Peter Kollar has been involved in the cruise industry, both onboard and shore-side, for the past 16 years and is now head of training and development for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia. Having travelled to more than 300 ports around the globe, Peter offers his tips for getting the most out of your land-based cruise activities.
The most difficult thing I had to overcome when organising cruise shore excursions in all parts of the globe was unpredictability and often the passengers’ experience was determined by their preparedness. Here are my top five tips for getting the most out of your cruise tours.
1 Go with the Flow: Most tours don’t go to the exact script with traffic, weather, guide experience, and others in the group determining how your tour will flow. Don’t fight it.
2 Dress in layers: Regardless of the outside weather, coaches may be too cold or too warm, museums and palaces can vary – and that can all be in one day! Moving up or down in layers solves all disagreeable situations.
3 Carry spare change: Not all coaches are equipped with bathrooms and if they are, they are often storage rooms for the bus company. Carrying small change allows access to bathrooms, especially in Europe, if needed. Spare camera batteries are useful as well, particularly in remote areas or colder climates such as Antarctica.
4 Carry a postcard of the cruise ship: I have used this odd tool many times when overcoming language barriers, even in remote areas. Pointing to the postcard to indicate the need to take me back to port.
5 Mind-set: This tip is by far the most important one. Regardless of where you are, attitude creates your reality; make it a flexible and positive one.
CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise association and is dedicated to the promotion and growth of the cruise industry. CLIA is composed of more than 55 of the world’s major cruise lines and serves as a non-governmental consultative organisation to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an agency of the United Nations.