Do you find cruise holidays enticing? After all, sailing on a luxury cruise while traveling to interesting destinations does seem appealing. But if you have never been on a cruise, planning a cruise holiday may seem a bit overwhelming. There are so many decisions to make, right from choosing your destination to the cruise line. To make matters easy for you, we present to you some tips that will help you to plan the perfect cruise holiday.

Fix Your Budget


Deciding on your budget is important for any holiday, including a cruise holiday. Your budget will help you to decide on the cruise line, your destination, the number of days you will be sailing, your stateroom, and such important details. You need to consider gratuities, excursion costs, flight rates, shopping expenses, and other traveling costs while fixing your budget. Deciding on a budget early on will also help your travel agent to find you a cruise package that matches with it.

Decide on Your Destination


Where you want to go is extremely important when planning a cruise vacation. Cruises are available on almost all the continents. The most popular ones are those that happen on the Caribbean, Mediterranean, European, and Southeast Asian waters. Depending on the lands you want to explore, you can choose a cruise that will take you to all these places. The climate of these places is an important factor that will help you to choose this place. For instance, a European cruise will be ideal during the spring and summer months, while a Southeast Asian cruise is best during the autumn and winter seasons.

Determine the Length of Your Cruise

Cruise holidays can be anywhere from 3 days to 2-3 weeks. The length of your cruise will depend on several factors. The number of days you can spare for your cruise holiday is a major deciding factor. Also, the fact that you are new to the world of cruising, or a seasoned cruiser will also help you to decide. If you are first time cruiser, it will be best to go for a shorter cruise to know whether you enjoy this holiday style. Once you are comfortable with a cruise holiday, you can plan for a longer cruise holiday.

Choose a Departure Port


Once you have locked in your destination, the next step is to pick your departure port. Ideally, the port should be near the place you live in. This will help you save time and money. If this is not possible, you must choose a port where you can fly without spending too much money. You can also check whether driving down to these ports is feasible from your home city. If you have chosen a cruise departure port that is in a different country or continent, you will have to think about the logistics of reaching the place on time.

Select the Right Cruise Line


Once you have zeroed in on your destination and departure port, you must decide on the cruise line. This is extremely important, as this can make or break your cruise experience. Select 3-4 cruises that offer cruise holidays in the destination of your choice. Once this is done, you need to see what these cruises offer and choose the one that suits your requirements. For instance, if you are a family that includes small kids, you need to opt for a cruise that caters to families of little children. On the other hand, couples on a romantic holiday and senior citizens should go for cruises that have tailormade activities and experiences for them.

Choose the Stateroom

A cruise is a floating resort where you will be staying throughout your cruise holiday. So, once you have selected the cruise line you want to go on, the next step is to choose the stateroom. If you are on a tight budget, an interior room would be right for you. An interior stateroom usually has all the comforts and amenities except a window or a view of the ocean. If you are planning to spend your entire day exploring the cruise or the areas where your ship docks, the interior stateroom would be the perfect place for you to retire at night. But if you want to wake up to the view of the ocean, you must go for a stateroom with an ocean view. Most luxury cruises also have suites and even rooms with private balconies for those who do not mind splurging for an amazing experience.

Book Your Shore Excursions


Shore excursions are usually day trips that happen when the cruise docks on a port. If you plan to explore the area, it is best to book your excursions before you start on your cruise journey. Most cruise lines offer shore tour packages for their guests. You can also look for excursions from other tour companies if you want. But if you are going for a local tour company, make sure that you research well and choose one that has a good reputation. A shore excursion package will include transportation, entry tickets to most attractions, meals, etc. You can also explore the place on your own, but you will be responsible for all the arrangements, which may be difficult as you are in a new country or city.

Pack Your Bags

Bags packing

The clothes you pack depend on the dress code on your cruise and the destination you are visiting. Some cruises require visitors to stick to smart casuals or formals, while some may not have dress code. If the destination you are visiting is warm, then you need to pack clothes for that weather. It is best not to carry too many clothes to avoid carrying heavy luggage. If you are cruising for a longer duration, you can use the laundry services available onboard. Some other important things to carry are medicines, important documents, swimwear, etc.

Additional Tips for Planning a Cruise Holiday

  • If you need to fly to a different city or country to reach your departure port, book your flight tickets right after you book your cruise holiday. Make sure that you reach the place at least a day before your cruise departs.
  • If you are going on an international cruise, you will need to get a visa for the countries you are traveling to. This is important even if you are planning to stay on the cruise when the ship docks at these ports.
  • Meals are usually included in the cruise package. So, you do not have to spend extra money on meals. But most cruises have specialty restaurants where you can dine at an extra cost. If you want to try one of these restaurants, reserve a table in advance, before you board the cruise.
  • Cruises are loaded with activities and entertainment programs. While some are included with the cruise package, you may have to pay additional charges to try some of them. For instance, you will have to book in advance if you want to try out that yoga class or maybe a spa treatment.
  • While meals are included in the cruise package, drinks are usually not. Drinks include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and sometimes even water. If you plan to order one or more alcoholic beverages every day, it would be best to buy a drinks package. This will be money saving in the long run.
  • Wi-Fi is available onboard but at a charge. Moreover, internet is expensive on the cruise. If you want to stay connected online during your journey, you should get a Wi-Fi package. This will be more economical.

Planning a cruise holiday is quite easy as all the information is available online. Still, it is best to seek guidance from a tour company while booking your cruise. Tour companies can get you a good package depending on your budget and other requirements. They can also get you great discounts, deals, and special packages, which you may miss out on when booking directly through the cruise line. Rayna Tours Seacation can help you choose the right cruise holiday for you.

A content writer by profession, Deepa has been writing for the travel nice for more than a decade. While she has a bucket list for the places she wants to visit, she also loves the idea of curling up on the couch with a good book. She believes that nothing can lift up your mood better than a good holiday, a great book, and your favorite dish.

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