Enhance Your Experience
Use a travel professional to arrange a guided vacation for you, or your family, or a group. You will experience more with a guided vacation.It is also a great way to change from what you have always done.
It is nice to have all the planning done for you. Do not worry too much about the meaning of various terms associated with guided, versus independent, versus escorted, versus hosted, or the like.
Your desires and your budget may dictate how you plan your trip and what you would like to do/accomplish on your vacation. Explain to your travel planner what you want to do. The term associated with your travel arrangements will become apparent.
If your vacation covers multiple destinations, you could arrange to have a Tour Director. A Tour Director is a person that will conduct the entire trip for you.
A tour guide performs expert guide services at particular destinations.
Your Tour Director will have planned all of your guide services. However, at various destinations of your vacation, you may opt to do a self-guided tour.
There are different types of guided tours. Once again, do not worry about types of tours. Essentially, think of a guided vacation as ‘one or a series of individual and immersive tours’. An expert or very knowledgeable guide will show you around your destination. Usually, with a guided tour you follow a specific itinerary.
An expert guide will be able to “immerse” you into the culture and “flavor” of your destination. A good guide does this in such a way that you get a good understanding and greater appreciation for the culture and places you visit.
You can arrange tours as an individual or couple, or travel with a group. However, when traveling with a group, everyone does the same thing. If this is not to your taste because you like to do different things, perhaps on a whim, you can arrange individual tour(s).
Cruise Ship Tours:
The majority of new or first time cruisers do not usually book luxury and/or specialized cruises. Most ship passengers consider themselves as self-guided tourist. The cruise line sets their itinerary but their activities are self-directed after they disembark the ship.
However, tours are very common offers when you take a cruise vacation. Your cruise line may offer tours at each port of call. Usually, they will have arranged travel to the most popular spot known for at that destination. The time arranged for the tour normally occurs between meal times.
Remember, large cruise ships carry thousands of passengers. Not everyone can eat at the same time Therefore, as part of your cruise package, you choose the dinning times for your meals. Early breakfast is the best time to eat if you plan to take a tour offered by the cruise line. You will have more time to prepare and get to the departure destination for your tour. They also expect you to be on time for your return trip to the ship.
After you arrive at your tour destination, prepare to walk, stand, and be on your feet, perhaps the entire time you are there. Do not expect to have a guide. Essentially, you are on a self-guided walking tour. Therefore, you should have a good pair of walking shoes.
Remember also to dress according to projected weather conditions. You can always take a clothing item off, such as a light jacket or rain gear, if necessary.
There are also bus and/or transportation tours. As s/he drives around the Island or destination, the driver will provide information about landmarks, cultural events, perhaps place where famous, well-known people live, and other news worth mentioning.
Of course, most passengers prefer to disembark the ship and tour the nearby area themselves. For the most part, their only worry is to get back to the cruise ship before it departs, leaving them stranded. If stranded, you are on your own and must get back at your own expense.
The best way to avoid swindles (scams) is to arrange a guided vacation through a known, certified tour company. However, if you are on a cruise vacation, after departing the ship, you may decide to arrange to hire your own driver.
Usually, you will find local drivers at the ships docking location. If you hire a cab, for example, hire only those drivers located within the confines of the docking area. They are the ones recognized by the cruise lines to provide reputable services.