It is not every week that you go on a cruise so for a lot of people, planning for a cruise may be a daunting task. All you need really is to do everything well ahead of time to avoid travel planning glitches.
Here are some practical tips which you may find useful if you are planning a cruise:
Choose your destination
The first thing you need to determine is where you want to go. The cruise ships will cross seas and oceans and you have a wide array of choices. Are you planning to go to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, or how about explore the waters around Alaska? There are also trips to show you the Scandinavians and parts of the Baltic. There are cruises to see South America, Africa, the Middle East, or you can even go around the world.
There will be short cruises and there will be long ones, and sometimes you need to combine a trip or two to have your perfect get away.
Book ahead of time
You can expect to grab the best travel deals if you book your cruise well ahead of time. Most cruise lines offer a lot of specials which can save you a lot of money while on board. You cannot get this money saving deals if you will book on the last minute though. When you check on a date early, you will havea good choice of days and cabin for your trip. The best cabins are often booked early so if you want to have the best room of the ship, try to reserve them early.
Go for the right ship
This can be the most critical part of your cruise planning process. You need to find the cruise line and the right ship that will cater to your likings. You have to consider if you will be just going with your special someone or will the whole family tag along. Research to fnid out the kind of activities you can do while on board. Will the ship have activities for kids? Or may be for senior citizens?
The ship’s size will also give you an idea of what it can offer. The bigger it is, the more it has space for spas, gymps, libraries, casinos, clubs, swimming pool, ice rinks, climbing walls and the works. Smaller ones though will give you a more quiet environment which will be important if that is what you need to relax.
Before boarding, you can actually choose and book the services that you want when you go on the cruise. Pre-book what you can as early as possible. Reserve schedules for spa treatments and seats for some special dining. Most cruise lines have online booking facilities for this but you may also ask the concierge to help you out. Doing this in advance will save you the disappointment of finding out on board that you cannot get the massage or that special dish since all slots or seats have been taken.
Check the details of the trip
When you reserve for cruises, the package will include details about the trip. Most cruises will include all the meals, non-alcoholic beverages, use of the facilities, and some entertainment. You might have to spend extra if you plan to go to the casino, do some shopping, or try a specialty restaurant. Some may also charge for the spa or use of their sports facilities. There is no harm in asking so you will know how much you need to prepare or swipe when the cruise ends.
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