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A Taste

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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.

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Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time October 15, 2014 at 6:37 am

When I started taking cruises in earnest, by that, I mean, 2 per year, back in the very early 1970′, there were perhaps a handful cruise ship performing winter Caribbean cruise, not counting the other snall handful of ships that sailed on 3 month world cruises, and the ones that NEVER came to the US, afraid of the Coast Guard Inspections, why else?

Anyway, in those days you never got any longer than the norm in a port, which averaged 5 hours. In Europe, same thing, maybe 10 if lucky, when the next port was 10 minutes away, yet it took all night t get there. Back then money and spending was a major factor.

Move on to today, nothing really has changed, EXCEPT, the upper premium lines do stay in overnight at many ports world wide – why? To cut the money spent to buy fuel.

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