Last updated on April 4th, 2019 at 05:56 am
No matter what kind of cruise you plan to take, it is always a great idea to plan to arrive in port at least a day early to get over any jet lag and to make sure that a flight delay won’t cause you to miss your ship.
Once you accept the need for the early arrival, you now need to consider arriving a couple of days early so that you can take in the sights of the port city. Sort of a mini vacation before you start your cruise.
Do you want to do this on your own, or do you want to be fully pampered? If you do it on your own, you will have to take care of your airline reservations, your transfers (taxi or shuttle) to your hotel, and the subsequent transfers to the ship the following day or even a couple of days later. You also need to make sure that all of this time is covered by your travel insurance so that any problems won’t come out of your pocket.
The same set of issues come up at the other end of your cruise, but remember that the larger the ship the more time it will take to clear the ship and head to the airport. All of that adds stress that you just went on vacation to relieve. I would suggest that you really make the best of your vacation and add a little time to each end of your cruise so that you can enjoy each port and so that you can leisurely arrive at the ship and so that you can leisurely disembark as well.
The real question is – do you want to plan all of this yourself or do you want to let the cruise line take care of it all? Generally, it may be a little cheaper to do it yourself, but it will be a lot easier to let the cruise line do it all.
Quite often, many cruise lines, especially if you are cruising in Europe, will give you special prices on airfare if purchased with your cruise, and they will arrange that airfare to fit around your before or after cruise stay in the port city. They will also take care of all transfers of luggage from the ship to your port city hotel. Additionally, they will be able to set up shore excursions in your port cities so that you will be able to see the local sites.
If that is not enough, the better companies, such as Viking Cruse Lines, will have someone there to meet you and to lead you through the process and they will also be available at your hotel should you encounter any issues. Although, more for the adventure and the experience of doing it the hard way, I booked all of my before and after cruise activities myself for our most recent European vacation, my neck and back still aches from lugging the suitcases from the ship to trams to trains to hotel rooms.
The next time, I will follow the lead of my friends on our Viking Romantic Rhine River Cruise and let them handle all the work. If you are less adventurous or if you don’t really want to have to lug your suitcases around as you go from air travel to train travel to subways or taxis, etc… I would suggest that you opt for the cruise line’s before and after the cruise offerings.
Friends that we met on the cruise did both and we have exchanged emails since returning home and they had nothing but wonderful compliments to Viking River Cruises for their experiences before and after the cruise.
For example, most our recent cruise, the Romantic Rhine River Cruise from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, was with Viking River Cruises. They provide a 2-night Lucerne package for $599 per person and a 2-night Amsterdam package for $499 per person. They provide all transfers from airport to hotel to ship and from ship to hotel then to airport on the other end. They also provide something that is very important: a real live meet and greet person wearing a Viking River Cruises red jacket and signs so that it will be easy for you to connect with them. All you need to worry about is your carry-on and going through customs. They will walk you through everything else. They have also set up excursions at each end of the cruise as well. Visit the world-renowned museums featuring works by the Dutch Masters in Amsterdam and explore the traditional Swiss town along the banks of Lake Lucerne with its dramatic Alpine backdrop.
Best of all, is that with Viking River Cruises they regularly offer 2 for 1 pricing on their cruises; and they also provide discounts for air fare on the all-inclusive trips. You will also find that they include beer and wine with lunch and dinner without any additional cost and they provide excursions in each port, also without any additional costs to you. If you did not see enough with the provided excursions, they do provide additional excursions at some ports at an reasonable additional cost.
For more information about their cruises, please spend some time on our website at www.TeamEdwardsTravel.com/VikingRiverCruises.html to look at the videos. Then, click the banner and it will take you to the Viking River Cruises website where you will find more information about their cruises. We will be happy to make your reservations for you.
Turning Dreams into Memories,
One Vacation at a Time.
As you might guess, this document is a compilation of information from our travels as well as from other travelers. I hope it has been of value to you. Check out the important links below.
- Packing Checklist
- Parent Authorization Letter For Unaccompanied Minors
- Medical Treatment Authorization Letter
- Travel With Minors – Permission Letter
Don’t hesitate to email us when you return from your trip with any suggestions that will make this document better for you and your fellow travelers!
You may also want to visit our Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/TeamEdwardsTravel