7 things to consider when choosing a cruise

Tuesday, 14 February 2017
What cruise should i choose

There are thousands of cruises that set sail every year. Some are ideal for families, which mean loads of children; others are themed, while some are dedicated to refined luxury and exclusive experiences. Then you need to consider the right type of accommodation, what the ship is like on-board, and when the best time to go is.


Selecting a cabin


Cruise ships will offer various accommodation types, from basic interior cabins to luxurious duplex style suites with wrap around balconies, grand pianos and butlers. However, there is a simplified way to break up the most common type of rooms on most cruise ships.

Interior cabins are usually the most cost effective and will usually not have any windows or port holes. They are compact, and offer everything you need but are not necessarily designed for you to spend a lot of time in them.

Ocean view cabins are usually the next step up from the interior cabins. They may be the same size, or slightly larger, but offer sea views with a small porthole.

Balcony cabins will probably offer you a few different options as far as sizes go. They are also equipped with a small balcony which means you have some breathing space, and the opportunity to enjoy beautiful views from the comfort of your cabin. Some are more private than others, so check the location of your balcony room before confirming your booking.

The suites on most cruise ships range from small to luxuriously large. These may be ideal for families, or those looking for a more exclusive type of accommodation. Equipped with large balconies and various living areas, sometimes butlers and more, these types of cabins are usually at the top of the range.


What’s it like on-board


Cruise ships can be like floating cities with shopping complexes, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, water parks, swimming pools, gyms and more. Some cruise ships are massive with loads of these facilities, while others are more refined and cater for smaller crowds. So make sure you understand exactly what you are in for on-board, before booking your cruise.


Days at sea


Consider the length of time you will be on your cruise, and more specifically the number of days you will be travelling at sea. An ocean crossing could mean that you won’t see land for a few days. Cruises generally range from 2 nights up to year-long world cruises.


On-shore excursions


Depending on the purpose of your cruise, you may spend every new day in a new port with loads of exciting activities and lots of sightseeing, or you may spend more time cruising and enjoying your holiday on the cruise ship. There are itineraries which are more geared towards land excursions, while others are simply about enjoying your time on-board and visiting a few key ports.


Pick the right season


Peak season cruises can be more expensive than your alternative options, and will often be a lot busier, especially if they coincide with school holidays. Off season and shoulder season cruises are sometimes a little quieter with fewer crowds both on the ship and on your shore excursions. So check out your cruise season options and make a call from there.


Getting to your cruise


Factor in the costs and the time needed to catch flights and other transport to get to your cruise embarkation point. If you’re cruising Alaska, you will need to spend a bit of time in the air before getting onto the water. Keep your eyes open for cruise and fly package deals. If you are leaving from somewhere close to home, many harbours offer long-term parking as well. 


What is the most important aspect of your cruise holiday?


Think about what the most important aspect of your cruise holiday will be. Do you want a budget cruise and the most basic accommodation as long as you get to your dream destinations? Or maybe you want a romantic holiday with smaller crowds and the opportunity for more intimate moments with luxury accommodation. Perhaps it’s all about the kids, and therefore you are looking for loads of fun on-board entertainment. There are cruise ships which cater to all of these needs and more.

Choosing your cruise holiday and making sure it’s right for you may take a little research. So hopefully these top 7 things to consider when choosing your ideal cruise holiday will get you on the right course. Speak to your Cruises International Consultant for more advice on choosing the right cruise for you!

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