So, you’re thinking about going on a cruise holiday? It might bring connotations of grandparents in bad Hawaiian shirts, but a voyage out at sea can be pretty exciting and eye opening, especially if you take part in the land excursions.Also, with fares that include accommodation, food, daytime and evening entertainment and transportation between destinations, you’re getting a pretty good deal for your money. Let’s take a look at what and where to consider before making that booking.
When to book?
With cruises becoming more popular than ever, you should book early to get a good price! For those who are not organised early birds, the good news is that many major travel operators offer deals for last minute cruises. Some people cancel their reservation without penalty (usually between 60 to 80 days before departure). Therefore, time your cruise search to get the very best last-minute deal.Choosing a cruise
Pick a cruise that matches your personality, tastes and budget. Do you want a cruise that takes you from city to city or from island to island? Choose an itinerary that visits all the cities or islands on your wish list. Casablanca, Bridgetown (Barbados), Rome and Barcelona are some very popular cruise stops. What’s there to see in these desirable destinations?
Casablanca is Morocco’s largest city and the busiest port in North Africa. Although Casablanca is a huge modern commercial part of the world, most places of interest are located within walking distance. Start from Place Mohammed V, the hub of the city, to the main boulevards that branch out. Look out for the spectacular Hassan II Mosque, planned and designed by French Michel Pineau. Take a stroll through the colorful market square of El Bahia Palace and Djemaa el Fna, then sample some traditional delights or bargain for souvenirs at the Habous Quarter and Central Market. Later, why not visit the galleries of the Chellah and Archaeological Museum to see the ruins of Chellah, a prosperous Roman town that was abandoned in the 9th century.Bridgetown in Barbados
Barbados’ capital is the only city on the island, scattered with colonial buildings and wondrous sights. Soak up some culture by visiting St Michael’s Cathedral, St. Mary Church, the Jewish Synagogue and the Queen’s Park. Opposite the Parliament Buildings you’ll find a statue of Lord Nelson and National Heroes Square (formerly Trafalgar Square). Take advantage of the city’s cosmopolitan side by walking along Broad Street, the main street of Bridgetown, where you can see many banks, department stores and duty free shops.Rome
Civitavecchia is located on the Mediterranean Sea in the west of Rome and you can hop on the train or taxi to get to the capital city’s centre. An absolute must for any tour of Rome is the Coliseum, which was a large amphitheatre inaugurated in 80AD. You also can’t leave Rome without visiting the Vatican Museums that house a comprehensive collection of artwork and historical pieces. Other famous tourist attractions include the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese, Trevi Fountain, the National Monument Victor Emmanuel II, St Peter’s Basilica and Pyramid of Cestius.
Barcelona is a bustling city waiting to entertain visitors who call in at its huge port. From the port to the city center, you will see Christopher Columbus Monument which is the drop-off point for the shuttle bus. Visit the gothic buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí: Sagrada Familia and Cas batllo. Stretch your legs by walking along the famous and lively promenade street of La Rambla, then take a stroll through Parc de la Ciutadella: the largest park in Barcelona, which houses a monumental waterfall and a romantic English-style garden.You can’t ask for much more than hassle free fun, especially with countries like these waiting to be explored. The very best thing about a cruise? Only having to pack and unpack once, no matter how many countries you stop at!