> The Deal Experts Travel Tips Blog > How to Navigate a Port of Call

How to Navigate a Port of Call

Voyaging on a cruise offers tons of entertainment, dining and leisure activities right onboard – and allows travelers to let someone else handle much of the vacation planning. However, when ships stop by ports of call along the way, make the most of it with these tips:

  • Know the docking distances. Due to size, large ships may be let off farther from the heart of a city and instead stop closest to a special market area just catering to cruise ship passengers. Check out a map first to figure out how to get to other areas to route the best adventure once landing.
  • Do your homework. When researching the destination, set up a tour or port activity before leaving home for better deals. At the very least, bring a guidebook or have an idea of must-sees to maximize limited hours at each stop.
  • ... But still play it by ear. While cruises often have add-on excursions bookable onboard, this could be costlier than booking upon arrival in a city. Letting spontaneity win out here can allow you to save cash and discover something new in the process.
  • Avoid the crowds. If vacationing near a cruise port, ask what day the ships come in; shopping on off-peak days will limit the crowds even for non-cruisers. In fact, vendors may ask for the boat name and try to raise prices for these customers. Conversely, traveling during a holiday period when cruise ships dock can result in shops’ special schedules for this extra business.

Ready to go? Set sail with these cheap cruises from Travelzoo. Prices will appear in U.S. dollars when clicking through.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, San Francisco
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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Morgan Ashley Parker