A recent post regarding the NYC Marathon spurred this topic. Do you pre-explore your ports of call (e.g., local events, cultural points of interest) before selecting a cruise or booking an excursion?
The Interweb is a fabulous resource. We often start reading local paper websites months in advance to find out what is going on. Local festivals are advertised in these papers and are usually a lot of fun. A big consideration is that the foot traffic all but assures congestion and delays in getting off and on ship and around town. You need to be aware of that if planning a day of local exploration on your own.
One year, we were arriving in Monte Carlo right at the time of an international boat show. The waterfront area was bedlam and there were many delays which resulted in us having to walk back to the ship. It wasn't a problem back then but if it happened today, it could have spelled disaster for us.
Local papers include:
Virgin Islands http://virginislandsdailynews.com/news
Juneau Alaska http://juneauempire.com
To name a few. So do you bother to explore these resources? What did you discover that you might not have known by just showing up?
Yes, I do check on the Internet about what is going on in the ports that we are visiting. This way I have something to talk about to locals when I meet them in stores, beaches, buses or taxis, etc.
Before we cruised to the U.K. in April, I found this site for Bermuda that gives the "Happenings" in Bermuda. Bermuda was one of our scheduled ports but due to weather, we had to bypass it and went to the Azores instead. You can select by date which makes your planning easier. Here's the link... http://www.gotobermuda.com/what-to-do/events-calendar/#calendar=21474836831&langType=1033&onlySignature=false&startDate=2015-10-13T03:00:00.000Z&endDate=2015-10-14T02:59:59.000Z&page=1&pageSize=10&pageToNow=false&viewType=days&calTimestamp=1444780685000
I do usually try to find an events calendar for the ports I am going to.
Usually I tend to book the cruise first, then check out the "What's Up" news of the various ports.
I also make sure to review the Dept of State warnings for the areas I will be visiting.