hile your time on the cruise boat will certainly be enjoyable, the highlight of the cruise experience is almost always the port stops. The best way to see the various cities and towns that have ship docks is to take tours of these places. However, there are a few tips you'll want to adhere to to ensure these tours are good, enjoyable experiences.
1. Choose shorter tours.
Make sure you choose tours that are substantially shorter than the time you'll be at the port. For example, if you'll be at the port for 8 hours, don't take a 7-hour tour. Take a 3- or 4-hour tour instead. There are a few reasons for this approach. First of all, it gives you some wiggle room in case you're late getting off the boat, and it also gives you more time to find your way back to the ship after the tour. Second of all, it leaves you some time to explore on your own. You can independently visit sites that are not included in the tour or go back to tour stops that you liked the most.
2. Pick a walking tour.
Bus and bike tours have their place, but they're not the best for cruisers. On these tours, it is easy to feel like you've spent most or all of the time being transported from place to place — which is already what you're doing on the cruise ship! If you choose a walking tour, even the time you spend walking will also be spent admiring and learning about your surroundings. You'll feel like you get more out of the experience.
Book with a tour company that often works with cruisers.
Look for tours that are advertised as being cruiser-friendly. Your cruise company may have recommendations as to who you should book with. These tour companies are more likely to be understanding if you are a few minutes late, need directions back to the port, or want recommendations as to what you can do after the tour.
3. Look for a tour with variety.
There are a lot of themed tours. For example, you might see a wine tour of Lisbon or a bull-fighting tour of Barcelona. When you're only at the port for less than a day, though, it is best to look for cruises that offer more variety. One that takes you to the city's five top attractions will give you more of a sense of the place than one that visits three local cheese shop.
Follow the tips above to have a great experience. Contact services with information on tours and cruises to plan your next vacation.