A to Z Ports: If you don’t have a plan…

Now I really do not understand this, but I have been on several cruises where people have no clue where we are going and what ports we are visiting. I plan my cruise by the places it will go – and you can probably imagine how strange it felt for me to take a “Mystery Cruise” where we did not know where we were go!

So, if you don’t have a plan, what can you do when you sail into a port?

  1. You can arrange to take one of the ship’s excursions. For people who plan, you can reserve before you board the ship and your excursion tickets will be waiting for you I your cabin. But, if you do not plan, get to know your shore excursion staff. They can help you choose the best option for yourself. Just know that you will probably be on a large bus with 35 to 40 other people and the tour guide will need “herd” you around in order to see everything on the list and get you back to the ship on time. One very good policy, if you are on a ship’s excursion, you are guaranteed to make it back to the ship before it sails.
  2. Can you just walk off the ship and take your chances? Of course!  When I am travelling alone, there are times I make no special plans (although I like to do research, so I know if you can walk off the ship and into town, or if there is a shuttle bus or hop, on, hop off bus that will runs to town). In many ports, there will be various tours you can arrange at the port and, as a solo traveler, I have found groups of people who will share a small tour. There is also an organization called Greeters that will also provide tours of their cities.
  3. Don’t want to do a lot of planning? Join a Cruise Critic Roll Call!  There will be several people in your roll-call who are trying to put together smaller tour groups. Let them to the work, and you can join the tour! This has been a great advantage for me in several ports as I was able to see things farther away from the port and get to know some of my fellow passengers who had similar interests.  I would really suggest doing this for St. Petersburg, Russia. We used SPB Tours and they were amazing!
  4. There is always just wandering around to see what will draw you. Yes, I’ve done this too – and it is a great way to spend a day.