It’s normal for a cruise to have many stops along the way, but when you pull into a port for the first time, you may be a little confused over what to do next. What should you do? Where should you go? How long will you have? Could you potentially even miss the ship before it departs again? It can be a bit anxiety inducing! And that’s what this post is here to help out with; here’s what you should do whenever you visit a cruise port.
Set Your Watch Properly
The time you get off the ship matters a lot, because the time you get back on might not match up to the clock hands when you’re exploring the port. Indeed, when you get on a cruise there’s a separation between port time and ‘ship time’, and it’s the latter you need to follow. Ship time dictates when the ship needs to set off again, and if you’re even a few minutes late there’s a chance you’ll miss the ship entirely. So take your time to understand the difference and get this concept squared away before you head off anywhere.
Book a Tour
The ship you’re on should have a lot of tours available to sign up to before you hit the port. Check out your options ahead of time and see what sights and sounds you could experience. It’s often better to go on an ‘official’ tour thanks to the time limits; the guides themselves are ship crew and will know exactly when you need to be back for departure. And it’s always nice to have an experienced mind take you through the amazing (and often ancient) city you’ve called in at.
Hit the Spa
The spa on board the ship itself might be mercifully empty on days when you pull into a port, so take this chance to get the packages you’ve been thinking about done! They might even be discounted on these days, thanks to the low footfall the ship tends to experience. But if that’s not your cup of tea, you could find a local spa place amongst the shops and hotels at the port itself – you can find out more about the common amenities by doing a bit of research before you head off.
Explore the Port
Now you’ve got an idea over what to expect, have fun exploring! The port itself is going to be covered in shops, sites, and plenty of distractions, so take your time and comb through it all. You can get back on board the ship with a whole new suitcase full of souvenirs and you can meet so many lovely people along the way. You can even schedule a private tour with a separate company once you’re docked, which can often be cheaper, but once again you’ll need to do your research.
If you’ve booked a cruise that pulls in at some ports along the way, be sure to enjoy the free travel time!