Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Five Tips for Planning the Perfect Cruise

A cruise vacation has a lot to offer; sparkling waters, world-class cuisine and exotic locales. For first time cruisers, the whole process can be a bit overwhelming. Just remember that this is the trip of a lifetime and you’re going to have fun no matter what. To help you out, here are a few tips for planning that perfect cruise vacation.

Pick the right cruise line for you
Ages, activities, and ambiance vary greatly from company to company, even from ship to ship within a single cruise line. For example, Disney caters to children and families; where Norwegian typically attracts older couples. Take time to research which company aspires to provide the atmosphere you’re dreaming of.

Pick the right destinations
Each ship within a line’s fleet does more than just one cruise. If you have picked a cruise line, looking at the cruises offered by them is the next step. Think about the places you’d like to go and the activities you like to do. Each port has a unique selection of wildlife, history, shopping, and beaches. A quick internet search of a particular port of call will help you determine what the place has to offer.

Don’t be afraid of days at sea
You will notice that every cruise will have at least one day at sea. This isn’t just time to get from one place to another, it’s a time for you to take advantage of the facilities provided on the ship. Many ports excursions are a rush of arrivals, departures, and being herded from one place to the next. Your time on the ship is lower key and days at sea often provide the rest and relaxation that separate vacation from regular life. Don’t worry about being bored; your floating home is full of surprises just waiting to be discovered.

A ship is more than just your room
There are lots of choices of staterooms on a cruise, but you may find that you have very little need of your room when you consider all the public areas available to you on the cruise ship. Upper decks offer quiet corners and comfortable seating in which you can curl up and relax. CafĂ© type restaurants are open 24 hours to provide a gathering place as well as coffee. Most ships also have game rooms or libraries where you can find board games, books and televisions. A quick look at the ship’s amenities will give you an idea of where you can spend your time outside of your stateroom.

Do Your Homework
That is a phrase dreaded by school children, but just a little time planning can help your whole trip to be more relaxing. Cruise line websites offer lists of things to pack and the documentation required for leaving the country. Port reviews let you know the best things to do at each port of call, and ship reviews can give you a clue to anything extra you might want to bring along.

Heather Johnson a leading honeymoon planning resource. Learn about the best honeymoon destinations today!

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