A cruise vacation is a perfect way to get away, see beautiful scenery and relax. But determining the perfect amount of time to devote to your cruise vacation can have a huge impact on your enjoyment and desire to continue with cruise vacations to other destinations. Before you select the length of your cruise, consider a few factors that will assist you in making a wise choice.
Total Travel Time
When booking your cruise, it is important to also think about the time involved in getting to the port prior to your cruise and also getting home after your big adventure at sea. Adding a day of travel prior to sailing and then another to get home can make a 5 or 7-day cruise feel much longer. Check flight times to make sure that you can arrive in the port city on the day your ship departs without worries of a flight delay which could cause you to miss your ship. Also consider your return flight carefully. It will require a few hours to disembark and travel to the airport so book flights accordingly so you are not forced to rush to the airport after your relaxing cruise. If you are driving to the port, also consider traffic congestion, rush hour traffic and potential weather issues to be certain that you have adequate travel time and can drive in a safe manner. Booking a 5-day cruise and having two days for leisurely travel to and from the port city is much less stressful than a 7-day cruise and a rush to get home for work the following day.
Take a few minutes to investigate the activities that are offered on the ship as well as the shore excursions. Many travelers have high hopes of a day or two of relaxation at the pool, only to discover that all of the ships activities and excitement cause them to overbook each day of the trip. After 5 or 7 days of nonstop activity, the cruise is over but the travelers are more exhausted than prior to vacation. Booking a longer trip allows you to allot a day or two for nothing but relaxing, reading a good book and getting to know fellow cruisers. If you are not interested in partaking of the onboard activities, then 3 or 5 days of lounging at the pool and playing shuffleboard might be all the time you need to decompress and relax before becoming bored with life on the water.
Finally, consider the square footage of the cabin which you will be calling home. If you are accustomed to a palatial 4,500 square foot home, then a 500 square foot cabin is certain to feel tight after a few days. Spending over a week in these confined quarters could begin to feel as if the walls are closing in on you. Think about how long you are comfortable “living out of a suitcase”, how long you can be happy with a quick shower instead of a soaking tub and how long a tiny cabin can be considered fun before it begins to feel like a kennel or holding facility.
Selecting a cruise length can easily be as important as selecting a destination. Honestly consider what makes you happy and comfortable. You can always book a shorter cruise and return later to enjoy additional activities but it is a shame to ruin a great cruise with claustrophobia from 10 days on a tiny cabin.