9 Experiences to Enhance Your Next Cruise Vacation

The coolest things about cruise vacations is “getting there” is the vacation. It’s not like flying to a resort. It’s the journey itself. But what if you have cruised a lot? You want something else exciting. Since you are retired or independently wealthy, you have time on your hands.

  1. Back to back cruises. You skip the airport entirely! You sail transatlantic from New York to Southampton on Cunard. After seven days, you get off the ship, enjoy yourself for eight hours, reboard and sail back home again. It’s likely the same waiter and cabin steward, but different dinner companions at your table.
  2. The Orient Express. This was part of our 25th wedding anniversary holiday. We flew to Europe, got to Venice, stayed two nights, took the Orient Express luxury train from Venice to London, stayed two nights and sailed from Southampton to New York on the Queen Mary 2. The clothing you pack for gala evening onboard the ship will be ideal for dinner on the Orient Express.
  3. The city break. Your ship sails to or from New York. You’ve always wanted to visit New York. You book a Manhattan hotel for a few nights. This can be before or after your cruise. It either preps you for luxury (before) or brings you back down to Earth (after.)
  4. The driving vacation. You love England. Many people do. You fly over, pick up your rental car at Heathrow, drive around the countryside for several day, returning the rental car in Southampton. Several cruise lines call it their home port.
  5. Let’s see the relatives. You’ve been meaning to renew family ties. It’s easily done by flying into the city where they live, spending a few nights in a hotel, then flying, driving (or being driven) to your ship. Several ships sail from Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Doesn’t everyone have relatives in Florida?
  6. Pick the kids up from school. You are such generous parents! Your children are studying abroad, perhaps London or Birmingham. The school term ends around June or July. You fly over, collect them and all their stuff, then head to the port, taking them on a cruise. It’s a great way to thank them for their excellent grades. Spend quality time together.
  7. Business and pleasure. You are attending a conference for work. You might be a speaker or an attendee. You fly over to attend the conference, then pick up your ship in port to enjoy a well-deserved vacation at sea. You fly home after the cruise. Do not reverse the order, otherwise you will be in panic mode if the ship can’t get you back to port in time for you to head to your conference.
  8. The cooking course. You love to cook! Many world capitals have famous cooking schools nearby. Ditto the French and Italian countryside. Fly over, spend several days at cooking school, get to your ship and pick up your cruise.
  9. The resort break. You love cruising. You love Caribbean resorts. Why not enjoy them both? Take a cruise in the Caribbean. Tie in a resort vacation on your favorite island. You’ve got all the clothes you’ll need!

Cruise vacations don’t just need to be “the cruise.” They can include other adventures too.

Cover photo: Windstar cruise ship, Wind Surf, in port of Kotor, Montenegro © Dennis Cox / WorldViews, All Rights Reserved

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