This is especially true when flying into the port of embarkation. It only takes a single episode of almost not making it to the port on time — or missing the ship altogether — to ruin a vacation. Flight delays are more common these days with unpredictable weather and tighter security. One missed connection could be catastrophic if you’re flying the same day as cruising. Who needs the stress! Not only will you be more relaxed, but if you happen to land a hotel within close proximity to the cruise port, you could wake before the sun and watch your ship sail into port amidst a beautiful sunrise, as we did in Fort Lauderdale.
For hotel recommendations, ask your agent. For the ultimate convenience, ask about adding an air/hotel package to your cruise. You may pay a little more, but every travel and transportation of your cruise will be taken care of, right down to handling of your luggage.
If you have extra time and if your budget allows, you could attach a few days at the beginning or end of your cruise vacation. Flying in a day or two before your cruise also allows you time to explore the city of embarkation – a bonus mini-vacation, if you will.
Cruises have so much going on at any given time, catering to all kinds of individual preferences. If you want your family or group of friends to stick together like glue through the whole vacation, two things will happen: (a) you will miss a lot, and (b) you’ll resent each other by the end of it. For example, your husband is fond of the casino, but the last thing you want to do on a warm, tropical day is spend it inside a smoke-filled, noisy room. Go to the pool or spend time lounging on your deck, while he goes to play the slots. You’ll both be happy.
This is even more true for couples you might be traveling with. In the case of shore excursions, for example, you all want something different from the island you’re visiting. Why not have each couple go off on their own adventure, and then meet for dinner that evening to compare stories.
Traveling with the kids? That’s an easy one. They can have fun with their new friends in the kids’ club, while you and your honey catch some much-needed alone time. Or one of you go for a relaxing spa treatment while the other climbs a rock wall with Junior.
Vacations are about discovering new people and places, and sometimes that means going it on your own. By enjoying what you like and and then sharing each other’s memories, you’ll all receive a much more enriching experience.