I took my one and only cruise in October 2010. It was a month until my 24th birthday so a friend and I decided to celebrate in style. There also happened to be a 75% on this particular cruise so we quickly booked.
For some reason, I always assumed I would like cruises but after just two days, I was ready to head back to port. However, here are a few tips for getting the most culture you can out of a cruise.
1) Take Advantage of Excursions
Our cruise was only a few days so we didn’t have too much time to explore. However, I made sure to book a Maya Ruin tour that took us to a few historical sites in Cozumel. Our guide was very informative and I learned more about the ancient Mayan traditions and their famous calendar.
2) Observe the Art Fair
Our boat had an art gallery where guests could browse through the international works and potentially win a painting during a bidding. I remember seeing a lot of different styles of art represented and there were some that definitely caught my eye.
3) Interact with Locals
We only had a few hours in Key West but we certainly made the most of it. Docking early in the morning, I was shocked by how many locals were already guzzling down beer at the nearby pubs. It was a short stop in Key West but I certainly was entertained by all the interesting people I met there.
4) Eat Traditional Food
Although Mexican food is pretty accessible anywhere in the US, eating Mexican food in Mexico is far times better than the average “cuisine” served on many cruise ships. I enjoyed trying a couple different flavors of margaritas and eating guacamole and chips to my heart’s content.
5) Use your Free Time to Reflect
When you are sailing from one destination to another, most people fill their days with tanning, eating or drinking. If your primary goals are to indulge and relax, then these options are perfectly fine. However, I recommend using the beautiful nature and the open sea to find inspiration within yourself and get creative. Whether it’s writing, taking photos or introspecting, it’s a great use of your downtime.
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