Melissa Witsoe, Windstar’s Product Manager of the Mediterranean, offers tips on making the most of your shore excursions.
I was recently out on Wind Spirit as the acting Destination Manager. My regular position with Windstar Cruises is Product Manager, Mediterranean. When I was given this contract I saw it as an opportunity to communicate with the guests first hand and listen to what they had to say about the tours and ports of call. It would give me a chance to see what motivates the decision to take a shore excursion with Windstar Cruises. Is it our selection of tours, the comfort level, and/or the ease of booking? There are so many factors that weigh into the decision to book a shore excursion with Windstar.
After this experience I wanted to share the Top 5 Things to Consider when Booking a Shore Excursion.
1. Book Early – our Windstar tours are often small in size and tend to fill up early. If you don’t want to miss out, take a look at the shore excursions online at www.windstarcruises.com to make sure the tour you want isn’t limited in space. You can cancel up to 24 hours before the excursion so you will lose nothing if you change your mind, even if it is on board the yacht.
Kusadasi – The Best of Ephesus (Celcius Library)
2. Attend Port Talks – In the evening, the Destination Manager will give a 15-minute port talk that will give you a good idea of what not to miss and where everything is located. If you are struggling to decide it will give you insight on the highlights of this port, even if you are exploring on your own.
Dubrovnik, Croatia – The Best of the Adriatic, Zella operating the historic Olive press.
3. Style of Shore Excursion– Do you like history, are you active, are you interested in trying local cuisine or are you a connoisseur of wines? Our company goal is to offer tours that are intimate in size, authentic to the area, require your participation, are social, and give you the opportunity to get to know your fellow traveling companions. Look for excursions that meet your personal likes.
Santorini, Greece – Wineries of Santorini & Oia Village
Rhodes, Greece – Rhodes Highlights & Authentic Greek Cooking Class
4. Port Options – What does the port have to offer? Are there other options in this port? Is the Watersports Platform open? Is it a good shopping port or do you want to take the onboard bikes for a spin? Every port offers a variety of options. In some ports it is essential to take a tour as they do not offer easy access to the sights and a tour is the best way to get the full feel of the area. Listen to your Destination Manager, who will let you know about each port and then you can decide if you want to tour.
Bodrum, Turkey – A Day at the Beach & the Kempinski Bay Hotel
5. Activity Level – Make sure to look at the activity level of the shore excursions. We like to offer a variety of levels from panoramic (very little walking) to strenuous (diving, hiking or rafting) and everything in between.
Kotor, Montenegro – Highlights of Kotor Bay & Baroque Village of Perast
We try our best to consider all the needs of our guests and give you the best and most fulfilling experience for the region while assessing the needs of all our guests. We always try to provide tours that you can’t just book over the Internet, as we can all do that, but we want to offer you unique experiences that take time and experience to develop.
We want you to leave Windstar Cruises feeling you got the fullest experience you could possibly have. What is your type of excursion?