- What is your budget? $500, $5000. More? Less?
- Where do you want to go? Caribbean, Europe, Mediteranean, Asia, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Alaska, Antarctic, Australia, Fiji, Bora Bora, Africa….the world?
- What do you want to see/experience? Warm ocean breezes, sun, beaches, palm trees, safari, seals, whales, nature, Eiffel tower, gondola rides, leaning tower of Pisa, pyramids, waterfalls, volcanos, snorkeling, cobblestone streets, or museums. The world is your oyster. There is so much to see and do and cruising is a great way to experience it all.
- How long do you want to go for? 3 days or 300 days and everything in between.
- What kind of stateroom do you want? Inside, outside with porthole or picture window, balcony, or suite? There are several different options. Each has its own pros and cons.
- Which cruise line? Different cruiselines cater to different clientele based on affordability, age group, activity level, prestige, family, friends, weddings, themed, solo, or couples.
- Are you worried about Seasickness? If so, selecting a transatlantic cruise may not be the best choice as you may be at sea for several days at a time. There are other less wavy options such as a Caribbean cruise that spends less consecutive days at sea and are more port intensive. You may also want to choose a stateroom that is mid-ship where there will be less motion. Mid-ship is half way up and in the middle from bow to stern. Consider bringing some dramamine or get a seasickness patch from the doctor onboard. Larger ships also feel less roll from waves.
- How are you going to get to the cruise port? Fly, drive, bus, train? If flying, you can book flights through the cruiseline at competitive prices and if your flight is delayed, the ship will wait a bit or fly you to the next port for no additional cost. If you purchase a flight separately, then you’re on your own.
- How are you going to get from the airport/bus or train station to the cruise terminal? Cruiselines sell transfers to and from the ship for a good price. You could take a taxi, Uber (some countries don’t have Uber), bus, train, or walk if close enough. I did this in peurto Rico where I stayed at the Sheridan right in front of the cruise port. I walked across the street with my suitcase. Also, if taking a taxi, make sure you negotiate your taxi fare before getting in.
- As it is usually best to travel to your cruise port the day before due to unforseen weather or delays, you may want to research hotels near your cruise port. Some hotels may include transfers/shuttles to the ship in their price.
- If the cruiseline doesn’t offer anytime dining in the main dining room, you may want to consider if you want an early or late seating. I personally prefer the late seating as it gives me time to explore the port during the day and not have to rush back to shower and get dressed for dinner. Then I catch the evening show and head over to one of the bars/nightclubs for music, drinks, socializing, dancing, or even a late night adult comedy show to name a few.
- Do you want to purchase specialty dining tickets for an upscale steakhouse, Italian eatery, Teppanyaki, or French cuisine? Make sure you coordinate the time of dinner with your daily and nightly activities so you don’t miss out. You can usually do this online through the cruiseline before leaving home.
- What excursions do you want to go on while in port, if any? You can do inexpensive hop on hop off bus tours, tours booked through the cruiseline or private tours on your own. If you don’t go on an excursion to explore, you can stay on the ship as there’s plenty to do or you can go to the markets just off the ship pier to buy some local souvenirs.
Whatever you decide to do (or not do), planning is key to a stress free vacation. If you need some advice or help with your planning, or want to offer some more advice or tips, feel free to message me. I would be happy to help 😊
HAPPY CRUISING FRIENDS!