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The majority of first-time cruisers start with a short 3 - 5 night Caribbean or Bahamas cruise. These usually depart from somewhere in Florida, but they could also depart from other local ports such as Mobile, AL or New Orleans, LA, to name a couple alternate ports.
There are several reasons why most new cruisers select those short cruises. First of all, they want to answer the questions they have around whether or not they would like it. Often first-time cruisers are just starting out in their jobs, and can't get away for a long vacation.
Cruising is all about choices. There are many misconceptions about cruising which we have addressed in past columns. See our Cruise Rookies page for some background information that will help answer questions that you might have.
One of our favorite destinations beyond the Caribbean is Alaska. Despite living in the cold mid-west, I convinced my husband to travel to Alaska on a cruise many years ago. It wasn't hard once I showed him some of the scenery that we'd visit.
While we suggest extending your time pre or post-cruise in Alaska, in order to really explore the area, a 7-night Inside Passage can be the beginning of your Alaska adventure. These are often trips of a life-time, especially if you can include a cruise-tour. READ MORE
Cruise to exquisite pink sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and warm sunshine of Bermuda. Your ship will sail from New York or Boston to this island country. Base of operations for your exploration will typically be Kings Wharf. It is easy to explore Bermuda via public transportation including ferry boat. READ MORE
Experience what cruising is really about as you encounter the vast, enchanting lands of Europe. From the fjords of Norway to the waterways of Venice to the ruins of the Mediterranean, explore the richness and beauty of Europe in a totally new way. READ MORE
When you are ready for a longer cruise, set sail for the adventure of a lifetime & see where history was made. Most first-time European cruisers start out with a Mediterranean cruise. These usually set sail from historic ports like Rome, Italy or Barcelona, Spain. Airfare will most likely be your largest expense of the cruise, so we recommend booking a 10 or 12 night voyage instead of a 7 night. It's also a good idea to spend one or more days in your embarkation port prior to the cruise. This maximizes the value and also helps get you used to the timezone change.
From palm-fringed beaches to tropical sunsets, Polynesian luaus and glowing volcanoes... there's something for everyone in Hawaii. Chose from a 7-night inter-island cruise to longer cruises that visit additional ports in the Pacific Ocean. Since you use the ship as your base, this is a very relaxing way to experience multiple Hawaiian islands without the hassle of changing hotels and flying between the islands. READ MORE
Cruising is About Choices
Hopefully we've convinced you that there's a lot more to see via cruise ship than the Caribbean. Of course, there is nothing wrong with taking a cruise to The Bahamas or Caribbean, especially in the winter time when it is cold, windy, and snowy in your home town. We'll continue with more choices in our next post. Until then, check out the links we've provided to learn more about these destinations. Happy Cruising !!