There has been a bit of a summertime gap in my series on cruising and I am sorry for that. There has been so much theme park news going on that I needed to share that instead. I’m back now with the third installment in this series, How-to Choose the Best Cruise Line for You. What is exciting to me, since starting this series back in May, I have become a travel agent and I have trained with several cruise lines so while this post has been delayed, I feel the information will be much better now that I have undergone that training.
So far in this series we have discussed the Top 3 Reasons to Try a Cruise and Deciding Where to Go on Your Cruise. Once those decisions have been made, you need to decide which cruise line suits you best. I believe that decision is based on length of trip, destination, budget and lifestyle.
Length of Cruise
Cruises average from 3-14 nights with some even longer. Things to consider are how long can you get off from work? Travel time to and from the port is also a key factor. Living in Florida I can get to 5 major ports in 4 hours or less so that isn’t a big deciding factor for me. If you have to fly to the port it is best to fly in the day before your cruise starts to allow for any delays or baggage problems. Disney and Carnival offer mostly 3-7 day cruises so if you are looking for a shorter cruise you may want to check these lines first. Personally I don’t like to cruise for less than 7 days. On shorter cruises I feel like I am just getting comfortable finding my way around the ship and then it is time to get off.
In a previous post we talked about where you would like to go on your cruise. That also makes a difference on the length of the cruise because, of course, it takes longer to get to some destinations than it does others. In addition some cruise lines focus on different destinations. If you want the eastern or western Caribbean there are many to choose from. Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, New England, the Mediterranean…are all viable destinations and vary by season and cruise line.
Budget is often the first thing we think about when planning a vacation. While a cruise vacation is a great deal because your lodging and basic food and entertainment are included in the price remember you will still need to pay for gratuities, beverages, upgraded dining fees (depending on the ship), and shore excursions. The base price of the cruise is just the starting point. Also remember most cruises are priced double occupancy, a minimum of two people in a room. If you are a solo traveler you will pay almost double! Another item that effects your budget is the type of cabin. An interior lower deck cabin costs significantly less than an upper deck cabin with a verandah. All of these thoughts go into seeing what kind of cruise fits your vacation budget. Carnival and Royal Caribbean are known as more budget conscious cruise lines with Celebrity on the more expensive end.
Are you cruising as a couple, family with young children, teens or some singles out for a fun vacation? Do you want lots of fun in the sun, or educational offerings? Do you want to dress up for dinner or would you rather be casual all the time? Families with children love cruising Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. All of these cruise lines are known for their amazing kid’s and teen clubs. Looking for something more quiet and romantic? Check out Princess, Norwegian, or Celebrity.
Yes, it is true, a cruise vacation is what you make of it. There is a lot to consider when choosing a cruise and this is why I recommend that you contact a travel agent to help you navigate the cruise planning process. You want the best vacation for your money and by letting a vacation planner know what you want from your vacation, they can help guide you to the best options for you.
I’m here to help you plan your next cruise vacation just fill out this form and let me get started on the trip of your dreams.