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    Get the Most from an Overnight Stay in Port


    [Everyone loves cruise itineraries with an overnight port stay. Here are some great tips to getting the most from your extended time there (Courtesy of Vacation Insider)]

    In the past, cruise ships made overnight port stays, preferring instead to use the time to travel to another destination.

    But some cruise lines want passengers to have more time to explore to explore and discover a destination for a more immersive experience.

    In the past, cruise ships made overnight port stays, preferring instead to use the time to travel to another destination.

    But some cruise lines want passengers to have more time to explore to explore and discover a destination for a more immersive experience.

    Following are ten tips to help you get the most out of any cruise overnight port stays!

    Talk with Your Travel Agent.

    The more knowledgeable a traveler is about a destination, the better their chances will be of finding that rare gem of a tour, expedition or attraction that could possibly be the highlight of their cruise. That is why it’s important for cruisers to discuss their itineraries with their travel agents as these professionals can provide them with valuable information about port cities and the surrounding areas.

    An experienced travel agent can also help a cruiser create a customized itinerary for their overnight stay that takes into account a traveler’s personal tastes and preferences.

    Book Excursions Early.

    Once a traveler has decided what tours and attractions they want to see, they should book their shore excursions as early as possible. Popular excursions tend to fill up quickly and you want to maximize your one shore time by having a plan before you debark…unless you are a more spontaneous traveler. In which case the next tip is for you!

    Festivals or Fairs.

    A great way to see a slice of the local culture is through fairs and festivals. Often times, you’ll stumble upon these simply by exploring on foot through the city.

    Most cities host numerous exciting cultural events throughout the year, particularly during the high season for travel when weather is the best. You can check the official tourism sites for the port city or of course seek recommendations from fellow passengers on the ship who may have received different recommendations before leaving.

    Local Cuisine.

    Yes, food on a cruise ship is free and often customized to the trip. But there is nothing like sampling the local fare from a small street vendor or restaurant to truly experience a destination.

    Local Nightlife.

    Whether your trip involves tasting the local wines or simply people watching, don’t discount the enjoyment of local nightlife. Every city changes just a bit as the sun goes down and you’ll find a new crowd emerging to cheer teams on tv, to dance the night away or simply strolling through the beautiful surroundings.

    Sporting or Cultural Events.

    Some destinations are famous for their cultural performances or sporting events and seeing them in person gives you an entirely new appreciation for them!

    Transportation.

    Yes, a traveler could depend on taxi services to get them from one place or another, but in some cities, it may make more sense to hire a car or private tour service.

    A little up front investigation, may surprise you to find a private tour guide is extremely reasonable and less worrisome than attempting to obey their traffic laws on your own.

    We’re also a fan of foot power, both your own and local pedi-cabs which can often be found near the port! This mode of transportation is slower and that means you can truly take in the sights and even snap a picture.

    Dress Appropriately.

    Depending upon the location of your overnight port stay, you may need to consider changing weather conditions or cultural sensitivities.

    Travelers who will be staying overnight in an Islamic country, such as Oman, should dress appropriately. Women should make sure to keep their legs and shoulders covered. Many seasoned travelers recommend packing a large, lightweight scarf that can be worn around the shoulders and also be used for other purposes during a cruise.

    In other locations, the temperature may drop quickly once the sun goes down so leaving the ship with a jacket is always advised.

    Explore Outside the Port City.

    Many of a destination’s best attractions will be outside of the port of call, so don’t limit your exploration to the immediate city. This extended time in port means you can enjoy an all day experience without fear of missing your boarding time.

    Shop Local.

    Souvenirs with meaning or crafted by local artisans are those that we often treasure the most. With extended time in port, you’ll have time to explore street vendors and small shops, rather than ducking in to the last place you spot on your way back to the ship.

    (Article Credit: Amanda Brooks, Vacation Insider ("10 Tips to Get the Most of Overnight Port Stays", June 17, 2015)

    Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.

    Please visit CruiseCrazies.com for more cruise news & articles.

    Featured photo credit: J. Neves

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