Mediterranean Cruises, Insight Guide
Cruising has become one of the most popular ways to travel. It is a great senior vacation. People have various reasons for preferring taking a cruise to other forms of travel. Many like the idea of a floating hotel where all of the conveniences are in one location. You can sit by the pool, shop, eat and exercise without ever leaving the ship. Many like the idea of unpacking luggage once and not having to worry about packing and schlepping from place to place.
For people who like to visit foreign countries, cruising provides a double edge sword. On the one hand, travelers land at a new location most every day without the hassle of transporting from place to place. On the other hand, visits are usually only one day in each port of call, so it’s difficult to take full advantage of the time there.
While cruise lines offer cruise shore excursions to each location, they can be pricey. In addition, tours don’t provide the opportunity to explore on ones’ own, which can be part of the fun of travel. With only one day at a location, it’s important to know beforehand what you want to see and do.
Cruise ships often dock at away from the city central or the location where you want to visit. Simple things like knowing what do when you first disembark from the ship can be time consuming and frustrating. Mediterranean Cruises, Insight Guide is the perfect companion book for planning shore tours on your own.
Designed for short stays, it provides the very basic information a person needs to enjoy a day at a location. There are great color photos and maps for each port of call. On the inside covers, there is a large map of the Mediterranean. Smaller section maps are included, as well as detailed city maps of the port of calls.
I particularly enjoyed a few features about the book. The guide is well organized and indexed, so it is easy to find not only the primary docking points, but sights that are within a reasonable day travel. For example, we planned to visit Naples and wanted to travel to Pompeii while we were there. The guide not only provided information about Naples, but also how to get to Pompeii and what to expect upon arrival.
My favorite feature of the book is the section entitled “Arrival and Around the Dock” describes the most likely docking location, what to see there and how to get transportation to other parts of the stop. In addition, the book provides a cursory overview of the location, the primary sights to see, shopping, eating, ‘further afield’ if you have the time and inclination.
The material isn’t comprehensive, but designed to give you a brief overview and history of the locations as well as key information to enjoy the day at a port of call without worrying about the logistics.
The back of the book is chock full of the typical information travels need to know about visiting a foreign country. There is information about money, fun facts, important phone numbers, entry requirements and holidays.
The only complaint I have about the guide is it is heavy. I made copies of the locations we were to visit, instead of taking the book with us.
I checked my copy of the guide out at my local library. If I were to travel to the multiple Mediterranean cruises, it would definitely be a book worth owning. It is the perfect companion for the senior vacation.