If you’re looking to go on your first ever cruise, the process may seem a bit overwhelming at first. Not everyone grew up in cruise culture, and the different cruise lines and styles might strike you as completely foreign. With that being said, you don’t need to be an expert to go on your first cruise. If you’re starting to get the itch to take a trip on the seven seas, you’re only a bit of planning away from making that a reality.
Pick what type of cruise you want
Imagine yourself on a cruise. What do you see? Kids running around, playing on waterslides? Quiet, candlelit dinners? Exciting excursions into polar environments? The first step to picking out your first cruise is to determine exactly what you want out of the experience. In general, try to narrow it down to a bigger, more family-focused cruise line or a more intimate, luxury line. Once you’ve got this down, just Google some simple phrases like “family cruises” or “luxury cruises” to get a sense of what the different options are.
Pick out a budget
At this point, you may be getting tempted to spend a bit more money than you ought to. For those wanting a luxury experience, the cruises that come up might seem too expensive; keep looking! There are plenty of lines that offer luxury experiences without huge price tags, as well as plenty that offer great deals. On cheaper cruises, stick tight to a budget you pick for yourself and look for the best experience you can get for your money. Once again, deals are your friend here. Most major cruise lines like Celebrity, Carnival, et cetera have deal sections on their websites to help you out. Also, make sure to check out what additional expenses there may be to factor in aside from your ticket (flying, dinners, drinks, you name it).
Where do you want to go?
This is maybe the most important step, and also the most fun. Cruises can take you pretty much anywhere (most of the world is covered in water, right?), so think big. Exploring the arctic, slinking down serene rivers, peering out over non-stop ocean, it’s all possible on a cruise. You’re also going to want to think about what you want to do when you’re off the boat. You could check out European museums, relax on tropical islands, or any number of awesome activities. Once you get a sense of what you want, check out a few cruise lines websites and go to their “Find Cruises” section (it may be called something else, but it’ll be very similar to that). You can then narrow it down to categories. For example, you can look at only Mediterranean or Caribbean cruises. Then, look for a cruise that fits your preferences and budget, and voila!
After this, there are a few intermediary steps to figure out such as travel and packing, but you’re probably used to this from any other forms of travel you’ve done. One of the best things about cruises is a lot of the logistics are done for you. Eating, stops, activities and more are all figured out by the crew ahead of time, meaning you have little to actually worry about aside from picking the cruise itself. Stick to these general steps and you’ll find the process isn’t too overwhelming. Hopefully you can find yourself on your first cruise and have an experience that might just change your life!