Cruising is a favorite pastime for many vacationers craving a break from land. Cruises offer many activities which are set apart from any other getaway. For most of us, however, cruises may come once in a blue moon and planning for your perfect trip may seem stressful. This fear is certainly justifiable when a supposed action filled senior trip turns into 7 days of senior citizens and shuffleboard. This scenario can be prevented by planning ahead. Preparation cannot be stressed enough.
The great thing about cruises is the many varieties which are offered customers. Think about what you want from your perfect cruise; is it a romantic honeymoon, a fun-filled family experience, or maybe you are just wanting a secluded quiet trip to “get away from it all”. Because people have many different reasons to take a cruise, many types are offered, and once you know exactly what you are looking for, you can begin your quest for the perfect vacation.
When deciding on the perfect cruise, here are a few suggestions:
1. Decide ahead of time what amenities you want to be offered on your cruise – If you are one of those high school seniors and don’t want to spend your nights playing bingo, research your cruise lines and see what accommodations they offer. Each cruise line is centered around a specific lifestyle. A look at the activities and events planned will give you some clue as to what kind of theme a certain cruise line is going for. If you are still not entirely sure, don’t be afraid to talk to customer support or even a travel agent.
2. Choose by destination – Cruises are not always about the ship. Keep in mind that you will be venturing to different islands and countries. There may be a certain place or culture you wish to see. Try to find a liner that will carry you there. If you are vacationing with someone else, make sure you both agree on the destination of your cruise line. These ventures can be a great experience for both of you.
3. Look at the ratings – Cruises are ranked by stars much like hotels. The highest being a five star rating and the highest in that category having a plus attached at the end (three plus stars, for instance). Paying attention to these can also clue you in on what type of cruise line you are looking at. For instance, most five stars will generally be more classy and formal while some three star lines will be much more suited for families and younger vacationers. A good suggestion would be to find the type of cruise line you want and then choosing the highest ranking line in that category.
4. Find the cabin you want – On some liners, there can be anywhere from three to twenty cabin options. Many people think they won’t spend much time in their cabin and will try to get the best deal. This may work for some, but remember, your cabin is the only place away from the crowd and especially on longer trips, there will be many days out to sea where you will have plenty of idle time to relax in your room. If you think a closet size room with no windows and a bunk bed will not drive you crazy, then go ahead and save some money. Keep in consideration the accommodations, service, surroundings and amount of time you will want to spend outside or your cabin.
5. If you are working with a travel agent, make sure to ask plenty of questions – Your travel agent should be interested in your needs, not just what gives them more commission. Make sure they’ve been on a few cruises themselves so they can reflect on personal experience, and make sure they ask you plenty of questions.
Browsing around will help greatly in your search for the perfect cruise. You will certainly benefit from planning ahead by enjoying the best vacation you can expect.