How to Choose a Cruise

The popularity of cruises as a means of vacationing can make choosing a cruise a stressful and hectic decision-making process. For those who have never been on a cruise, the entire atmosphere may seem foreign. Selecting a cruise is simply a matter of looking at which cruises are available and deciding which ones best fit the needs of your party.


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    Decide who is going on the cruise. The people going on the trip will have the biggest influence on all decisions about the cruise itself. Consult all travelers in the decision making process.
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    Determine where you would like to visit. Do some background research on the areas that might be of greatest interest to your group. Some popular cruise destinations include the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and Hawaii. Consider the types of activities that are available at each destination and how they would fit the interests of those that will be present on the trip.
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    Select the best time to travel. Depending on the destination, weather can be a factor when selecting the time of year of your trip. If outdoor activities comprise the majority of the trip's itinerary, then decide on an ideal weather forecast, and book the trip during a season that would most likely yield ideal conditions. If you primarily seek indoor activities, consider traveling during off-peak times of year, when travel may be less expensive. The weeks of Christmas and New Year's, along with the winter and summer seasons in the tropical regions, are usually extraordinarily busy for the cruise industry. August and September are generally considered the off-season; look for bargains for vacations during these months.
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    Figure out how long of a cruise your schedule allows. Consider how long your group has off work and any non-cruise activities people in your party would like to enjoy during your vacation. Many cruise lines offer trips of lengths varying from three to 10 days. Also be sure to consider the time it takes you to travel to and from the cruise's point of origin. Many cruise lines based in the United States dock at Fort Lauderdale, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Miami, Florida and San Francisco, California.
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    Visit the websites of different cruise liners and learn as much as you can about the different cruises available. Talk with those attending the cruise to find out the types of activities they would like to have available to them aboard the ocean liner. Try to plan a trip that everyone will enjoy.
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    Choose a cruise line. Different cruise lines promote and specialize in different types of cruises. There are cruises designated for families and children, singles, newlyweds and for special interests. The different age groups to which the cruise lines cater are also important factors. If there are children included in the trip, then consider cruise lines that feature activities that would appeal to their interests.
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    Narrow your list of cruises based on the factors outlined in Steps 1 through 6. Involve everyone going on the cruise in the final decision making process by supplying them with the prices, dates and lists of activities and destinations included with each cruise as outlined on the cruiseliners' websites. Make your final decision and book your trip.

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Categories: Travel Cruises