In the past, many cruise travelers adopted an attitude of “I could care less where the ship goes, just as long as I am on it”, choosing cruise vacations over other travel options. For those travelers, the ports of call were not all that important, nor should they be: Caribbean sailings commonly went to the same places over and over again.
Today, that attitude has shifted, with “destination immersion” and “overnight stays in port” becoming hot topics. Today, more travelers are looking for up close and personal time at ports of call and cruise lines are delivering.
Still, getting an idea of what to expect at a port of call can take some research. It can be time consuming, boring and a chore that will never be done if left to traditional sources that include the cruise line websites, guide books, travel blogs and magazine.
The good news is that while traditional methods of studying a port may fail, a little dose of Google can make all the difference.
Example: From setting up a Google Alert about “The Bahamas” I found out today that the Bahamas will send its largest national culinary team in history to compete at the Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami, June 20-24 via an article at CaribbeanNewsDigital.
Why do I care?
I don’t really care all that much about this competition, but I do love food. I also travel to the Bahamas on a cruise from time to time so I’ll file this little tidbit of information away. Later, when looking over ship or third-party shore excursions, I might see one that is a “chef experience” in the Bahamas and that information about the Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami is all of the sudden useful. I don’t really need to remember where that information came from but knowing it will give a great deal more credibility to a cruise line claim about a related shore excursion.
You may already be doing this when reading a newspaper, magazine or blog, watching television or listening to the radio, storing away related information for use later. Setting up a Google Alert serves as a reminder about topics we are interested in and fetches us the most current information, delivered to our email inbox weekly, daily or as it happens.