We all know that during a cruise trip and especially during the (short) shore stops, time is gold. Everybody would ideally like to get the most out of their shore excursion, stop or visit, without having the feel of being stressed or running around from a to b without having the time to really absorb the essence of your shore break. So, just like with other things in life, you will have to choose a few things to focus on during each shore excursion, and leave the rest for the next time you come back to Mallorca. I would recommend you to really think about and answer the following questions to yourself and your party, BEFORE booking any plan for your shore excursion;
1. What is it that makes me curious about Mallorca? What would l like to find out about this island and the city of Palma?
Is it the old town and history that fascinates you? Is it the turquoise sea and its sandy beaches? Is it the old culinary traditions on the island and local products and patrimony?
2. What kind of person are you when it comes to guided tours?
Do you like guided tours where a guide tells you a lot about what you see and experience – in that case you will have many tours and guided activities to choose from on the island. Or on the other hand, are you more of the “getting around yourself” kind of person, well, there are excellent possibilities for that as well and you can choose between “getting lost” yourself by foot, bike, rental car..
3. How much time do I have to spend on my shore excursion?
Be sure to find out in forehand (at the latest when leaving your ship) what time at the latest you need to be back at the ship, and it’s not a bad idea to stop at a information point to pick up a local map or to find out in which direction you need to go in order to get where you want. In the case of Palma de Mallorca, it’s fairly easy to get around since the port area isn’t that huge and got a fair amount of signs pointing out the different directions. Google maps or other applications can be helpful when it comes to finding out about distances (walking / biking / driving) and also where to go of course.
Once you’ve answered these questions you will have to start brainstorming, googling and finding out about the broad variety of things to do, see and visit on Mallorca and once you’ve got 3 or 4 favourites, I would recommend you to narrow it down to 2 things and keep the other ones as a “plan b” or if you have got sudden spare time to spend. Out of your two favourite things to do, firstly take a look at where they are situated and what are the options of getting there (public transport / walking / biking / rental car / taxi), compare the prices (you find most information on internet nowadays) and also compare the time it would take you to go there by the different means. If your plans are to only visit something inside Palma town, almost everything is very reachable by bike (bike rental shops will provide you with a quality locker so that you can lock your bike on the street if you plan to enter somewhere or have a swim on the beach etc) and it will be a lot quicker than walking around (the port of Palma is situated about 30min walking distance from the main cathedral “La Seu”). However, keep in mind that it’s not recommended to leave anything without sight for a long time on the street and definitely not over night. E-bikes and e-scooters are directly not advised to be left at any point without supervision as they are considered very attractive objects and the risk of them getting stolen is unfortunately very high.
Finally, in order to getting a smoother experience, I do recommend you to book whatever is bookable in advance through internet (entrance tickets / rental bikes / guided tours etc) as it will save you a lot of queuing and it will also give you a more relaxed feeling as you will have your plan (at least mostly) set in beforehand. Having said that, it’s never bad to leave a little bit of time in between activities or after them for improvisation. Perhaps you feel like entering another sight, doing some shopping or simply just relaxing or eating something while enjoying the pulse of this fabulous mediterranean island.