When you imagine a cruise, what comes to mind?
The open sea, obviously. Relaxing on a white sand beach somewhere? Tanning on the deck of the ship while you sip a martini? Mountains and mountains of food? A giant floating shopping mall where people enjoy duty-free purchases?
If these thoughts make you cringe rather than salivate, you might not think cruising is for you. Sadly, cruise lines probably aren’t exactly endearing themselves to you, either when you read stories like this, which recently appeared in the LA Times:
The Carnival Horizon, which just took its first voyage earlier in 2018, has a two-story shopping mall on board. It features brands like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret, Le Vian jewelry, Hublot, and Breitling, as well as deluxe offerings for beauty products, fragrances, sweets, liquors, and tobacco. Since last year, Carnival has renovated shopping outlets on almost half its fleet, and more renovations are on the way for the rest of the fleet this year.
Great. What about the point of sailing around on a ship, though? Isn’t it supposed to be about getting to see the world? Enjoy new places and experiences? Get to see the local culture?
If that’s what you want, there are many ways to get it while cruising – you just need to know where to look. In this post, we’re going to offer some tips on how you can add culture to your cruise vacation.
Choose a Smaller Cruise
A smaller ship may have fewer onboard options, but they make up for it with more frequent stops. They can also visit more unusual locations due to their smaller size, which may make for a more interesting trip.
Sail on an Educational Cruise
Pick a themed cruise with educational opportunities. Listen to lectures by famous professors or cultural experts who can educate you about the city in port. Take cooking, painting, or language classes from renowned teachers. You can expand your mind on a cruise ship with an educational theme.
Splurge on the Extras
If you’re sailing on a large cruise, many of the add-on activities will allow for greater cultural exploration. Some ships offer special dining or sailing opportunities for additional costs. Check with your travel agency or cruise line to see the special offerings that may not be included on the main advertising pages.
Take a Self-Guided Tour
Want a more personal feel than a group tour? Head out with one friend or loved one to explore the region on your own. If you want to spend a whole hour in a museum or catch a theater production, that may be easier if you veer away from the group. Just be sure to watch the time and get back to port before the ship takes off.
Find Cruises That Spend Multiple Days at Port
Some cruises offer itineraries which allow you to linger at port for longer than the typical afternoon. Choose a cruise that will allow you to explore a city for a day or two, where you can take in the sights, restaurants, and museums.
Here are the best cruises that offer multiple day itineraries:
Celebrity Overnights—This cruise line offers 43 different cruises with overnight stays in different locales. The overnight stays are scheduled in areas such as St. Maarten, Barbados, Aruba, Curacao, and Columbia.
Cunard Cruises—You can find itineraries with extended stays in Venice, Athens, Barcelona, Istanbul, and Monte Carlo with this cruise line.
Princess Cruises—Princess offers overnight stops in many locations, such as Greece, Ireland, Alaska, Cabo San Lucas, and Quebec City.
Windstar Cruises—Enjoy overnight stays in Stockholm and Copenhagen on the Scandinavian tour. The Caribbean tour offers overnight stays in the British Virgin Islands.
Take Care When Getting Culture – and Cruising
Making your cruise vacation more adventurous and educational is a great idea, but always remember to take care. There are all kinds of ways that you can potentially hurt yourself while sailing around the world, and care on a ship isn’t always going to be as good as what you would receive on land.
If you do suffer injury and another’s negligence is responsible, do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about how cruise injury lawsuits work and what your options are.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.