When you are planning a port day for an upcoming cruise, and are looking to step away from the typical tour paths, consider lunch.
One way to get a feel of a port is to taste it. I look for casual spots that attract locals, have reasonable prices, and menus with regional specialties.
For cruisers, most meals ashore are lunches, as ships tend to leave port before dinner, though some smaller cruise lines, such as Azamara and Windstar, stay into the evening.
Lunch might not be your focus on an initial port visit, but you may find that such a meal ashore is your best opportunity to meet local residents, to soak in an unfamiliar atmosphere, and perhaps to manage a food order in a foreign language. Yes, you could go back to your ship for a free lunch; there’s always a burger aboard. But where is the travel adventure in that?
Here are recommendations for a special experience at some of my favorite cruise port stops: