How to Plan for Your Next Cruise

Planning a vacation is always exciting. The anticipation in the weeks leading up to a trip is part of the fun, and it makes the actual travel date that much more lively. Planning a cruise, however, might be the most exciting – and complicated – vacation of them all.

A cruise ship can take you to multiple different ports and introduce you to so many new people, but it requires more planning than a trip to the beach. If you’re thinking about planning a cruise in the near future, check out the cruise tips below to make your trip your best vacation yet.

Carefully Select the Time of Year

It’s common for tourists to plan vacations during the summer months. It’s the reason why most cruise lines are exceptionally busy during that time of year. However, when selecting your cruise dates, you should consider locations that are warm beyond the summer. The key is to determine your priorities and choose a timeframe accordingly. For instance, you can take a Caribbean cruise throughout the year and still enjoy warm weather. Some people prefer to cruise in autumn to destinations like Canada and New England. It really depends on your preference.

Choose Your Dream Destination

Whether you’re planning your first, second or third cruise, there are destinations that you will absolutely love and dream about. For some people that’s Hawaii and for others it’s Alaska. Some would say Europe is the one place they want to go. Instead of focusing on the cost of a cruise, start by pinpointing your ideal locale and then try to find a great deal. Once you identify your preferred destination, you can plan awesome adventures.

Learn About Onboard Activities

When you first arrive on a cruise, you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of activities that are available. While every cruise is different, you’ll likely find a pool, theater, dining room, nightclub and many other amenities. One of your priorities should be learning about onboard activities. If you don’t intentionally learn about them, you may never know what exists. There are activities to accommodate every cruiser. Whether you’re cruising solo or with friends and family, there are fun things to do. You should learn about what’s available in advance.

Plan Shore Excursions

There are usually a lot of shore excursions available. This is something that should be planned in advance so that you don’t miss out on something truly amazing. You can often pre-book shore excursions. Although rare, sometimes cruise excursions require payment in cash. Although you probably shouldn’t carry a lot of cash, you should have a decent amount. You should pack a small waterproof bag that has all of your belongings. Keep in mind that you will likely go directly from one activity to the next, so dress accordingly. You should be able to leave the swimming pool or ocean and go straight to lunch.

Pack Clothing Based on Activities

The clothes that you bring on a cruise can make your experience better or not as good. If you have clothes that are not altogether appropriate for the activities, it can end up being an uncomfortable situation. For instance, most cruises have a formal dining event where just about everyone dresses up in fancy attire. If you don’t bring a formal outfit, you may not want to go to dinner that night. Although you’ll have other options, you don’t want to miss the formal dining experience. If you plan to spend time in the water, you’ll want to bring plenty of swimwear. It’s also important to bring comfortable shoes and sandals because that really makes a difference in your ability to walk long distances.

Bring a Phone Charger

There are some things that can be frustrating on a cruise. Chief among them is not having a portable phone charger when you need one. Most people are emotionally attached to their smartphone and don’t feel happy when it’s not working. There’s also the fact that you’ll want to stay in communication with the people you’re cruising with. More importantly, you’ll probably want to take photos and videos of your cruise using your phone. Checking to make sure you have your phone charger is one of the last things you should do before leaving your home.

Don’t Forget to Relax

In all of the excitement of a cruise, it can be easy to schedule every hour of every day. That would be a mistake because a cruise should also be a time of relaxation. After all, you’re probably on vacation because you need to decompress from a demanding job. You don’t want to get home and feel exhausted.

These tips should be front and center when planning your next cruise. You can have an amazing time and get everything you ever wanted out of the experience. More importantly, you can have the time of your life and enjoy a wonderful vacation with loved ones.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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