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Best of both

What is cruise and stay? Package vacations on land and sea explained

Cruise and stay vacations are the ideal way to enter the cruising universe, with the getaway split between land and sea – but what’s the best way to book one?

Cruise and stay vacations really are the best of both worlds. If you’re new to cruising and still unsure if a fully ship-based getaway is for you, such a break is the perfect way to dip a toe in the water.

So, what is a cruise and stay vacation? In short, this type of package jolly sees you spend one part of the trip cruising around your destination of choice and one part at a hotel on land.

The whole thing can be entirely tailored to your needs, whether you want a long or short getaway, a luxury or affordable jaunt, all-inclusive or pay-as-you-go…you get the drift.

The good news is, such a vacation doesn’t need to be any more effort than any other regular getaway, especially if you use a travel agency.

Paramount Cruises is one such boutique, independent UK-based cruise specialist which aims to provide great value, tailor-made sojourns all over the world.

They work with all the major cruise lines and airlines and offer expert advice every step of the way to make life as easy as possible for travelers to ensure they get the exact vacation they want.

We caught up with the travel pros at Paramount Cruises to find out the best way to plan your first cruise and stay break.

How to choose your cruise and stay vacation

Tick list

The first thing Paramount Cruises advises when sorting out your package vacation is to check what your embarkation and disembarkation ports have to offer.

These “functional” spots, as it were, rarely receive any glory but actually might be home to a wealth of gems to see and explore. So, rather than simply flying in and out of the port city, you can make the most of the destination by adding on a hotel stay.

“The vast majority of cruise ports have fantastic points of interest to take in,” said Sam from Paramount. “Without a pre or post-cruise stay, you wouldn’t get to experience what the city has to offer.”

What’s included with a cruise and stay vacation?

Do the maths

Jet-setters need hardly lift a finger when it comes to organising a cruise and stay getaway through a respected travel agency. Paramount Cruises, for instance, includes all flights, overseas transfer and any hotel stays within the package costs – so no last-minute transport cost surprises!

Fear not, you still have full control – you get to specify what sort of cruise line and hotel you want so your accommodation truly fits your requirements. Of course, cruise and stay all-inclusive packages are the ultimate way to budget in advance as you know all food, drinks and more are included, depending on the bundle you choose.

“During your quote with our expert agents you can pick and choose the hotel which best meets your needs,” said Sam.

There’s no limit to the hotels you can stay in either. “We have access to rates with almost all hotels around the globe giving you a vast amount of choice,” the travel expert added.

You’ll also get plenty of guidance too, as Paramount agents “will always advise our recommended properties which have been vetted by our product team to ensure the best possible service standards,” Sam assured.

Where should you go on a cruise and stay vacation?

Travel inspiration

The world really is your oyster with a cruise and stay getaway, simply pick where on the planet you want to go, whether that’s the Mediterranean, Alaska or India.

One hugely popular destination for cruise and stay is the Caribbean. One example itinerary for a Caribbean cruise and stay is the 13-night Nashville, Miami & All-Inc Caribbean Cruise with prices starting from £1,999 (tips and premium drinks package included).

With this, you stay in Nashville for three days, Miami for two and then sail around the Caribbean with MSC Cruises, calling at Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico and MSC’s private island before ending in Miami and flying back to the UK.

Another option is the 20-night Southern Caribbean & Central America with New York & Austin Stays from £2,199.

Along with return flights and transfer, this includes a two-night New York stay and a 14-night full-board cruise with Royal Caribbean taking in Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and Texas. You’ll then enjoy a three-night Austin stay. Talk about packing a lot in!

Is a cruise and stay vacation cheaper?

Fine details

Buying a package vacation is not only far easier organisationally but it can work out cheaper.

“By booking with Paramount Cruises you will normally make a saving by taking our package options,” explained Sam.

“We negotiate beneficial rates for our clients to ensure our packages offer the best value for money.”

What mistakes should you avoid with a cruise and stay vacation?

Dos and don'ts

According to the travel pros at Paramount Cruises, timing is key – indeed as it is with any break.

“Always remember to check the places you want to visit in your cruise stay destination; ensure you have enough time to visit these and check that the venues will be open on the days you will be in town,” Sam recommended.

“The last thing you want to do is underestimate or overestimate the time you may need in the city to fully experience and enjoy your time.”

OK then, you ready to book?

Set sail

Nashville, Miami & All-Inc Caribbean Cruise with Paramount Cruises

Duration: 13-nights

Where: Nashville | Miami | Jamaica | Cayman Islands | Cozumel | Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve | Miami

Ship: MSC Seashore

Price: From £1,999 pp

Find out more
Published 25.06.22