Choosing The Cruise That’s Right for You
Article revised on 23 October 2017
Between 2002 and 2016, the number of ocean or river cruise passengers worldwide doubled. Cruise ships currently represent 2.5% of hotel capacity worldwide. Choosing a cruise can therefore seem overwhelming. There are a number of factors to consider: destination, budget, number of passengers, length, cabin type, amenities, food, etc.
I know a lot of snowbirds who go on cruises because of all the benefits they offer.
- A number of them sail from ports in Florida.
- It allows you to visit various locations.
- You unpack your luggage only once.
- A variety of amenities are offered on the ship: fine dining, fitness activities, entertainment, activities for children, etc.
- With a cruise, there is less pre-trip stress.
- It’s also a good option for those with reduced mobility.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a cruise. Travel agents can provide lots of useful information, so it would be a good idea to ask one for help in booking a cruise.
Cruisers are truly spoiled for choice! Want to go to the Caribbean? Europe? Or perhaps somewhere else, like Alaska? First-timers are often advised to go on a Caribbean cruise. Since the weather is usually sunny and warm, it’s a good, but more costly alternative to all-inclusive vacation packages. European cruises are different, because you choose them to visit specific cities or attractions. People who choose a less popular cruise are looking for a more exotic experience.
As is the case for hotels and all-inclusive vacation packages, prices vary greatly from one cruise to another. However, even with a discount, it is still a costly way to travel. The cost of the cruise does not include gratuities, return air fare, certain onboard activities, alcoholic beverages, etc. Before booking a cruise, it’s important to know what’s included and what isn’t, and to budget accordingly.
Number of passengers
Which is better? A small or large cruise ship? There is a range of sizes. Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas can hold 6,000 passengers and 2,384 crew members. Large cruise ships generally offer more services and activities, and their rates are sometimes more attractive. However, some people may be put off by the size of the ship. Small ones provide a greater nautical adventure and seem less like a floating hotel complex. The service level is also higher, but such cruises often cost more.
Cruise lines offer a wide range of cruise lengths. You can have anything from a short three-day cruise to one that lasts 100 days; the choice is yours. My recommendation, if you’re a first-timer, would be for you to choose a short one. That way, you can see if you like that type of trip and whether or not you’re prone to seasickness. Cruises that last between seven and ten days are generally the most popular ones. They allow you to enjoy the cruise ship’s amenities and some shore excursions. Cruises of 14 days or more are reserved for world tours or major transatlantic crossings.
Cabin type is a very important consideration. The cost can vary from one ship to another, and from one area to another, but it mainly comes down to whether you have a small window, a panoramic window, a balcony or a suite. If you think you might be prone to seasickness, choose a mid-ship cabin. Inside cabins (no window) are the least costly. To have the best choice of cabin, it’s important to book your cruise as early as possible.
Large cruise ships generally offer more amenities than smaller ones. If you would like to go on a cruise with several generations of your family, some ships have activities for young children and teenagers. Larger ships often have a theatre and a discotheque.
Dining options is another factor to take into consideration when choosing a cruise. There is normally plenty of good quality food. In some ships, particular attention is paid to cuisine, and renowned chefs are on staff. Fine dining can be a very enjoyable experience on board a cruise ship. If that is among your interests, you should make the necessary inquiries!
As for any type of trip, when booking a cruise, it’s essential to purchase travel insurance that covers medical expenses. You must also ensure that the insurance covers emergency helicopter repatriation. Some insurance companies have coverage that is specific to cruises. It’s important to specify your needs when talking to your insurance advisor.
Get travel insurance that’s tailored to your needs!