Cruise ships are floating hotels that sail through ocean while you enjoy all the hotel's amenities provided. They have casinos, swimming pools, theaters, restaurants, shopping centers or boutiques, spas, gyms and more.
As great as taking a vacation on cruise ships may seem, you still need to know how to plan a cruise ship vacation properly so you have the perfect cruise experience. You need to know about the different types of packages the cruise lines offer.
When planning a cruise ship vacation you need to know how to choose one that will meet your expectation or tailor to your needs. Here are some guidelines that you can follow to plan your cruise travel and enjoy the perfect cruise experience:
Think of who you want to take with you on your cruise vacation. There are many different packages offered by cruise lines. There are packages for the whole family and there are packages for single travelers.
Will you be taking the cruise vacation with children? Maybe you will take your significant other for a romantic getaway. There are cruise ships that are tailored for children and there are cruise lines that cater to single cruisers and honeymooners. There are even some ships that offer wedding services. What could be better than to get married on the ship and have your honeymoon built in?
Decide how long you want to cruise. If you just want to try it out, opt for a three day cruise. Normally, cruises start at three nights and can go anywhere from seven to fourteen days. But there are also world cruises that can last as long as three months. My advice is if you are going to cruise in Europe you should pick a fourteen day cruise because of the expense and long plane rides to get to your port of embarkation. If you live near a port and you just want to take a long weekend choose of three or four day cruise. Decide what cruise travel is best for you.
Choose the perfect destination for you and your family. Alaska is beautiful but can only be cruised in the summer months. If you live in the colder climes you may want to take a mid winter cruise to the Caribbean or even South America. If you want your cruise travel to be in the Caribbean and you want to spend two weeks on your cruise vacation, choose a line that alternates between the Eastern and Western Caribbean. This cruise vacation takes you to many different islands.
The cruise lines have a variety of destinations to choose from. Visit your cruise travel agent to go over the different itineraries or check out the individual websites of the cruise lines.
Consider the port of departure. Since 9/11 cruises have been emphasizing home port cruising. Now there are many cruises that depart from Bayonne, New Jersey, Galveston, Texas, or Seattle, Washington, not just Miami and Fort Lauderdale.. Depart from the one closest to you and you will save money on expensive airfare.
Speak to a knowledgeable cruise travel agent. Make sure they have personally sailed on many different cruise ships so they can give you an honest opinion on what each cruise line has to offer and which would give you the perfect cruise experience.
A cruise*travel agent will also be able to supply you with cruise tips. Scour the cruise reviews for additional cruise tips.
Large cruise lines have a variety of activities and facilities that you can use on the ship. If you like to gamble then choosing a cruise ship with casinos is probably right for you. Or if you are taking your kids with you, a cruise ship that offers activities and facilities for children would be the best choice for your cruise travel. For instance, Disney is, of course, geared toward children but they do not have casinos. So if you are taking the family but you want to gamble steer away from Disney and choose one of the other major cruise lines. Almost all of them have children's programs. If you don't want to be on a ship with children sail on one of the fancier lines that don't cater to children. Here, again, it pays to read as many cruise reviews as you can to pick up additional cruise tips.
Cruise vacations do not necessarily mean that you have to spend all your vacation time onboard. All the cruise ships offer land and shore excursions. The cruise lines offer pre and post cruise land vacations usually for two or three days.
Land excursions are a great way to explore different cultures and destinations when taking a cruise vacation. You can choose from many activities once you reach a port of call. You can go kayaking, scuba diving or go shopping in the markets of the ports of call.
Following these guidelines will give you some ideas on planning your cruise vacation properly. Proper planning will give you a more exciting cruise experience.