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There were some incredibly warm and welcoming moments by some of the ports.In Newcastle, passengers returning back to the ship were greeted with local cheeses to sample.Rarely do cruise lines offer more than a handful of these voyages every year (as opposed to full season and full year schedules in other European regions).Ports here have every bit as much to offer as those on Med. In a hotly debated story on The Scotsman this week, it would seem that one reason that British Isles itineraries lack the hot-popular factor that other regions enjoy is a lack of infrastructure and inspiration by ports, with Edinburgh in particular coming under fire.That’s just wrong.” Indeed, traditionally, British Isles cruises were aimed mostly at Americans.But as cruise vacations continue to gain steam among British, European, Asian and Australian travelers, what do you think should be done to increase cruising’s popularity in your own neck of the woods? What followed was a mini lecture in which, not having followed the rules (indeed the ticket did instruct me to check in to my tour by going to the Queens Lounge but I had missed that bit of detail), I would now delay our group while I returned to the ship to pick up that dratted sticker.Their gracious attitude was incredibly heartwarming. For passengers, one of the challenges of cruising is that you’re on vacation.As with any getaway, your brain slows down a bit (that’s a good thing! You are visiting different ports every day, adapting not just to one foreign land but in most cases to numerous countries.
Those that offer family-oriented tours (families are the largest growing niche in cruising) or active, recreational opportunities (cycling trips in Holyhead and Glasgow’s Loch Lomond were highlights of our trip) get it – cruise ships are increasingly roping in an incredibly varied type of traveler.Come to think of it, a too-rigid passion for rules is not limited to large cruise ships with thousands of passengers.Cruise Critic’s Dan Askin, sailing on a Rhine River cruise on AMAWATERWAY’s Amacello last summer, tells in his review of an incident in which his traveling companion arrived for breakfast five minutes before the dining room was open for business.David Cameron says that half of all Britons need to take their holidays here — in order to foster economic recovery.His quote in the paper is pretty stark and reminds me that in spite of some successes, ports in the British Isles need to try harder when it comes to attracting and enhancing cruise visits: “For too long tourism has been looked down on as a second class service sector.