Do you include a pre- or post-cruise stay in your cruise vacation?

In another thread, Todd mentioned how much he enjoyed his pre-cruise stay at a hotel in Cocoa Beach.  This got me thinking about how important a pre- or post-cruise stay can be to an overall cruise vacation.  Sure, it’s a good practice to arrive at the embarkation port a day early as a buffer for travel delays, but how about really exploring and enjoying that port city?  If all you do is get on and off the ship, you may be missing one of the best ports of the itinerary!

Do you extend your trip before or after your cruse?  Where did you stay?  What did you do?  Where did you eat?  Tell us about your pre- and post-cruise experiences!

11 Answers

We fly from western Canada, so we always have an extra day or two in the port city before our cruise. Flights can be delayed or cancelled from our airport in the late winter when we prefer to vacation, so we want to make sure we don't miss our cruise. We also like to spend several days after the cruise on a land vacation in Florida to make the most of our vacation time off work.

We usually stay in either Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, Quality Inn) or LaQuinta. We've stayed in the same hotel as Todd is in right now and recommend it to anyone cruising from Port Canaveral. Many years we rent a car and stay on the Gulf side, around Fort Meyers since we've stayed in Orlando several times. We love going to Sanibel Island or Naples and Marco Island. Pinchers Crab Shack and Sweet Tomatoes are 2 of our favourite places to eat. Both are very casual, and have really tasty food.

Due to limited vacation time for DH and DD, we generally arrive the evening pre-cruise and fly out the day the cruise ends. We did do a couple of days in New Orleans once, and that was absolutely wonderful. It eased the pain of disembarkation. We had driven to Galveston and came home via New Orleans.

Because we prefer to sailing the Winter, we go a day early because of the Colorado weather that might cause a delay. We usually return the day the ship docks, but we have stayed an extra day. We prefer the no stress part before boarding and don't worry about the return.

That's been my biggest dilemma in booking my Nov/Dec cruises ... trying to figure out where when I want to go before, after and even in between cruises. With air fare being what it is, might as well make the most of the travel opportunity when there ... and being retired, time is no problem ...

We tend to select interesting destinations for our cruises and add stays before and/or afterwards. Our most recent cruise was from Vancouver to Yokohama and we spent three days in Vancouver (one of our favourite cities) and twelve days in Japan. We bought a rail pass for Japan and visited Kyoto, Nara, Hakone (for Mount Fuji) as well as Tokyo. With the high cost of air fares it makes sense to us to see as much as possible while we are in an area.

In Venice, Italy, we spent a few wonderful days pre-cruise at Locanda Orseolo. We pre-booked a water taxi from the airport to the hotel – what an amazing way to arrive in Venice! We attended a fantastic Vivaldi concert and dined at some great restaurants (and a couple mediocre ones). We saw a lot but know there is so much more we missed. The hotel arranged a water taxi to take us right to the ship – so fun – followed by a magnificent sail-away! We definitely need to visit Venice again!

We look at staying at least one full day before and one after, depending on the place.

The next trip to Bermuda will have at least three days in Boston ahead of the cruise.

We usually sail out of Miami. It is a 12 hr drive from where we live. We get a room the day before our cruise so we are not to tired when we board. And when the cruise is over we only travel half the way back. We do not want to totally lose our rest from a great vacation..

Nah ! We just take the 15 minute drive home. 11 minutes without traffic.

Just like BonMike, we too travel from Canada so we always tack on a day or 2 before the cruise and usually a day after, either by choice or by bad weather...LOL We have learned that when you become storm stayed in Miami, as are many passengers, the selection of "Decent" hotels are few and far between, so my wife and I are quite good at picking places we can say "NEVER AGAIN"!


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