nearest landmark, and you will want to get the lay of the land and learn how you’ll get from point A to point B. Figuring this out in advance of your trip will avoid loss of precious time seeing all you want to see.
Sometimes, just a simple walk through a village or town not frequented by tourists will be all you need a get a feel for the local culture and customs.
Either way, armed with knowledge of your port city, you’ll be an informed traveler and won’t have regrets later.