Friday, January 14, 2011

Europe by Land or Sea

I had always dreamed of touring Europe…visions of castles, cathedrals and cobblestone danced in my head.  My husband and I made that dream come true many years ago when we planned our honeymoon!  With over-stuffed suitcases and lots of energy, off we went for a whirlwind 28 days, traveling the continent by bus, train and ferry.  London, Paris, Nice, Florence, Rome, Venice, Pisa, Lucerne…amazing?  Absolutely!  But never that way again! 

 We’ve been fortunate enough to “cross the pond” several more times over the years. But instead of snapping photos from a bus window and traipsing around from hotel to hotel with suitcases filled with way too many shoes, we chose to cruise.  After all, cruising to the Caribbean, Alaska, or Bermuda had been our vacation of choice for years.  So when we started to think about returning to the Mediterranean, a cruise made a lot of sense to us.

Being able to leave the complicated logistics involved in overseas travel to the cruise line is a wonderful thing! You can forego the uncertainty of booking appropriate accommodations in safe areas and the hassle of seeking out good but affordable restaurants and an evening show.  Train schedules, train strikes, and validating train tickets can be a headache an inexperienced traveler may not want to deal with.  A cruise eliminates all those worries and more.

  When you cruise your ship acts as a floating hotel, a familiar home base to which you return to each evening. All the luxury and convenience of the ship is yours to enjoy.  Imagine treating your weary body to a soothing massage after a magnificent day of exploring ancient ruins! No lugging around suitcases and digging through them for certain items, wrinkling everything you touch.  Instead, unpack once and have your clothes stay neat and organized.  If you need to do laundry it’s a lot easier to leave it with your cabin steward than wasting time in a local laundromat. 

 From a monetary standpoint, choosing a cruise is a no-brainer.  Fluctuating exchange rates have little impact on your budget when you see Europe by cruise ship. However, that is not the case when you’re making hotel reservations but unable to determine the strength of the dollar sometime in the future when you check out of your room! In addition, when you purchase an almost all-inclusive vacation the bulk of your expenses are fixed and often paid for before you even depart. Nobody wants to come home to the shock of opening up a “surprise” credit card bill!

 Discovering Europe by cruise ship is a dream come true. Cruising is a stress free, uncomplicated, and cost-effective. It’s a wonderful opportunity to visit some of the most enchanting cities in the world and experience their beauty, history and culture. Are you ready to let one of the European Cruise Specialists at Direct Line Cruises turn your dream into a reality?
 In part 2 of this series I’ll discuss the different European itineraries

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