Today we have choices of all sizes of ships, from river boats of 100 guests to cruise ships of 1,000’s. What is the best for women who are serious travelers? Why should you avoid the temptation of cheap fares on huge ships?
Large cruise ships need ports for docking. That means you often arrive far from the actual place you wish to see. Example from its port city, Livorno to Florence, the drive is a minimum of 90 minutes each way. You have to get up very early for the tour then when you arrive in Florence, you find yourself surrounded by cruisers blocking the very things you came to experience. As good a a bus tour can be, there is no getting away from the fact that 1,000 other tourists accompanying you at more or less the same times ruins the trip.
Meeting up with your group and getting to know the others in it, is harder when you are dispersed around a ship. If you are shy and or traveling solo, then avoid large ships by all means. You will have to do the work to meet the others! And you will have to walk into large dining areas like a deer in the headlights.
Large cruise ships tend to offer generic continental food. This means when you go to say, Greece, you will never enjoy wonderful Greek cuisine. It also means that you are basically eating at a ‘hotel’ restaurant and we all know what they tastes like: ok not great even if you get a lot of it.
Then there is a hierarchy on large ships: you will hear: I have a balcony cabin on Blah Blah deck…..
We like river boats for polar opposite reasons. You still unpack once, you still have a cabin on a moving vehicle-usually larger fyi. But the differences are impressive: small numbers of guests, boats stop in the middle of towns you visit, food and wine is generally local, common areas are cosy and more like a living room where it is easy to meet others. Entertainment is also usually local without the glitz of Las Vegas. Dress is casual. You can walk into towns yourself if you miss the tour.
So if you are looking for a sea-driven trip, contact us for more information about our Christmas Markets cruise which includes Dec. 25. And wait list yourself for Burma in January 2015.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention: riverboats do not have big waves.