FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
AmaWaterways

Making the Most of a Family Cruise

by Barbara Rogers

Aug 7, 2020

Photo: Windstar Cruises

Cruising

Cruising is among the best ways to see a region’s highlights without the hassle of driving, foreign languages or changing hotels. But veteran cruise passengers often get a lot more value from their experience than first-time cruisers simply because they know the ropes.

 

Before choosing a ship or itinerary for your family, learn the basics of cruising to find the best value, see the best places and make the most of the shipboard experience.

 

Look for the Real Value of a Cruise

Free airfare and shore excursions mean big savings, especially if the cruise line doesn’t ordinarily offer them. These bonuses are often added to attract passengers on less popular sailing dates or fill empty cabins close to departure. Ask if some sailing dates include free air or other perks not normally included that represent real savings. Compare costs with and without airfare packages to be sure it’s a better deal than making separate air arrangements. But be sure the cost of getting from the airport to the ship, normally included in packages, doesn’t eat up any savings.

 

Consider whether all-inclusive ships, including alcoholic drinks, are a real savings — for those who drink sparingly, the added cost of these cruises might not be. Tipping adds significantly to the cost of a cruise. Know if tips are discretionary, added on to your bill automatically, or if the ship has a no-tip policy.

 

Read the Fine Print About Destinations

What is the purpose of your cruise? If it is to have family time together in a different place with lots of activities, the destination and shore stops don’t matter so much. But if it’s to combine this with real-time travel experiences, then details of port stops matter a lot. Be sure they are places you really want to see and interest your family members.

 

Check the Fine Print for How Long the Ship is in Port — and Time of Day

A three-hour stop in a major port may barely be time enough to get off the ship before it’s time to re-board. Consider what time the ship arrives and leaves. A stop late in the day may arrive after museums and attractions close. An overnight stay departing early in the morning may leave little useable time. Some cruise lines cut docking costs by arriving at less-popular hours when other ships have left, but they can still list the port on the itinerary.

 

Know the Real Value of a Shore Excursion

Before booking expensive shore excursions, do a little research to learn the sightseeing alternatives. With more than three people it’s often less expensive to hire a private English-speaking guide with a car — you can reserve these easily in advance. Or take a taxi — there are always plenty waiting at the docks and you can arrange with the driver to pick you up for the return. These details are often as simple as looking at a map on the internet. Remember many shore excursions are just bus rides past the sights without entering — your kids would rather actually explore a place than drive past.

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
Destinations / North America
Feb 20, 2024

Excitement Awaits in Corpus Christi, Texas, This Spring

Corpus Christi, Texas, might just be the perfect Texas spring break destination for family travelers. With nine beaches, more than 100 miles of sandy shores, and new and notable attractions sprouting up, there’s too many reasons not to skip this Texas city this spring.

Interior Upgrades Begin Rolling Out Across United Fleet

United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.

Teens
Feb 20, 2024

StudentUniverse Reveals 2024 Travel Trends Among Gen Z Travelers

Student and youth travel marketplace StudentUniverse recently released the results of its annual The State of Student & Youth Travel Report. The report details trends of Gen Z travelers, many of whom participate in family travel.

Destinations / North America
Feb 19, 2024

Family Cross-Country Skiing in Vermont

Family travelers looking for outdoor sports in winter but feeling discouraged by the increasing ticket prices at mountain ski resorts can find a more economical way to enjoy the snow in Vermont. Although traveling along a level trail through snow-covered forests may not have the thrills of mountain skiing, it has pleasures of its own, and at a much cheaper price tag.

Unearth Seoul’s Hidden Gems

Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.

Destinations / North America
Feb 19, 2024

LEGOLAND New York Launches New Gondola-Style Ride

LEGOLAND New York Resort is about to make it easier for family travelers to move throughout the park this summer. The Minifigure Skyflyer, opening this summer and a first for LEGOLAND Resorts, offers an interactive new way to travel between themed lands.