Repositioning cruises can be a good way to take a long vacation for cheap, but it is important to understand what they are and how they are different from a regular cruise. These trips are usually performed about twice a year by cruise ships to move the boat from location to another. For example, a boat might move from Alaska to the Caribbean in fall, then back to Alaska in the springtime.
Depending on the length of the move, it is possible for a repositioning cruise to take over a week. Many of them take around ten days. During this time, the ship will leave one port and make very few, if any, stops on the way to its new destination. It is also common for the ship to run a skeleton or smaller-than-usual crew during this time.
For passengers, this means needing to arrange travel to and from two different ports. Of course, if you live near one of the ports and have friends or relatives at the other, this can work out well. If not, many people find themselves using up any savings they might have seen from booking this type of cruise on buying two one-way plane tickets.
Repositioning cruises also tend to have fewer staff than a regular cruise does. This might mean that not every restaurant and bar on board the ship open, and/or the ship might not have a full, regular entertainment schedule. Of course, this is not always the case. Some cruise lines, such as Princess Cruises, bring in special entertainment acts for their repositioning cruises. In general, however, these cruises tend to have less entertainment options, especially big shows.
It should also be noted that many cruise lines use these trips to train new staff. This means that passengers will have to be patient as waiters forget orders, stewards forget to bring towels, and other small inconveniences. If you are someone who demands a high level of service, a repositioning cruise may not be a good match for you.
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In addition, repositioning cruises don’t usually stop at a lot of ports. Unlike a normal cruise that will stop at a different destination everyday, repositioning cruises might have one stop for a twelve day trip. If they do stop, it will be to bring on board supplies, so there will not be a lot of planned activities.
For these reasons, repositioning cruises are generally a good idea for people who like a slow-paced vacation. If you are someone who enjoys a lot of time to read, watch TV, or just sit in the sun, a repositioning cruise could be a good idea for you. On the other hand, people who like a lot of activity during their vacations should probably look elsewhere to save money.