Cruises are a vacation option like any other. With a wide range of leisure activities and the possibility of visiting several destinations at the same time on a boat full of amenities, more and more travelers are being seduced by the idea of living the experience of doing one. In the past for many people a trip by sea was synonymous with luxury but today cruises are within the reach of any traveler.
If you have decided to live the experience of doing one, in this article we present the best cruises to sail in 2017 and some useful tips if it is the first time you embark on one.
The first thing you should take into account is where you want to go and the type of cruise you want to do, since it is not the same to do a cruise of a few days than to do a cruise of one or two weeks.
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Cruises for 2017
Shipping companies have bet heavily on the Caribbean island in 2017. The recent economic unlocking by the United States and the remodeling of the city as a tourist destination are some of the factors that have positioned Cuba as one of the favorite destinations for this year.
To the colonial buildings is added the recovery of the Art Deco architectural heritage, the years of jazz clubs and artists from all over the American continent. Now more than ever, Cuba is a place brimming with life so it is a good time to get to know the island more deeply.
Norwegian Cruise Line is one of the main cruise companies that will bet on Cuba. In Spain it operates from Barcelona and from May it offers four-day roundtrip cruises between Miami and the island aboard Norwegian Sky. The Cuban stopover takes place in Havana and this itinerary also allows travelers to visit Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island in the Bahamas.
A cruise on the Adriatic is perfect to relax in the company of family or friends and visit beautiful cities such as Dubrovnik, Haifa, Limassol or Rhodes. On the stopovers you can take advantage not only to visit cities but to buy handcrafted products such as jewelry, drinks or carved objects.
Different shipping companies such as MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean or Costa Cruises have dream routes aboard luxurious ships such as the MSC Poesía, the Splendor of the Seas or the Costa Deliziosa to enjoy discovering some of the pearls of the Adriatic.
River Cruise Portugal
River cruises are those cruises that take place through navigable rivers and canals. On a river cruise you can navigate through the heart of romantic Europe and especially through the Portuguese Douro. With a round trip from Porto, the journey crosses places such as Entre-Os-Rios, Regua and Pinhâo offering the possibility of excursions to nearby enclaves such as the Mateus Palace or the sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios and even Salamanca. Aboard the intimate MS Douro Cruiser, Politours River Cruises proposes an eight-day trip through this valley surrounded by vineyards and beautiful Portuguese villages.
This 2017 CroisiEurope, the most important river cruise operator in Europe, 7, will offer an exclusive and original 4-day / 3-night cruise-safari on the Chobe and Zambezi rivers. After the cruise, passengers can enjoy a 5-day / 4-night stay in one of two five-star accommodations with safaris and a day at Victoria Falls included. When it comes to this peculiar safari-cruise, it is advisable to wait for the dry winter months to contemplate the wild animals that concentrate on the river to drink.
Explore Alaska this 2017 during your vacations and live a unique experience aboard the ships of the Oceania Cruises company, recognized for its gastronomy and itineraries. Discover the last frontier on the way to Kantishna, take part in a wild animal sighting in Katmai and see the incredible Sawyer, Sitka and Prince Rupert glaciers aboard their ships.
Tips for going on a cruise
It is important to carry all the documentation provided by the shipping company: reservation and payment vouchers, passenger files, cabin number, boarding tickets, cards to identify luggage ... It will also be necessary to check the documentation to board weeks before the date exit, such as valid passports, travel permits for minors, visas or international driving licenses.
Even if you are navigating a route within the European Union, the boats are subject to the regulations of the country in which they are registered. With which it is advisable to carry a medical insurance with the maximum coverage. Medical assistance within a cruise ship is almost never included and yes it is, their health services are expensive. An analysis can cost 1.000 euros and a simple consultation about 100, so it is essential to take out personal health insurance to avoid unexpected surprises.
Boarding the cruise
Upon arrival at the boarding station, all luggage must be delivered with the tags attached, except for hand luggage. Then at the reception desk, boarding tickets, documents and credit card for extras will be presented. It should be noted that there are no cash payments on board. Registering the credit card allows you to directly charge the expenses on board the cruise. At reception, each passenger is given a magnetic card that serves as a key and a credit card to pay on board.
It is not mandatory, but registering the card is the fastest way for expenses to go to the account, without having to queue boring to pay on the last day of the cruise. It is important to save all the receipts that are given when buying something because the last night an expense statement is delivered that will have to be checked if they are correct.
When it comes to excursions in the different scales of the cruise there are two options. The first is to prepare them on our own and the second is to take the excursions organized by the ship. In the latter case, you have to reserve them when you get to the ship or online. Registration forms are available at the tour desk next to reception.
It is not advisable to make a reservation at the last minute as places can run out quickly. In fact, there is a time limit of about 48 hours before each stopover.