Are you looking to book your first cruise? That’s exciting! But while booking your first vacation at sea can be a fun and rewarding experience, you probably have some questions about how you can find the perfect cruise vacation. Here are twelve tips to help you book your first cruise.
1. Research cruise lines and ships
There are many cruise lines and ships to choose from, so it’s important to do some research to find the one that suits your preferences. After all you want to find the cruise line that fits your budget, preferences, and desired travel style. Each line offers different types of experiences, so it’s important to find one that matches your interests.
2. Choose your destination
Determine where you would like to go and what ports you would like to visit. Think about factors like climate, culture, and activities you would like to do. Part from choosing the right itinerary, you may also want to consider the length of the cruise. Would you rather go for a short midweek or a full 14-day experience?
3. Choose a ship
Once you have chosen a cruise line, research the ships they offer to find one that fits your needs. Consider the size, amenities, and itinerary of each ship. Do you want to go ziplining, ice skating, rock climbing or even drive on a racetrack at sea? Or do you just want to read a good book and enjoy a cocktail while you relax by the pool?
4. Select your stateroom
Choose the type of stateroom you would like, such as an inside cabin, oceanview cabin, or balcony cabin. You’ll want to consider factors like price, location, and size when making your decision. Take into account the location of the stateroom. Depending on your preferences, you may want to choose a cabin that is located on a higher or lower deck, or one that is closer to the amenities.
5. Check for hidden fees
Be aware of any additional fees such as port charges, taxes, and gratuities. Also keep in mind some on board activities, like massages and specialty dining, come with an extra charge.
6. Read reviews
Read reviews from past passengers to get a sense of the experience you can expect on the ship and the destination. Also make sure to check CruiseToTravel for the best cruise inspiration and news updates.
7. Book your cruise
Once you have decided on the destination, cruise line, ship, and stateroom, it’s time to book your cruise. You can book directly through the cruise line or use a travel agent to help you. All cruise lines advise to book early. Booking early can save you money and ensure that you get the cabin you want.
8. Purchase travel insurance
Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself in case of any unexpected events before or during the cruise.
9. Be aware of the cancellation policy
Make sure you understand the cancellation policy in case you need to cancel your trip. In some cases your travel insurance may cover the cost of having to cancel your cruise.
10. Look into excursions
Once you’ve booked your cruise it’s time to check out the excursions offered at each port of call to plan your activities in advance. If you plan to go out and explore by yourself make sure to do your research and book museums and activities ahead.
11. Check the dress code
Some cruise lines have dress codes for certain areas of the ship. All cruise lines organize themed parties, ranging from seventies parties to Hawaiian and white nights. So make sure you pack accordingly.
12. Prepare for your trip
Make sure you have all the necessary travel documents, such as passports and visas, and pack accordingly for your trip. Be sure to read the cruise line’s policies and procedures before you go so you know what to expect once you arrive at the port. Don’t forget to check in online. This will make boarding swift and easy and give you extra time to enjoy your cruise vacation.