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Land travel Before or After the cruise?


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When you add land-based travel to a cruise, and it's all in the same country, do you prefer to do it:

  •  Before sailing,
  •  After the end of the cruise, 
  •  It depends (on what?)
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Depends on how far from home (how many time zones) and how jet lagged we think we'll  be. If our arrival and departure ports are the same, we would either split the say with a few days at either end or just do it all at the end. If the ports are different, then of course we would split the stay.

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We have done both, and I would strongly suggest doing the land tour first.  That way, you have time to relax afterwards and not be exhausted before you have to fly home.  Having done the land tour after once, I would really try not to do that again.  Of course, where you are, etc., comes into play, but if that is not a factor, and the only question is whether to do it before or after the cruise, I would definitely do the cruise after the land tour.

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Always: a pre-cruise stay of at least two nights in the embarkation city for all the obvious reasons. 
Beyond that, we try to start/end cruises in different locations interesting/unique enough to warrant both pre/post land stays.

The only place we try to avoid spending any unnecessary time is Miami. 

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Always land-based travel before the cruise.

 

The cruise is always the most important part of the trip so when the cruise is over we can go home. We have done a transatlantic cruise from Dover to New York and after disembarkation we took a cab straight to the airport and flew home.   

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2 hours ago, kaymoz said:

When you add land-based travel to a cruise, and it's all in the same country, do you prefer to do it:

  •  Before sailing,
  •  After the end of the cruise, 
  •  It depends (on what?)

Always land before cruise was the recommendation of a good friend who was a TA. 

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due to the erupting volcano there were no flights out of DUB.  as a consequence we missed our embarkation.  We finally caught up to the ship in Lisbon four days later. After that debacle, we decided to cruise first. 

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It depends - on the country and weather - e.g. if its going to be a month long cruise and the weather will be better at the end of the cruise I'd do the land based then.  If flying long-haul then I like to break the flights with stop overs and then at least 2 days in the departure city before getting on the ship. 

 

I never plan on going home well rested - that would mean I didnt' do enough on holiday! 

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depends on the locations involved.  I always show up at least a day before the cruise - perhaps 2 if flying long haul to avoid disruptions/missing the cruise.  I might come even earlier if it is somewhere I want to explore more.   Coming home it simply depends on the location.  If I want to explore more, I will likely stay longer.  If not, I try and get on the earliest practical flight home.

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2 hours ago, lenquixote66 said:

Always land before cruise was the recommendation of a good friend who was a TA. 

Why?

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8 minutes ago, clo said:

Why?

We went to Alaska for two weeks.We did the land first and because we were very adventurous and engaged in many strenuous activities we welcomed the 7 day cruise afterward.

That is just one example .

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Posted (edited)

Wow!  I am surprised so many have responded so heavily in favor of land travel BEFORE the cruise, and that the common sentiment seems to be 'when the cruise is done, I'm ready to go home.'   

That's what our TA said too!  I have to confess at the end of a cruise, I usually feel like I just want to stay on.  Now that I'm retired, I feel no compulsion to rush back home!  We've typically extended after cruising, but in retrospect that was largely because of port locations. 

But the trip we are planning now is a circumnavigation of Iceland in 10 days, beginning and ending at the same port.  As pre- or post-cruise options through the cruise operator, we plan to do a one day Golden Circle tour as well as a 5 day/3 night self drive tour in South & West Iceland.  We just aren't sure which to do when! 

One of our issues is the logic of sequencing what we see,  and related to that, if we might make better use of our driving time once we are

familiar with the country, and could use the freedom of the car travel days to pick up on things we didn't see at the portstops.  

Edited by kaymoz
grammar
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7 minutes ago, kaymoz said:

Wow!  I am surprised so many have responded so heavily in favor of land travel BEFORE the cruise, and that the common sentiment seems to be 'when the cruise is done, I'm ready to go home.'   

That's what our TA said too!  I have to confess at the end of a cruise, I usually feel like I just want to stay on.  Now that I'm retired, I feel no compulsion to rush back home!  We've typically extended after cruising, but in retrospect that was largely because of port locations. 

But the trip we are planning now is a circumnavigation of Iceland in 10 days, beginning and ending at the same port.  As pre- or post-cruise options through the cruise operator, we plan to do a one day Golden Circle tour as well as a 5 day/3 night self drive tour in South & West Iceland.  We just aren't sure which to do when! 

One of our issues is the logic of sequencing what we see,  and related to that, if we might make better use of our driving time once we are

familiar with the country, and could use the freedom of the car travel days to pick up on things we didn't see at the portstops.  

FWIW: Regardless of other types of preferences, the single most important reason why land days should be added specifically to pre-cruise time in/near the embarkation point is the need to have a “buffer” in case of problems like cancelled/misconnected/late air, lost luggage, etc

That said, I always have to chuckle when anyone says they book air via a cruiseline because the ship will wait for late arrival.


Though a ship might do its best in terms of delaying departure for its own late charter flight, there are no guarantees. Most cruise T&Cs clearly state that their only responsibility is to provide ticketing.

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1 hour ago, kaymoz said:

Wow!  I am surprised so many have responded so heavily in favor of land travel BEFORE the cruise, and that the common sentiment seems to be 'when the cruise is done, I'm ready to go home.'   

That's what our TA said too!  I have to confess at the end of a cruise, I usually feel like I just want to stay on.  Now that I'm retired, I feel no compulsion to rush back home!  We've typically extended after cruising, but in retrospect that was largely because of port locations. 

But the trip we are planning now is a circumnavigation of Iceland in 10 days, beginning and ending at the same port.  As pre- or post-cruise options through the cruise operator, we plan to do a one day Golden Circle tour as well as a 5 day/3 night self drive tour in South & West Iceland.  We just aren't sure which to do when! 

One of our issues is the logic of sequencing what we see,  and related to that, if we might make better use of our driving time once we are

familiar with the country, and could use the freedom of the car travel days to pick up on things we didn't see at the portstops.  

I would definitely do the driving after the cruise - then you'll know more about the country and gives you the chance to return to somewhere you may have missed etc. 

 

I completely agree with you - I don't understand the rush back home thing either - had to when leave was limited by my employer - now not so much. 

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1 hour ago, kaymoz said:

Wow!  I am surprised so many have responded so heavily in favor of land travel BEFORE the cruise, and that the common sentiment seems to be 'when the cruise is done, I'm ready to go home.'   

That's what our TA said too!  I have to confess at the end of a cruise, I usually feel like I just want to stay on. 

 

I agree. I would do land travel before, after (and have even done some DURING) my cruise. I have never felt that once the cruise is over I'm ready to go home. 

 

To be fair, three weeks or a bit more has been about the longest extent of my total travel. I could see getting tired of being on a cruise ship. But being "away from home" is not a problem for me...

 

I do think there are a couple of practical considerations that may weight toward pre-cruise travel. The issue of any travel snafus, lost luggage, etc. is one thing I consider.  Another is jet-lag although it doesn't seem to impact me to the extent that it bothers some people. But if you feel like your first two days are going to be a haze, you might allow a little extra time pre-cruise. 

 

Like dogs4fun, my best scenario is spending time in two different places pre- and post-cruise.

 

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Posted (edited)

Another vote for pre-cruise. I like to save what I consider the best (the cruise portion) for last. Usually the land portion tends to be more tiresome so it’s nice to relax and unwind on the cruise afterwards. It also provides an added buffer between the flight and the actual cruise in case there are delays in transit. 

 

With that said, if return flights are not convenient, I’ll add an extra night at the end of the cruise. When we sailed from Civitavecchia 2 years ago we booked a flight home right after the cruise that departed before noon (only nonstop flight back home). Never again. The stress to make that flight wasn’t worth it. Not a fun way to end the cruise on a stressful note, wondering if we were going to make it or not. 

Edited by Tapi
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As I said above "I just want to get home" after a cruise and that's only because I have to get off the ship. The perfect scenario's are B2B's etc.

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There's lots of opinions why one likes more than another. Take those as you will. I don't particularly buy that that certain combinations are better to give you more energy to power through your vacation. 

 

The reason I do land travel first is because it is risky to fly in the day of the cruise and risk a flight delay. Waking up and being within a handful of miles from the port is a stress-free and relaxing way to start that day.

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So far I have never been ready to go home after the cruise. The reason for me to go home after the cruise is that I'm then sad that the cruise is over so no reason to spend the extra money to continue the trip.  Much better to save the money for the next cruise.

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When the cruise is embarking/disembarking outside the US we like to do land travel both before and after.  In fact we often seek out itineraries that begin and end at different ports/countries do that we can take advantage of the land travel opportunity.  On some trips we will spend over a month on land before/after the cruise.

 

Hank

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