Are you starting to think of next year’s vacation already? If so, you will have probably considered a few different destinations to add to your shortlist. It can be incredibly difficult to narrow it down to just the one location, though, and you might find that you are completely spoiled for choice!
Thankfully, there is one easy way you could visit a few different tourist spots all in one trip – you just need to book yourself onto a cruise!
Cruises tend to have a reputation for only being popular amongst older travelers. However, that really isn’t the case.
If you book onto a large cruise company’s trip, then you will find that there are a lot of different kinds of people on board, from young travelers and families to older guests. There is so much to do onboard that there is no wonder these kinds of trips attract a wide range of travelers!
So, are you ready to start booking your very first cruise vacation? Here are some tips that you can use to make sure you go for the best trip for you and your family.
Look Online For The Best Deals
Cruises can sometimes be very expensive, especially if you want to go on an all-inclusive one.
If you have a quick search on this kind of websites, I’m sure that you will be able to find some brilliant deals. Not only that, though, but it’s worth booking out of season if you are able to. This is when the cruise companies will be a lot less busy with customers, so will be lowering the prices to try and attract more travelers to sail with them.
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Know Who You’ll Be Traveling With
Before you do book a cruise with a company, it’s worth doing a bit of research into the one you book with. To the first-timer looking to book with a cruise company, I’m sure that they will look very much the same.
However, each company will attract a certain kind of traveler, so it’s always worth looking into each company so that you have a good idea of who your cruisemates will be.
For instance, P&O Cruises and Thomson Cruises usually attract an exclusively British clientele. However, you will find that the majority of those who choose to sail with Hapag-Lloyd will be German.
There are other cruise companies who tailor to French and Italian crowds. It’s worth bearing this in mind, as those companies that tailor to a nationality other than your own might not have many English-language services on board.
Start Off With A Mini Cruise
If you are a bit daunted by the thought of spending a couple of weeks on a boat, then you might want to start of small and take a mini cruise. This should give you a taste of what it will be like on a longer cruise, so you can decide whether it is your kind of thing or not.
You will be able to find some cruises last for a long weekend, and you should be able to enjoy a couple of shore excursions during that time.
Most mini cruises won’t have entire days at sea too, so you don’t have to worry about getting spending a whole day on the boat, if that has been putting you off the whole idea.
Pick The Best Time To Sail
It’s also a good idea to research when the best time to sail from your chosen destination is.
Each region will have an optimum time to sail through it, all of which depends on the climate and choppiness out at sea. For example, the best time to sail through the Caribbean is between December and April.
Meanwhile, most cruises that sail through Europe will go through the summer months. Not only will these offer you the calmest seas to sail through, but you should also see each port that you stop off in at its best.
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Pack For Day And Night
When you are packing for your cruise, don’t forget to put in some sophisticated evening outfits as well. There will be a lot of evening entertainment onboard, and most of it is quite fancy.
Almost every cruise ship has a ballroom where the main entertainment will feature. Even if you just want to hang out in the bar, though, you will still be expected to dress up. So, be sure to pack some appropriate evening wear!
Don’t Forget To Plan Shore Excursions
When you are on a cruise, whether it is a mini or long one, you will be stopping off at various ports along the way. You will have the chance to get off the ship and explore the port yourself or sign up for one of the cruise company’s shore excursions.
These planned excursions will take you to a specific tourist attraction or will give you the chance to take part in a fun activity. If you would rather join a planned excursion, rather than explore on your own, you will have to book it in advance. Make sure you don’t forget this as most of these get booked up well in advance!
Check The Tipping Policy
One thing that can be quite confusing for travelers onboard a cruise is tipping.
Generally speaking, there are no set rules regarding whether or not you need to tip, and people tend to stick to what they would do in their home country. This can end up being quite embarrassing if you ever dine or drink with new friends from a different country.
Thankfully, most cruise companies are starting to add on service charges to restaurant and bar bills, so that there is no more need for travelers to be embarrassed or confused by tipping.