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Cruising Is An Appetizer

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Cruising is in fact one facet of the travel and tourism industry which ranks amongst the highest in satisfaction ratings from past clients.

Though, naturally, it is not without complaints.

One of the most common complaints is lack of time in port. Time in port is generally dictated by the proximity of the ports of call on any particular itinerary. Other factors can include the availability of space for ships at the pier.

For example, on European itineraries, where travel time to and from popular sights are time consuming, and ports of call are close ships may stay later into the night, and on occasion overnight at select ports (as often happens in Venice).

Of late the ultra-premium and luxury cruise lines have begun concentrating on offering more overnight stays for their ships, with less days at sea during their planned itineraries.

Yet, even with overnight stays, in most cases the longest time you’ll have during any port stop is perhaps 32-35 hrs. On many cruises your port visit is limited to 10-12 hrs.

Some who consider themselves “travelers”, who desire more detailed experiences in the surroundings, civilizations, and cultures of the areas they visit, are left somewhat dissatisfied.

It’s easy to understand, and even agree with that type of complaint.

Yet, cruising is still attractive because there is no way I can think of which allows you to visit as many places in a relatively short amount of time, and in supreme comfort, with so little effort.

To attempt to do it by any other means, entails devoting more time in one place, more transportation planning, or organized land tours via buses, trains, etc. which offer other limitations (like packing and unpacking daily or regularly).

With cruising, once you are onboard, you’re in your “home”. You unpack your luggage, make your cabin and ship your home. Cruising is the only mode of travel that transports your home, as well as you, with someone else (the Captain and crew) in charge of getting you to your destinations comfortably.

And during your “down travel time” you’re food and entertainment options offer a virtual cornucopia of choices.

Rather than looking at the limitations of travel by ship, I have always viewed cruising as offering an appetizer sized version of what’s available in the ports of call you visit.

I’ve always thought that by getting a “taste” of the various ports I would visit,  I could go back for longer stays in the places that really peeked my interest. And over the years I have done so.

But, you know what? I’ve found I can often truly enjoy making a “full meal”  solely out of a combination of a variety of appetizers, and be just as satisfied without having a full entrée.

– A View From The Kuki Side Of Cruising –



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Comment from Kennth Eden
Time July 10, 2013 at 5:51 am

Fuel, baby, fuel – that’s where the money goes, thus, less time at sea.

Allowing more time at a port is fine, however, if one wants to take shore excursions, or tour on ones own, 35 hours in Paris is not like spending a week, but as stated, the cruise is really and appetizer, a tease.

Then there are people like me, I view the ship strictly as my destination, the ports, mere diversions.

Comment from Mike Mastellar
Time July 10, 2013 at 8:51 am

I have always referred to cruising as “The Pu Pu Platter” of travel. You get a nice taste of an area but never the full meal. Cruising is where the ship is the destination and it takes you to different places and allows you to get a taste of them.

I recommend that everyone should add a few post and/or pre cruise days on to your schedule, especially on more exotic itineraries like Europe and Asia, in order to get as much out of the area as possible.

On standard Caribbean itineraries a Pu Pu Platter is just what you need.

Also, the sea is one of the most beautiful ports of call.

Take care,

Comment from Kennth Eden
Time July 12, 2013 at 5:15 am

Here is a thought, one that may work, or may not work, and something to consider.

What in the world does the cruise industry think when deploying ships to Asia for the North American market?

Europe has withered greatly as a cruise destination, if not wholly, then partly, to the high price of air fare. Credits, for air, and on board are being offered, but, the fact is, for many, the fight can cost MORE than the cruise, AND, many cruise lines have cropped their European cruises to 7 days, and still, there is the added cost of outrageous air fare. Yes, a 7 day cruise costs less than a longer cruise, but, the air $ is still there. And yes, some – a FEW – include air in the cruise price, but for many that price ven discounted is too high. And, now, here comes Asia.

Some magical plane fairy is to come along and suddenly cheap air to Asian port cities will be offered, Think again.

This is insane. The average cruiser won’t pay the price for the air, and are there that many millionaires in China to justify the high cost for them to sail? Just wait, I feel a “sail” commin’, on.

Comment from linda gordon
Time July 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Kuki, what a great way of describing cruising! Even if one isn’t in a port, for any length of time, they can always revisit that port on another cruise!

Comment from Villa San Cebria
Time July 31, 2013 at 2:25 am

Cruises.. I just love them 🙂 I had one a few years back in Barcelona. It was so good. I want to have a full vacation on a cruise. I think this will be a nice idea. I want this vacation with my children, they will really enjoy this and will be quite happy. Please suggest me some place where we can plan a trip for 15 days and being on the cruise is the first and the last condition. 🙂 Can we arrange a small party on it as it’s my son’s birthday. 🙂 Please reply asap. Thank you.

Comment from Paul Motter
Time August 2, 2013 at 9:12 am

There are many cruise in Europe that are 10 to 14 days, for example. You can cruise all the way from Istanbul to Barcelona. Look in to Princess, Holland America, MSC, Costa, P&O, NCL or Royal Caribbean. Or the smaller ship cruise lines.

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