You are 19 days away from your oh so exciting cruise! Now let’s have some fun. Today is all about learning more about the ports you will be visiting. Most ships are only docked in a port for one day. So you definitely want to make the most of it.
Hopefully, you have booked your shore excursions already. This should not stop you from finding out what else is available for you to experience.
Like favorite foods to try.. best wines and beers of the port…what kind of art is collectible from the country you are visiting….what NOT to waste your money on! Or perhaps you have decided to just walk off the ship and explore on your own. You will definitely need some guidance then!
Ask your Travel Agent if they have been there. You have a wonderful resource! You know what we say… Travel Agents Rock!
Books for your Cruise
We love to invest in lightweight travel books for every country we go to. The authors have investigated and can share with you so many fun ideas for your visit. Take advantage of these gems of information. We usually read them on and about day 19 before our cruise and highlight all of the things we want to check out.
Then we read our highlighted sections again on the cruise the night before we dock in each port. We love to curl up at night, after a long and amazing day on our cruise and see what our next day will bring.
- Best food on the island
- Not to miss dishes native to the country
- What does the country grow or export? Bound to be worth trying!
- Where is the local’s favorite beach?
- What tourist spots are a must?
- What tourist traps to avoid?
- What is the best local’s restaurant?
- What is the history of the port?
- What is the currency? (Back to day 26!)
- What fun places are walking distance from the cruise port?
- Best bar in town?
- Best kid friendly activities?
- Bus, taxis, water taxis or other transportation in town?
EXAMPLE – We were going on a Bermuda cruise. All we wanted to do is go off on our own one day to see the town of Hamilton and the next day go to the most beautiful pink beach. It was through The Lonely Planet Bermuda Guide that we learned everything we needed about the water taxis from the ship and the shuttle and buses to Horseshoe Bay Beach. Had we not read them we would have been the fool tourist that spent $50 each way for a cab. The Lonely Planet has numerous books that cover most of the countries you will cruise to.
EXAMPLE – We had researched Tahiti and what they export. Their #1 exports are vanilla and pineapple. Can we just tell you that we had the best vanilla ice cream of our lives? And the best pina colada made of fresh pineapple and vanilla ice cream!
It is also fun to keep a Travel Journal where you can put names and contact information of people you meet, foods you eat, and tips from locals. We always like to keep all of the travel stubs we get, like tickets or museum stubs and postcards so we bring a Travel Stub Diary.
Maps for your Cruise
Whether you are going off on your own or on an excursion, it is really exciting to get an image of where you are docking and what the town you are visiting looks like on a map. Most of the travel books have great maps of not just the country as a whole, but the port you will be visiting. HINT! The cruise ship usually will give you a map of the town you are in before you get off the ship. Don’t forget to pick one up.
Learn a language for your Cruise
We always like to do a little research on the most common or basic terms in the country we visit. Most good tour books have a section on this, too. You can also do a google search for how to say simple terms in the language of your choice. We really like to honor the native people of the country by at least attempting their language. You will find that you are treated a little differently than the tourist who shows up and assumes everyone speaks English.
Kid’s books for their Cruise
The beauty of bringing children to other countries is to let them learn that not everyone lives as they do. We love to get children’s books about a country before we go there. Nothing like getting your children excited to meet children from other cultures! We just love these kid’s Travel Guides and Activity books!