Cruise and cruise ship tips are always good to have, whether you are new to cruising or you have been cruising for years. Literally millions of passengers choose a cruise travel vacation each year, so the cruise industry is considered the most exciting vacation category in the United States and Canada. For starters, cruises offer more than just one opportunity to explore one place. Depending on destination and the length of cruise, you will visit several, and in some cases, dozens of different ports of call. These ports are typically filled with history or rich with nightlife, some are exotic and others are filled with opportunities to snorkel, animal watch, or relax on a pristine beach. So take your time and pick the destination that suits your activity level and interests.
After deciding where you would like to cruise (the Caribbean is popular), the next thing to consider is the cruise line. Everyone has their own preferences, so some people may prefer a casual environment and others may prefer a luxury cruise, where formal nights are always on the menu. Whatever your taste and budget, there is a cruise line to suit your needs. Some of the most popular cruise lines in the industry today include: Silversea Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean International, Disney Cruise Line, and Carnival Cruise Line.
Silversea Cruises and Crystal Cruises feature luxury cruise ships cruise lines that are popular among affluent, seasoned travelers, while Regent Seven Seas attracts the same crowd, but the cruise ships are bigger and the environment is more relaxed. Regent Seven Seas is also considered one of the most romantic cruise lines in the world so their cruise ships are perfect for honeymoons. Couples can enjoy French and Polynesian dining, spa treatments, waterspouts, and romantic shore excursions such as river cruises, dinner cruises, horseback riding through the mountains, wading in the water underneath a waterfall, and more.
Royal Caribbean International is considered the perfect cruise line for first-time cruisers as it attracts a good mix of passengers from different backgrounds and with different interests. This means you’ll find a wide variety of activities, dining and entertainment options, and a very casual environment. Disney Cruise Line is perfect for families, couples, and singles looking for a festive atmosphere and excellent prices, while Carnival Cruise Line is tops for single, 20-30-somethings looking for a party atmosphere. Carnival Cruise Line also attracts young couples (married or otherwise) that may be interested in a festive atmosphere as well.
Once you feel that you know a bit more about the different cruise lines and cruise ships, you should get to know your destinations. Depending on the cruise line, you can expect to travel to popular destinations such as the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii or romantic and exotic destinations such as Tahiti, Fiji, Australia, Bermuda, and Europe. Exotic destinations that are also popular for romance and adventure include Africa, Asia, the Middle East, New Zealand, and Costa Rica.
If you want to save money on cruises, booking early and booking at the very last minute has advantages. Additionally, certain times of the year offer discounts and savings as well. For example, May through September is high season for Alaska, the fall and summer seasons are prime times for European sailings, and while the Caribbean is a year-round destination, winter is the most popular time for Caribbean travel. Peak travel times are always more expensive than off-peak travel, so keep this in mind.
When you are ready to book your cruise, you can contact your local cruise travel agent or you can contact the cruise line that you like most. A great place to search for certified cruise travel agents is with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The site has a search function that will help you locate certified cruise travel agents or counselors in your area.
If you already have a cruise line in mind, visit the cruise lines website to book a cruise or simply write down the cruise lines 800 or 866 number (listed on the website) and give tem a call. Click here for a directory of all cruise lines.