On any cruise vacation, there is nothing more exciting than stopping at all of the ports-of-
call. There’s sunny Puerto Rico, majestic St. Maarten/Martin, romantic Barbados, and the ever so rejuvenating U.S. Virgin Islands. Wherever the ship ties up, ports-of-call offer plenty for all guests-a wide variety of activities from duty-free shopping, to shore excursions, to just plain sightseeing. For first-time and minimally experienced cruisers, ports-of-call are not always their strong suit. There’s much to keep in mind before stepping off the ship. Here are the guests’ ten commandments:

  1. Thou shall immediately sign up for shore excursions that strike imminent interest. Popular shore excursions are often booked up quickly.
  2. Thou shall meet the tour group/guide fifteen minutes prior to the tour’s starting time. Shore excursions will commence immediately without tardy guests.
  3. Thou shall wear junk sneakers for all rain-or-shine shore excursions. Once done with the junk pair of sneakers, the stateroom attendant can properly dispose of them.
  4. Thou shall wear proper attire at all times. Whether on shore excursions, shopping, or plain sightseeing, inappropriate dress code can be frowned upon. All guests must consult a crew member or shore excursion desk for further information.
  5. Thou shall bring adequate sun tan lotion. Sun tan lotion is available in most duty-free shopping outlets.
  6. Thou shalt NOT purchase souvenirs from street vendors. Street-sold souvenirs are most likely counterfeit. Guests should shop only in well-recommended stores, or those recommended by the on-board shopping expert.
  7. Thou shalt NOT go shopping in any unknown areas not recommended by the cruise line. Guests should consult see the ship’s shopping expert for details before proceeding ashore.
  8. Thou shalt NOT leave the ship without a form of photo ID. Pier security at all ports-of-call is extremely tight. All guests must have in hand the following: Stateroom key cards and a form of photo ID (ex. driver’s license or student ID). They will be needed for re-boarding the ship.
  9. Thou shalt NOT get separated from your party while ashore. It is paramount for guests to implement a buddy system at all times.
  10. Thou shalt NOT be late for the “All on-board time”. All guests are responsible for being back on board the ship thirty minutes prior to sailing. The ship will sail without those guests who are no-show.

About Author

David Kriso has been a travel writer since August 2011. He is a contributing writer for both of his hometown's newspapers, The Gazette, and The Observer. His articles focus on cruise and railroad travel. David is also published online at ProwsEdge.com, a cruise magazine based in Vancouver, Canada and at Amtrak's story site, Whistlestop.Amtrak.com. David also writes for the publication Examiner.com. On Examiner.com, he writes about cruise and rail travel. David is a long-time train traveler, avid cruiser, and a Disney traveler since age 4.

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