Posted by Susan O’Driscoll
Picking the perfect cruise holiday can be overwhelming with so many ships and destinations to choose from. So to make it a little easier I’ve highlighted some points to consider before booking your next adventure at sea.
Consider your travelling group
Are you travelling alone? Is it a honeymoon? Are you travelling with children? Is there anyone elderly or disabled in your travelling group?
The travelling group must be your first consideration when organising your cruise holiday. Make sure the cruise ship is geared towards the interests of the group. For those travelling with children certain cruise lines offer more activities for kids than others so search around.
Set a Budget
Before you start speaking to travel agents determine how much money you can spend on this holiday. Remember cruises vary in length so if your budget is tight opt for a shorter cruise. Also remember to check what each price quoted includes. Most will include accommodation, onboard entertainment, meals and use of the facilities aboard the ship. Remember to budget for the extra costs involved then such as flights, port taxes, cancellation insurance, drinks and shore excursions. You may opt for a more inclusive cruise package to save all the hidden extras - Silversea are regarded as the best in this area.
Determine your destination
Although some may argue that the ship is the true destination on a cruise, most holidaymakers choose a cruise based on the ports the ship will be visiting. Remember that some cruise lines specialise in different regions. For example, Holland America and Princess Cruises are the recognised leaders in Alaska cruising while Royal Caribbean and Carnival are known for their Caribbean cruises. Also remember that if you don't want to spend much time at sea, choose an itinerary on which the ship visits a port every day. That's easier in Europe, where everything is very close together.
Book a cruise that offers activities and entertainment you will enjoy
Make sure the cruise ship fits with your interests and expectations. If you’re an adventure seeker make sure to choose a cruise that offers shore excursions such as deep sea diving or glacier walks. If you love live entertainment many cruise ships now offer games on deck, musicals and celebrity performances. If you want to learn something on your trip, consider cruises that offer lectures by historians, geographers and other experts, or if food is important to you check out the many food and wine cruises on offer with celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations and tastings. Finally remember there are now many themed cruises available including singles cruises, gay cruises, cougar cruises and even swingers cruises. With so much variety it really is the best time to holiday at sea.