Cruises can — and should be — extremely relaxing. But sometimes, getting to the cruise ship is anything but. Tight connections, lost luggage, and weather delays can be stressful even if you’ve planned to spend a day or two in port before your departure.
Taking a cruise from a port that’s close to home is really convenient, especially if you can drive. For residents of the mid-Atlantic states, Baltimore is an ideal embarkation port. And it offers quite a few options.
Carnival and Royal Caribbean both offer cruises out of Baltimore, and travelers can visit Bermuda, the Bahamas, or Canada and New England.
Bahamas cruises from Baltimore.
The 2660-passenger Carnival Pride sails from Baltimore on Sundays and spends two days at sea before calling at Port Canaveral, where passengers can visit the Kennedy Space Center, Universal Studios, or Walt Disney World. The next day, she arrives at Nassau in the late morning.
In Nassau, there are plenty of activities to choose from including catamaran trips, swimming with dolphins, relaxing at a private island, or parasailing. And because the ship doesn’t sail until 10:00PM, passengers can spend the evening ashore.
Pride arrives at Freeport the next morning, and cruisers will be able to enjoy more water sports and sightseeing before she sails in the afternoon.
Another sea day leaves time for spa treatments, or lounging by the ship’s pools. Pride returns to Baltimore the following Sunday morning. Discounted fares start around $699 per person.
Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas has nine-day cruises that leave from Baltimore. These voyages also call at Key West and Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island.
Bermuda cruises from Baltimore.
In mid-April, Enchantment of the Seas offers five-night Bermuda cruises. They sail from Baltimore on Saturday, spend Sunday at Sea and arrive in King’s Wharf, Bermuda on Monday morning. During their time in Bermuda, cruisers can snorkel, dive, explore the caves or aquarium, go fishing, bike, hike, or golf.
Because Enchantment is in port overnight, passengers can go ashore for dinner or nightlife.
Fans of Carnival can take their seven-night cruise to Bermuda in April, September, October, or November. Their Bermuda cruises include an extra night in King’s Wharf. She sails and returns on Sunday.
Caribbean cruises from Baltimore.
During the early spring, Royal Caribbean offers 12-night Caribbean cruises that call at Labadee, Haiti; Samana in the Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Maarten; and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. These voyages also include five days at sea so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the amenities aboard Enchantment of the Sea.
Later in the season, Enchantment offers nine-night cruises that bypass Haiti and St. Maarten.
Carnival Pride operates one-week cruises that leave Baltimore on Sunday, and call at Turks & Caicos Islands, and Half Moon Bay and Freeport in the Bahamas.
Other cruises from Baltimore.
During the summer and early fall, Enchantment of the Seas calls at Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Boston. This is a great way to see Canada’s Maritime Provinces, which are noted for their rugged coastal beauty. These cruises generally offer very good value for money.