If you are thinking about booking your first cruise, here are our top five suggestions for destinations on your maiden voyage.
Cruising and tropical destinations go together. So, one of our top recommendations for anyone who has not yet traveled on a cruise ship is a voyage to the Bahamas. All the major cruise lines have multiple ships going to and from this popular location. This will allow you to select a cruise ship that offers activities, food and accommodations that fit your preferences.
Also, you can select a short two- or four-day trip – just in case ocean travel is not what you thought. The prices for these brief jaunts are quite affordable. The travel time at sea is shorter than some other itineraries and the ship will likely have smooth sailing.
Perhaps you’re planning a trip to this island location – it’s on the bucket list! Sailing for days in the open ocean to reach the island can be bypassed simply by adding in an airplane. How about combining a flight to Honolulu with an inter-island cruise?
There are cruise lines whose whole itineraries revolve around just sailing the Hawaiian Islands. This is a convenient way to see all the destinations with one ticket. For example, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Waikiki Beach, eco-tourism, cultural festivals, Pearl Harbor and many more are spread across the islands. A cruise ship will carry you to them all.
So, let’s go to your next bucket list destination – Alaska. Again, if you fly in (while this is a great option) the places and experiences that drew you here might be located very far from each other. And, maybe most importantly, travel between them can be prohibitively costly or just plain impossible.
An Alaskan cruise itinerary will skirt along the coastal towns where you can disembark to experience local cultures. You will sail along raw wilderness areas, inlets and glaciers. And, with a bit of timing see whales and other sea creatures along the way.
While this might seem daunting, a cruise in the Mediterranean might just be one of the easiest ways to see several European cities and regions in one vacation. Most itineraries for this area will be around a week long, and there are many options for choosing which countries you’d like to visit conveniently from the ship.
Some of the top Italian cities served by several cruise lines are Rome, Florence, Naples and Sorrento. Another popular port is Barcelona, Spain whose old city is a must-see shore excursion. The benefit, you will have no connecting flights to catch; no packing and unpacking; and, no ground transportation to navigate.
The Mexican Riviera
Lying along the western coast of Mexico, the hundreds of miles and coastal cities of this area are popular cruise destinations for several reasons. Names like Ensenada, Cabo, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta sound familiar to most people.
The ports of call dotted along the Pacific Ocean are rich in culture, local cuisine, gorgeous beaches and adventure.
Many cruise lines (with both larger and smaller ships) offer three-night, seven-night and longer trips – even to the Panama Canal. This is the itinerary to book for your first cruise if you would like to see why tourists travel to these locations year-round for sun and fun.
Angela is a professional freelance travel writer and published indie author – AngelaMinor.com