Not all cruises are the same. An uncontroversial statement, sure, but for non-cruisers it might be hard to understand quite how many options there are to choose from when it comes to picking the right cruise for you and can certainly become overwhelming. Whether you are looking for the best weekend cruises or the top 3-week voyages, a Caribbean adventure on the high seas, or sail up the Norwegian fjords, cruising options are almost limitless. Read on for a few hints and tips on choosing your perfect cruise vacation.
Know your budget
Setting your budget will help narrow down your options considerably. As a general rule, smaller boats are more expensive, and obviously the higher the budget the more luxury you can expect. Features, perks, and amenities all often come with a cost, so working out what you can afford is a good starting point. It might also help to have a list of must haves and nice to haves when determining what you might splurge on and what you might save on. For example you might care more about your cabin and want one with a view or you might want to save that cash and spend it on an excursion or two.
Decide what type of cruise you want
Are you looking for elegant luxury or an adventurous expedition? Do you want a huge ship with swimming pools, nightly entertainment and a range of restaurants, or would you prefer a classic sailing ship? The type of cruise you want will have a huge impact on your options (although there are a surprising amount of cruise styles to choose from!). You might want to choose a ship dedicated to fine dining, a cruise focused on the most exciting shore itineraries, or something dedicated to ultimate luxury. The choice is yours!
Decide where you want to go
An important part of the decision-making process will be choosing your destinations, and whereabouts in the world you want to explore. Caribbean cruises are absolutely classic, but there are locations all around the globe that are best discovered by cruise ship, and remarkable spots like the Antarctic that you might never have even considered as cruise destinations. Think about what you want to see and where you want to go, then take a look – there’ll probably be a cruise for you!
Work out how long you want to cruise
Cruise lengths vary enormously, from overnight trips to nowhere in particular to around-the- world adventures that can last four months or more! Of course, most of us (sadly) can’t afford to jack it all in for months on end, so work out how many days you can afford to take off work, the tailor your cruise (and your packing) around your vacation allowance. I highly recommend that first time cruisers take a 3-5 day cruise that way you can ease your way in. While most people fall in love with the cruising experience you don’t want to find out you’re one of the few who don’t when you’ve booked a 2 week voyage. Don’t forget to also factor in time getting to and from your departure and arrival port!
So bon voyage! I hope you enjoy your journey.