so why am I going on a cruise?

Some travelers are born cruisers who revel in the shipboard experience. Viewing sunrises and sunsets as they sail the seven seas, taking perhaps too much advantage of 24/7 dining opportunities, enjoying myriad opportunities for on-board entertainment, all this comes with one, affordable cruise fare. I'm not one of those travelers! Given my druthers, I'd much rather stay in the center of things with all the attractions of a city, village, beach, or mountain resort just outside the front door of my hotel.

So why am I, a hotel specialist, going on Windstar's Baltic Delight next week? Here are the top three reasons why I'm really excited about this trip...
  1. I love this itinerary. I'm especially looking forward to Tallinn and St. Petersburg, but I've never been to any of these countries. Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Finland, and Sweden are brand new destinations for me to check off my bucket list.
  2. Pack and unpack just once... that's really appealing when you're on a 10 day cruise and get to visit all the ports on the map above. Touring by day and traveling while we sleep, I can't think of any other way to see all these places in 10 days.
  3. Our ship is small, intimate, and luxurious. Star Pride (formerly Seabourn Pride) has just 106 suites, and even the smallest one is 280 square feet — small for a hotel room but large for a cruise ship. You'll never catch me on a mega-ship with thousands upon thousands of guests crammed into half as many tiny, postage stamp rooms. Large ships are like Las Vegas casino hotels floating in the middle of the ocean. If Vegas doesn't float your boat for travel luxury, don't settle for a huge Vegas-sized ship at sea. 
A true luxury cruise ship line, Windstar is not as all-inclusive as Seabourn or Regent Seven Seas, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Drinkers can take advantage of a very reasonable beverage package, but unbundling alcohol from the cruise price works to the advantage of non-drinkers.

Choosing shore excursions has been a LOT of fun! Claire and I immersed ourselves in the lists of excursions offered by Windstar, Shore Trips, and Viator. Looking at all the possibilities got us excited about each destination. We eventually chose excursions from each of these three companies. (I now realize how time consuming planning shore excursions can be, so do rely on your travel advisor's destination knowledge to enhance your cruise).

As I'll be posting periodically during the tour on Travel Horizons and Facebook, subscribe to Travel Horizons (use the link in the right column) and follow me on Facebook.

copyright (c) 2019 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

No comments: