port guide

La Dolce Vita: A Cruise Port Guide

Unpack once and see the world — that’s the cruise lover’s motto. But with only one day in each port, how do you make the most of your limited time? Take our advice, don’t dock and dash. Instead, pick one or two highlights in each destination that really pique your interest. By focusing on what’s most meaningful to you, you’ll have more time to slow down and savor the experience. La dolce vita, isn’t that what a cruise is all about? Read on to savor our port guide for how you can plan the perfect day.

port guide
When it comes to visiting hidden gems off the beaten path, it pays to know where you're going ahead of time.

Do Your Research Before You Set Sail

Onboard Wi-Fi can be expensive and slow, which is why it’s better to do the bulk of your research before you leave home. How far is the port from the city center? What transportation options are available? Will you have a half or a full day? Knowing the answers to questions like these is the first step toward making a great plan.

Make a Must-See, Must-Do List

With only one day, it helps to have a list of what you’d most like to see and do in each destination. Along with top attractions, consider hidden gems such as lesser-known museums, special exhibitions or musical performances, and be sure to include any particular restaurants, foods or wines you’d like to try.

port guide
Wanderlust; party of one.

Check What Excursions Your Cruise Line Offers

Most cruise lines offer a variety of shore excursions from large group sightseeing tours to smaller, special-interest outings. These professionally organized activities are sometimes the easiest, most stress-free option, especially for sights that are harder to reach.

Consider Going Alone

Hiring a private tour guide or driver is a great option for when you want to set your own itinerary, go at your own pace or get away from the hustle and bustle of a large group. Your travel advisor can help you find reputable local companies.

port guide
Whether its the Colosseum or a dozen cannolis, the key to a budget is treating yourself to what matters most.

Set a Budget

While some cruise lines include shore excursions in the price of the fare, most don’t and the costs can quickly add up. By setting a budget, you’ll be able to prioritize what experiences are most important to you.

Book Early

Whether you’re booking through your cruise line, a local operator or independently, popular tours, restaurants and ticket times tend to fill up fast. If you have your heart set on a specific experience, make your reservation as far in advance as possible.

Leave Time to Relax

Except for the occasional day at sea, most cruises dock in a new port each day. It’s OK to spend a few of those stops relaxing in a café or exploring the local shops and markets. Unplanned experiences can sometimes be the most rewarding.

Ready to make the most of your day thanks to our cruise port guide? Put your newfound knowledge to the test with a vacation — something our agents can certainly assist you with. Besides being a certified well of tips and tricks like the ones above, they can also secure you exclusive perks and plush amenities from all the leading names in travel: This way, you can make the most of your days at sea as well as at port.