What’s the best way to make the most of your days in a port? Read on and you’ll find out.
As you may know, we are affiliated with Avoya Travel Network. They recently published this blog that listed 5 tips to make the most of your days in port. It’s a great place to start – so let’s see what they have to say.
Research, prioritize and plan the things you really want to do. And remember that for the things you’re not able to get to….there’s always next time! This is a service we (as travel agents) do typically provide – advising clients about must see places in each port. Some clients already have things in mind. But sometimes there’s a great little cafe, museum or event that may not make the highlight reels, but our clients really enjoy. And some clients really have no idea of the specific things to do in port. They need some good travel agent advice.
Ask a crew member
This is great advice. And just don’t ask the cruise manager or those manning the excursion desk. Get input from your servers, bar tenders, entertainment and housekeeping. They all get to go ashore sometime and they may even have some “off the tourist trap” advice.
Pick a good pace
Picking an appropriate pace is advice we give to many of our clients. Ever come back from a vacation saying “I need a vacation”? That probably means your pace was too fast. Relax, enjoy, stop and smell the roses! We have clients that always build in “down time” – where they can relax and just read. They know their pace and they have had many great experiences. On the other hand, we’ve had clients who go stir crazy on a river cruise because the pace is simply too slow.
Arrange for transportation in advance
Here’s some examples of what we’ve done for our clients.
- Arranged for a private tour pick up from a specific hotel or port
- Suggested the cruise transportation as the best approach
- Advised the client use a local taxi instead of the cruise line provided transport
- Suggested the client use the local metro
- Arranged for excursions which pick up directly from the port, not associated with the cruise
Be realistic about your plans
Finding the right pace is about timing; Being realistic about plans is about scope. We have so many clients that come to us when planning a vacation that simply want to pack too much into a specified time period. Scaling those expectations down is one of the services we offer. And I think it’s one of the more valuable services. We had a client the other day that wanted to Rome, Florence and Venice AS WELL AS Switzerland and parts of Germany….all in a week. When we explained the logistics involved as well as the inconvenience of living out of suitcase all week, the client finally relented. Part of vacation planning is being realistic. And we always find that there’s surprises you discover along the way that you’d like to spend more time on. So we recommend building in some “slack” time in your itinerary.
So what’s the key to making the most of your day in port? It’s getting good advice. A great travel agent can not only give you ideas but help you through the process of planning and getting all the little details correct. Why not ask someone who has “been there, done that” about must visit locations, the right pace, transportation details and what all to include in your vacation? That’s part of the added value travel agents can provide.
Contact me directly if you need help in this or any other aspect of travel planning.