Ports of Call Tips


Always carry your passport in port as well as cruise line provided maps

Take a picture of the port map prior to taking pictures in ports. Many cathedrals and small winding streets as well as spectacular views of ruins, cities at night, sunsets, etc look the SAME

Learn local phrases:(most are on cruise provided maps)
Thank you
How much
Where is the bathroom
The USD is widely accepted in the Caribbean – in Europe its easier to find an ATM to withdraw in Euro for incidentals

For purchases including a VAT – check out the minimum and get the tax free receipt as you will get between 10 and 25 percent back when you head back to the US
In ports of call – let the photographers take your picture – you do NOT have to purchase them (if they are good and you do purchase them they are dated normally so it helps when recalling your trip later)

Taxis – negotiate the price BEFORE you get in. This is where many tourists are overcharged. Also, check the customs on tipping. Many EU countries do NOT tip the drivers as the tip is already calculated.

For large purchases like rugs – be sure you have them shipped to your residence

Haggle haggle haggle – most local craftsmen expect it – ask at each port of call

Metro or subways are very easy, reliable and often inexpensive in Paris, London, Barcelona and Athens


The coolest souvenirs are those that are indigenous to THAT area. For example:
Malta – Maltese cross, cactus flower liquer
Tunisia – rugs, silver, perfumes
Greece – the Greek key design, lapiz, worry beads
Belgium – chocolate, lace
Amsterdam – diamonds, wooden shoes, windmills, Delph ceramic
Paris – Eiffel Tower miniatures, wine
Spain – leather, chocolate
Thailand – gold (its 24 kt), Thai silk
Dubai – 22kt gold, brand name knock offs
Laos – silver
Jamaica – Tia Maria liquer, woodwork
Grand Cayman – stones (topaz etc)
Puerto Rico – rum, frogs
Bahamas – kokopeli design
Cozumel – Tanzanite, some leather
St Thomas/St Maarten – red emeralds
Key West – cuban cigars, key lime pie

Greece – moussaka, souvlaki, baklava, ouzo, meythos beer, olives, greek salad, feta cheese, seafood, lamb
Thailand – Tum Kha Gai, Pet Kapow Gai, sticky rice and mango, ANY fruit, seafood, Singha beer
Key West – key lime pie, sea food
Spain – paella, sangria, seafood
Paris – escargot, wine
Belgium – chocolate, Stella Artois beer
Malta – cisk beer, cactus flower liquer
Jamaica – Tia Maria liquer
Tunisia – couscous, seafood
Grand cayman – tortuga rum cake

Things to see:
Athens – acropolis, plaka, olympic stadium, st george on lycabettus hill, archeological museum, changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier, Temple of Zeus, Hadrians Arch
Barcelona – Sagrada Familia, Goudi homes, Mt Tibidabo, Parc Guell, Las Ramblas, placa de gracia, Font Majica, Barcelona Zoo, aquarium
Thailand – Nong Nooch botanical gardens, Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Walking Street
Malta (Valletta)- the entire city by horse drawn carriage,  baccarat garden, Ft St Elmo
Tunis, Tunisia – Carthage, Byrsa Hill, Roman baths, souks, perfumery
Malaga, Spain – beach, chocolate shops, leather stores, cafes, caves
Amsterdam – Gassan diamond factory, canal side cafes, Delph ceramics, red light district
Paris, France – Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Rivoli Street, Champs Eleysses
Belgium – Brugge for chocolate, Belfrey Tower for lace
Jamaica – Dunns River falls in Ocho Rios
Costa Maya – mayan ruins
Dubai – Burj Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Karama, dune buggy safari, camel safari, aquarium
Nassau Bahamas – Atlantis Hotel aquarium, straw market

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