Anyone who has been on a cruise, or dreamt of one, knows it is a unique experience. Cruises entice passengers with an amazing array of amenities -- from pools to shops -- and on-board programs that entertain young and old alike. This is all in addition to the ports of call along the way which provide opportunities for snapshot visits through specialized tours.
If you've had cruising on your mind, now is the time to act. It's Wave Season -- a three-month period when cruise companies put out their best deals and offers to entice travellers. You can grab some amazing deals on cruises to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Alaska and more. But choosing which cruise and destination are right for you can be a challenge. With so many different offerings, it can be tricky. Here are a few tips for choosing the right cruise for you.
Make sure your destination fits with when you want to go
If vacation only comes at a certain time of year, be sure to look for cruise destinations that are best suited to that season. If you are dying to go to a specific destination, book your cruise for when you can experience the best that country has to offer. June to August is the warmest time to travel to Alaska. And if you want to avoid the rainy season, a cruise to the Caribbean is best between December and April.
Be honest and thorough when accounting for the needs of you and your travel companions
Different cruises are suited to different types of travellers. If you are traveling with young kids, be sure to look for a cruise line that offers activities and amenities for youngsters. While a Disney cruise might well-suit a family of kids 10 and under, a retired couple may not find the quiet relaxation they are after -- a Mediterranean cruise with Holland America might suit those looking for adult-oriented activities.
If you are a multi-generation travel bunch, look for a cruise that offers adult and kid-oriented activities. Royal Caribbean has a lot to offer.
Set a budget and find the best offering at your price point
Because amenities can range so greatly, pricing on cruises -- from luxury to standard -- can vary as well. By all means, research what the cruise of your dreams might cost, but sticking to your budget will give you the satisfaction of not breaking the bank. Cruise prices vary depending on how long the cruise is, the cruise line, the cruise ship, where your room is, what type of room you choose and when you travel. Tully Luxury Travel reminds us to check out what is included in the price you pay. For example, is it all-inclusive or will you also need to pay for meals? Which meals are included?
Take a look at the itinerary ahead of time to be sure it is right for you
What stops will you be making along the way? What tours are available to you on-land? Tully Luxury Travel reminds us to consider -- are these ports of call you want to explore?
If you aren't sure which cruise is right for you, work with a travel agent.
Choose someone who has experience on cruise ships and booking this type of travel. They will have a wealth of information that can help guide your decision. Happy sailing!
Heather Greenwood Davis is the founder of Globetrotting Mama and a freelance writer for publications that include the Toronto Star and National Geographic Traveler.
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