If you are thinking of booking your first cruise, you are probably wondering how to have the best experience you possibly can. There are so many options when choosing a cruise line – and so many different places to visit. Not only that, when you get on board you are going to be overwhelmed with all of the different options that are available to you during your cruise. Although a week may seem like a long time, you’ll be surprised how quickly time goes by when you are cruising – so you have to make sure that you make the most of your time.
It’s important to understand that all cruise lines are not the same – and choosing the right one is the first step to having a great cruise vacation. For example, some cruise lines such as Carnival are perfect if you are looking for a family vacation, whereas others such as Cunard tend to cater for older travelers who are looking for a luxurious experience. The size of the ship you are cruising on can also make a big difference – do you want to be on a large liner that offers all sorts of entertainment and amenities, or would you prefer an intimate cruise on a small ship that gives you the opportunity to get to know the other passengers really well?
It’s equally important to choose the right destination. Although you are going to be spending a lot of time on board, you will also be taking shore excursions. Because of this, you need to think about where you are going, not just which type of ship you want to be on. For instance, cruising around the Caribbean feels very similar to cruising around the Mediterranean when you are on the ship, but once you come into port, the experience is entirely different – Morocco is nothing like Jamaica. Also, some cruising experiences are completely unique – such as traveling around the Baltic with Royal Holiday cruise vacations or taking a European river cruise.
Another thing to consider is what you would enjoy doing while you are on board the ship. If you enjoy fine dining, then some cruise lines have top-end restaurants with menus that have been created by celebrity chefs. Other cruise lines specialize in entertainment – for example, Norwegian Cruise Line is known for putting on major stage shows featuring headline acts, and others put on Broadway-style musicals.
Once you do go aboard your cruise liner, the first thing you need to do is to familiarize yourself with the ship and everything that it has to offer. If you do this up front, you won’t end up missing things that you want to see – for example, it’s a good idea to check the schedule of events on your ship right from the outset. Also, figure out which of the shore excursions you want to take right away – that way, you won’t end up finding that they are overbooked when you want to go ashore.