Taking a cruise is an exciting and memorable adventure. The excitement begins by exploring all the options and planning the experience.
This process can seem overwhelming because of multiple considerations and numerous decisions to be made. Finding a cruise that is a good fit for you will help ensure a fantastic vacation.
This list of things to consider when booking a cruise will help with your decision-making. Decisions on one factor may influence choices for another, so you may change your mind about a specific consideration before making a final selection.
There are all kinds of cruises, from value to luxury. Deciding how much you want to spend can help narrow your choices. The cruise price is only one aspect of your total trip cost. Some cruises are all-inclusive, while others charge for extras like onboard entertainment, dining and drinking. Onshore excursions and activities may also require an additional charge. Include costs for travel to and from the embarkation port, plus lodging, if you will be staying nearby before or following the trip.
Where you want to go is one of the most important considerations. Narrowing down the region and your interests can help. Cruises to the Caribbean feature beaches and warm sunshine. If history and culture are of more interest, consider a European or Mediterranean itinerary. Alaska is a popular destination for nature and scenic settings. A repositioning cruise could be a perfect choice for you if the experience of being on the ship is more important than the ports of call.
Most people will have to travel to the location where the cruise starts. Some may not care about the starting point, but others will want to leave from a convenient and inexpensive location. Decide whether you want to fly or drive. If you wish to combine the cruise with a few days of sightseeing or visiting relatives, this could influence your departure location. Do not settle without looking at nearby options. For instance, Miami is the busiest port in the world, but check out cruises from Fort Lauderdale, which is just up the road and might be a more convenient starting point.
Cruise Line and Ship
Each cruise line is different and pitches to a slightly different type of clientele. A little research about the character of each line will help you find the one that is a good match with your expectations and interests. Determine if the cruise caters to families or is more oriented toward couples and single people. Consider whether the atmosphere is casual or more formal. Look for the amenities and entertainment that are important to you. The size of the ship is another thing that can influence the ambiance.
Length of Cruise
Cruises last anywhere from a couple of nights to multiple weeks. A short voyage is good if you cannot get away for a long trip, but it may seem rushed. On the other hand, a multi-week cruise could be too much, especially if it is a new experience.
Cruises occur throughout the year, but some destinations have a specific season. You can save money and potentially experience fewer crowds by booking a trip outside of the peak season. This may mean the weather will be less than optimal, or flora and fauna are not at their best.
Once the destination and ship are selected, you will need to decide what type of cabin to book. Consider how much time you intend to spend in your room. The options range from a small and windowless interior cabin to a suite with separate living and sleeping areas. In between these options are outside and balcony cabins. The location within the ship also matters. The ship’s center is more desirable, as are locations away from the service areas, elevators and public spaces.
Once you have considered all these factors, the only thing left to do is make your decision and book a cruise. You are on the way to an exciting and memorable experience.
What To Consider When Booking a Cruise