For anyone who’s considering going on a cruise ship holiday for the first time, there are a number of things you need to consider, especially in the planning stage. To start with, there are hundreds of destinations and ships to choose between, making it a difficult choice. Fortunately, we’ve put together a quick and easy to follow guide on what you need to think about so you can spend more time relaxing and looking forward to your vacation, rather than being stressed. Afterall, that’s what holidays are for.
Once you’ve consulted this guide and made your booking, you’ll also want to have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place. This can be useful for a number of different reasons such as delays, cancellations, lost or stolen luggage and medical cover to name just a few. Cruise ship holidays don’t normally come cheap, so having cover in place in the event that the unexpected happens will be of paramount importance. You can easily find cheap travel insurance at Utility Saving Expert, a free to use online comparison site. You’ll be able to compare cover from a whole range of leading providers, see key benefits that each company offers and filter quotes by price. Let’s return back aboard the cruise ship.
Choosing your holiday destination
When you’re planning a cruise holiday, one of the first steps to take is deciding where you want to travel to. The industry has really opened up over the past few decades, and the world has a lot on offer.
If it’s your first cruise holiday, one of the most popular cruise destinations is the Mediterranean. If you want to catch the sun during the winter period, the Caribbean is the second most popular destination. Other popular places include the Norwegian Fjord and Dubai.
Do you want to travel by plane?
The UK has a number of options for those that don’t want to consider air travel. Most cruises from the UK will depart from Southampton, regional departures are also available to holidaymakers.
For those that prefer not to fly, it can be easier to drive to the cruise ship. However, this may limit your options. If you fly to a city such as Barcelona or Miami, you can enjoy the warmer weather straight away, and have more cruise destinations to select from.
Saving up and setting a holiday budget
Like all holidays, you’ll need to save up a certain amount to cover the costs. Cruise ship holidays are available for all different budgets, some are more basic, whilst others are all-inclusive. Selecting the cheapest option may not necessarily be the best choice as it likely won’t include things like food, drinks, excursions, airport transfers and port parking. If you have to pay for all of these separately, the costs will quickly add up, and it may end up totalling more than what you budgeted for to begin with. This is where an all-inclusive package could be an ideal option. Although it will be more expensive, you’ll have peace of mind that most things are included. The final cost can sometimes even be less than purchasing services separately.
Choosing a date in your calendar
Most people will already be aware of what weather conditions they can expect in Europe. Summer is warmer, winter is colder. If you’re travelling to another continent, you’ll need to carefully consider seasonal weather changes such as humidity, heavy rainfall and even rough seas. Settling for a particularly hot locale isn’t always advisable as some countries in the Middle East can reach above 45°C at certain times of the year.
Many people who like travelling on cruise ships may choose to align their plans with specific yearly events. Examples include: anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas or New Years. It’s useful to know that if you have your mind set on a specific date, you’ll need to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Choose your cruise line
Each cruise line provides its own offering, options are suited to specific holiday destinations and even an individual’s personality.
For example, the Royal Caribbean may be a smart choice if you love huge ships and want an endless choice of activities to partake in. A Celebrity cruise may be advisable if you just want to relax in five-star luxury.
Book in advance
To avoid disappointment, especially if your cruise holiday has been planned with a specific event in mind, you’ll want to book well in advance. Providers will offer you a range of dates and destinations to select from. To ensure places are filled, many cruise lines may throw in special offers and discounts to encourage those that are interested.
If you’re not too concerned with where you want to travel and your schedule is very flexible, last minute deals can sometimes provide heavily discounted packages. This is because cruise lines don’t want ships with very few guests as this won’t be profitable for their business.
Hopefully, this guide has given you a good understanding about what you need to think about when booking a memorable cruise holiday. We wish you a safe journey.