Sunday, August 09, 2015

Cruising And Overnight Port Stays

Cruise itineraries that stay overnight in port are not all that common. Generally that sort of itinerary is more commonly found on European itineraries and among luxury cruise lines.

A Bermuda cruise has always been an exception with most itineraries giving guests a minimum of one overnight, but more often two and sometimes three! For Caribbean ports of call, overnight stays on mainstream cruise lines are almost unheard of! However, last week Celebrity Cruises announced that many of their 2016 Caribbean cruises will include an overnight stay, more than any cruise line in the industry.

Personally, I love the idea of staying overnight in port. I enjoyed it in Bermuda and the multiple overnight stays were the reason I chose the Celebrity Silhouette’s Baltic itinerary, which I recently returned from. I like knowing that at least on one day, I don’t have to be mindful of boarding time. I can take all-day tours, wander museums or city streets at a relaxed pace, and meander into shop after shop. Cities and towns can have a very different feel after the sun goes down and the day-trippers disappear and I love being a part of that!

I especially enjoy going out to dinner and sampling the local fare. Food is the best way I know to truly experience a destination.   Different foods, exotic spices…I want to go where the locals go!

Having the opportunity to immerse oneself in the local nightlife is another great advantage of overnight stays. Maybe it’s a nightclub, the ballet, a concert, or another cultural event. It could be a sporting event, or a fair or festival. These are the things that can make a vacation particularly memorable.

Also, many of a destination’s best attractions will be outside of the port of call. It’s a great thing to have enough time so that distance wouldn’t matter and exploration of an area isn’t restricted to the immediate city.

Hopefully, this will be a trend and more cruise lines will follow Celebrity’s lead. It would be nice to see more cruise lines offer itineraries that stay overnight in port.

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