By big ship or small ship, river or ocean, cruise vacations done right pack a lot of value for today’s traveler. Once the domain of ‘the newly-wed or nearly-dead’ as the old saying goes, travel via cruise ship has some distinct advantages over other options. One of those advantages is making enduring travel memories.
A decade from now, those who chose cruise travel over other ways to go won’t remember how much it cost, the number of hotels they did not have to check in and out of or maybe even the outstanding value they enjoyed. They sure will remember the experience though; in ever increasing detail.
Enabling travelers to unpack once then see multiple destinations, the nature of a cruise directs more time to being there rather than getting there. The inclusive element of a cruise vacation gives travelers a good idea of what they will spend, right up front. But those qualities, while important, are little more than selling points that make a logical argument to choose travel by ship.
Breaking down the overall cruise experience, we can divide it up into several topics. Getting There, would tell us all about air travel to get to the embarkation port along with tips on making the best of it. Being There could give a rundown on what we are apt to experience on the ship itself. Best Value could outline ways of saving money, getting more out of what we spend and more. All are viable topics that deserve our attention. Still, back home after the trip, remembering the lovely sidewalk cafe you had coffee at in Venice, the bar on the way back to the ship that held your attention for hours in the Caribbean or those people from Ohio met on the bus from the airport to the ship are the golden moments that will endure time.
Do you believe that? Does that make sense?
If so, read on as we share some ideas for creating your own Best Moments on any cruise vacation, if not any sort of travel at all.
Don’t Be Afraid To Stop When You Want To
Many travelers choose shore tours to satisfy the need to see places when traveling and make memories. Local guides provide intense information about a destination, place or iconic landmark. On a walking tour in Germany with Viking River Cruises, we took note of places we would like to spend some time at after the tour. Free time provided for lingering at a new favorite place was highly regarded as the sailing proceeded too.
Don’t Think Long Tours = Boring Tours
On a recent sailing with Holland America Line, I did the Chichen Itza Ruins tour when calling in Cozumel. The 11 hour tour was the longest I had ever attempted but truly time well-spent. Driving 3.5 hours there and 3.5 hours back made for a lot of time with other passengers. We all agreed it was well worth the time to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site but probably would not do it again.
Bring Your Camera But Don’t Let It Be In Charge
One of the reasons why we will have quick recall on our travel memories is electronic. A decade ago we could barely get a signal to communicate on a cruise ship. Today, we can surf for free on an ever-increasing number of cruise lines at faster speeds. Soon, land-like connections will make it possible to upload photos fast and bring those on shore along for the ride. Still, there are times when we just need to set the camera down and enjoy the moment. Knowing when to do that becomes a priority.
Share It With Someone, A Stranger Will Do
One of the big advantages of cruise line organized tours is the shared experience they offer. Seeing a UNESCO World Heritage Site can be interesting and meaningful. Sharing it with someone else makes the experience even better. On a cruise, odds are we will see those people from that excursion later on in the sailing. We may choose to do something with them again before the end of the sailing or plan other sailings with them in the future.
The point of all this is simple: It is your travel experience and you have more control over it than you might imagine.