Cruising is in a class by itself – there’s no other vacation option quite like it. And, because of that, many folks feel lost when it comes to planning a cruise vacation. But with a few pointers and a little preparation, your cruise vacation may actually turn out to be the most trouble-free vacation you’ve ever taken.
The biggest cruise tips to remember is to do your homework before you go. Research everything, including what destinations you’d like to visit, the cruise line you’d like to use to get there, what port you’d like to sail out of, and what you’d like to do once there. Don’t let any of this overwhelm you – just try to pick up a little information about all these different facets of a cruise vacation.
Just being aboard a cruise ship is a vacation in itself. There are so many different activities aboard at any given time that you’ll never have to be bored unless you want to. This explains why many folks enjoy a “Cruise to Nowhere,” as it’s called, where they depart a certain port and don’t stop anywhere until they return a few days later.
But that having been said, it’s a great experience to visit new places. You’ll have to decide whether you want to visit tropical ports, take an Alaskan or European cruise, or one of many other options. Try to get ‘in the know’ about what’s available, where and when. For instance, a particular cruise line may or may not be visiting a certain port every week, so if you have certain destinations in mind, look into the offerings of different cruise lines to see what fits your needs. If you can be a little flexible about what week you’ll travel, you’ll find it easier to make it to most, or all, of your desired ports.
When it comes to your stateroom, I suggest that you strongly consider booking an interior room. These are far less expensive than balcony staterooms. You will find that you spend very little time in your stateroom, other than to sleep and dress, so why pay more for a balcony or suite that you will see very little? There is always more than enough room on deck to find a beach chair, relax, and enjoy the view outside. There are a few exceptions to this – for instance, if you’re going somewhere such as Alaska where you’ll be able to see something outside besides water, it’s nice to have a balcony to enjoy the ever-changing views. Or, if you are physically handicapped to the point that you’ll spend a great deal of your cruise in your stateroom, then of course this would be another reason to go for a balcony. But as a rule of thumb, because we spend very little time actually in the stateroom, we usually prefer inside staterooms due to the great price. I also recommend that you look for an inside stateroom on one of the higher decks. This puts you closer to the dining and other facilities above – something you’ll appreciate when those elevators are full and you have to take the stairs.