We say it all the time after visiting an interesting place on a cruise; ‘I could live here’ or We could come back and spend a week!’. After that happens a number of times, we know deep down inside that we probably won’t return on our own any time soon.
Land travel is comparatively inefficient. Comparing the price of a cruise to visiting each port of call on land, the value of sailing takes center stage. But what if we would like to stay a little longer, maybe overnight. What cruise lines spend the most time in port? Three general categories can steer cruise travelers in the right direction. Let’s start with those then highlight some specific recommendations.
Smaller Ships With A Unique Destination Focus
Smaller ships usually mean more expensive pricing per day. That financial hurdle alone takes a great many fans of family travel out of the mix. But while those small ships may come with a higher tag, they generally include more. Before ruling out smaller ships because of the cruise fare price, consider the total price.
Frankly, adding up the total price including not just the cruise fare but what we spend onboard and ashore can bring clarity to this issue. You’ll have to do the math but need to anyway. The total price including onboard spending and incidental expenses, that’s the number to use for comparison.
Itineraries With Places Worth Staying Longer
If a 7-night itinerary in the Caribbean normaly has three, four or five ports of call, staying longer can mean staying overnight. The logic here, pioneered by Azamara Club Cruises goes like this “What if you came to Miami and never saw the nightlife at South Beach? You would be missing a big part of the experience. True, but you might have a week’s time to travel, increasing time in port often translates to fewer destinations visited. On a recent Viking Ocean Cruise, we overnighted in London at the beginning and Bergen, Norway. These are both places we could spend a week easy. Overnight is a no-brainer.
Sailings Far Away From Home
Sourcing travelers from North America for European cruises means a longer travel day, just to get to the ship. For that reason, itineraries often begin and/or end with an overnight in port. That move allows flexibility for flights arriving at the Euro embarkation port throughout the day.
Once on at the embarkation city, we may want to see some of it before the ship leaves. Overnight at the embarkation port allows that time as does overnight at the disembarkation port where we would normally just get off the ship and leave. Like the Viking Ocean cruise noted above, that same rule applies to river cruises and just about any other part of the world we will not visit often. As long as we are flying that far, why not stay longer?
In addition to Azamara Club Cruises and Viking Cruises, Windstar Cruises also has itineraries with one or more overnights in port. Still, there are indeed large ship sailings that include overnights like Carnival Cruise Line’s itineraries tagged “Cozumel Plus” in the closeby Caribbean proving once again ‘there is a cruise for everyone’.
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com.