If you have always wanted to plan a cruise vacation, but never had the opportunity, the time is now. A Cruise holiday is great for people of all ages, and for all kinds of travelers (from solo travelers, to families, couples or even a group of friends). Cruises are an amazing way to visit a destination and maximize how much you see whilst you are there; the gorgeous sights you see, the comfort of your room, the fabulous on board food and entertainment, the time spent with your loved ones, and the friends that you make on the way.
A Cruise holiday however, requires proper planning, without which things can get very stressful. As we all know, the hardest part of cruising is not the packing, rather, it is all about how to choose a cruise ship. What brand has what offerings, who has what activities and where are they sailing and when? Once you beat this up, you are on your way to a blissful vacation
A Guide for Cruise Tour
Get your own trip of a lifetime started with our friendly guide for planning your Cruise vacation:
- Choose the Type of Cruise Wisely
At the time of deciding which cruise is best suited for you, a great beginning point is working out what size ship you want to be on, what kind of board activities are included; because each destination has a distinct ambiance. Different cruises have different inclusions, dining, entertainment and other onboard activities. There’s a lot to consider. There are cruises for different age groups, for different interests and there are even themed cruises. So, always compare all its features, activities that are available, and book the one that is offering you a variety of inclusions and options on what to do during the trip.
- Choose the Style of Cruise
Cruises can vary in style, from massive ocean liner ships that hold thousands of people to smaller more intimate ships that hold anything from a few hundred people to less. Depending on where you want to go, how much crowd you prefer, what type of activities you want to enjoy, and what form of intimacy best suits you, the style of cruise you want will vary. Be sure to research all options before booking.
- Book Ahead
Booking early can help you get the cabin you like in the location you want, and you never know, you might even get upgraded. The preparation process should start early to avoid a last-minute disappointment.
- Know your Budget
Another important thing to consider is your budget. By knowing your budget, you can choose whether to book a luxurious expensive ship or a budgeted one. You need to know how much you are willing to pay for your cruise vacation before booking. For optional activities, roughly up to 100 dollars each day is enough, excluding the cost of booking a cruise ship itself. Also make certain you discover what is included in your cost.
- Selecting a Cabin Type
In life, few things are worth spending a little extra money on, and a cabin with a balcony is worth everything when planning a cruise. People often choose the least expensive cabin available, so that they can save the money and spend on other aspects of the Cruise. But as far as possible, do not compromise on the cabin you choose because it will become your ‘home’ throughout your trip. One of the best ways to start your day on a cruise ship is to have your breakfast out at your balcony and enjoy the breathtaking view– trust us!
- Avoid the Rush
If possible, consider sailing in off-season, when it is off-peak, and not many people like to travel. This is especially beneficial for people who are on a budget and want to save some money or avoid holiday rush
A Guide for Cruise Tour
- Hire a Travel Agent
Hiring a travel agent will make things easier for you. Thanks to their connections and local knowledge, travel agents are updated with deals and promotions that will make you save big on your bookings. Being industry insiders, they establish close working relationships with the local suppliers and vendors, thereby getting inside access to special discounts, hidden inventory and new and exciting itineraries. Thus, you can be rest assured they will find you the very best deal to meet your needs, thereby saving your time and money.
- Research the Food Options
Nowadays cruises offer a large variety of cuisines, but they do tend to vary from cruise-to-cruise, and will also depend on the different destinations you happen to be visiting. Whether you have any specific food preference, special dietary requirements or not, a big amount of happiness many people get from being on vacation is having access to delicious meals. To ensure you’ll enjoy the meals you have on your trip, check and see what are the different menus available on-board in advance.
- Check out your Cruise’s Activities
In this day cruises have more activities and luxuries than ever, which include everything from Spas, Karaoke’s to Sports activities. But before you book your cruise be sure you know what type of activities and accommodations your ship carries. Some cruises tend to be specifically organized around themes, and may focus primarily on musical events, or family activities etc.
- Dress Code
Usually the dress code is smart casual by day and whatever the ship stipulates by night. Make sure that you check the dress code for your cruise. There may be certain restaurants that require formal wear. Also, do not forget to carry your sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, jacket, winter wear, rainwear for any excursions, plenty of lightweight cottons and other natural fibers to wear depending upon the destination.
- Cash on Board
Most cruises accept US dollars, Euros or Pounds. Major credit cards are accepted on board and some of the large ships have ATM cash machines as well, although a transaction fee will be applied.
- Find out what is included in the Price of your Cruise and what not
Cruise ships include a variety of onboard activities as part of the cost of the cruise, and many cruises will also provide you with most meals included. Some activities such as spa treatments, special shows, and gourmet dining experiences – will require an additional payment. A full pricing list can be found on the website or once onboard, so take a look at this information.
- Buy Travel Insurance
Whenever you travel, it’s important to get yourself covered by a comprehensive travel insurance. Make sure that the Insurance covers all aspects of your trip and is valid for the complete journey. Whatever ship and destination you settle on, your travel insurance protects you if you fall seriously ill, have an accident, are delayed in transit or lose your luggage. Generally, ships carrying over 50 passengers have medical facilities and at least one doctor on board. However, as doctors are typically employed as outside contractors they may charge for the use of their services, so it’s always best to take out insurance before you travel.
- Tag you Bags
You must ensure all your luggage is labeled with your name, ship, cabin number, sailing date and port of embarkation.
- Travelers with Disabilities
Many cruise liners have a special department or person to handle requests from disabled passengers. All modern ships have specially modified cabins for wheelchair users and some have hoists for the swimming pool.