(73) Making the Most of Ports of Call

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(73) Making the Most of Ports of Call

One of the greatest advantages of cruising is visiting exotic ports of call around the world using the cruise ship as home base. Some critics of cruise travel say that a few hours or even a full day in ports is not enough time to explore a destination. True, you cannot see all of Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Honolulu, New York City, Hong Kong or other major ports around the world in a day or even several days. However, with a little planning you can sample the major historical and cultural sights and special activities in one day in port. No doubt, you will fall in love with some ports of call and return for a longer visit in the future. No doubt, you will find one day sufficient in other ports.

Here's how it works. Prior to arriving at each port, a crew member will present a brief seminar about the port covering the available excursions, local transportation and shopping recommendations. This is the time to ask any questions you may have about the port. The shipboard television channel also features presentations about each port and ship excursions. And, the ship's daily newspaper lists information about ports, arrival and departure times and the name and telephone number of the cruise line's port agent.

In most ports your cruise ship will dock at the pier or drop anchor in the harbor in the early morning. Passengers who are booked on early cruise ship excursions disembark first according to tour schedules. Passengers who want to explore the port on their own are notified when they may go ashore. Sail away is typically late afternoon. (One exception is overnight stays in some ports like Venice, Istanbul, Barcelona and St. Petersburg .)



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