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When you picture your next vacation, do you see yourself near the water? How about on the water? If you’ve ever thought about taking a cruise, I highly recommend these tips.
This is the most family friendly when it comes to finding an activity for everyone to enjoy. The offshore excursions are typically catered to kids/teens. We wouldn’t recommend this line for adult-only vacations.
Depart from every coast in the US as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, and Barbados. Best known for Carribean cruises. Trips last anywhere from 3-24 days.
Popular Routes: Mexico, Alaska, Bahamas, Cuba, Europe, Hawaii, Far East. Sydney to New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and Singapore.
The website design alone for this line is enough to sell you for the whole trip. They are so well organized that they fall under the category of premium luxury. Their deal page is second to none. 14 nights around China for $600? Unheard of. You’ll definitely want to spend some time comparing all of their itineraries.
Popular Routes: Alaska, Bermuda, Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos, Hawaii, Mediterranean.
This line is considered a luxury. However, if you plan on taking a trip with extended family (grandparents), then this may be the route you want to take. The activities planned on board for kids are unique in that they all incorporate the STEM learning program that many schools have adopted for teaching young children. It’s a great way to have them continue to grow, even while on vacation.
The Sister company of Carnival. The shore excursions provided through this line are second to none. This is where you will find activities such as lumberjack shows, snorkeling, visit Atlantis, or the Mayan Ruins. They provide more than your run of the mill activities while also giving you the freedom to explore a port on your own.
Popular Routes: Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Mexico, South America, Panama Canal, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Amazon, and Antarctica.
This is the most widely known cruise line. This line also has it’s own airline and bundles discounts when you book the two of them together. You can’t go wrong when you book Norweigan Air and Norweigan Cruise together.
Norwegian Cruise Line. Norwegian’s 14-ship fleet sails all over the world, with itineraries lasting anywhere from 1 to 21 days.
Popular Routes: Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, South America and many more.
The best thing about this line is that they make travel easy for first-time cruisers. Their website is easy to navigate and contains endless articles with all the questions you may have before embarking on your first trip. It shows that they care about their passengers.
Not to mention, they send amazing email offers.
Another sister company of Carnival. Over 380 destinations across more than 100 countries on 7 continents. 170 unique itineraries ranging from one day to 111 days. More than 500 More Ashore late night calls across 98 ports and 70 overnight calls across 16 ports.
While on Board
Food and Drink
Find out what is included as far as meals and drinks. This is the most valuable part of your travel package. This is where you will save the most money. The convenience of cruising is due to the fact that luxury is at your fingertips. Make sure that you take full advantage and always compare the food and drink inclusions in each package to make sure you truly are getting a good deal.
Generally, there are two types of rooms on board any cruise line; inner rooms and outer rooms. The better the view, the more you may pay for it. It’s completely worth the price to make sure you have a room with a great view. For first time cruisers, using a travel agent here may be in your best interest.
The best part about shopping on board is that many items are duty-free meaning not taxed like they are on land. This can include chocolate, liquor, makeup, etc. In addition, there are boutiques set up on board with luxury items. The other type of shopping you may do is at the ports. You are allowed to bring a certain amount of those items home. Be sure to check the max limit, otherwise, you may have to pay in when you go through customs upon returning home.
The best part of taking a Cruise is stopping at your scheduled ports. Activities at your destinations are the most anticipated parts of the trip. Make sure you talk over the activities beforehand and find out which ones you can get the most out of. Don’t forget to leave some flexible time. If you plan too many activities in a row, you’re likely to burn yourself out. Remember, it’s called vacation for a reason!
Cruise Line Programs
It is valuable to be aware that most cruise lines offer a rewards program that will score you discounts and deals. Be sure to sign up using your name and e-mail so that you can get the inside scoop on promos going on during your vacation. They could be sale hours for shops or discounted drinks. Furthermore, most Cruise sites offer a “travel agent” to help you plan the entire trip. This is much more convenient than taking everything into your own hands. You won’t want to miss out on either of these offers.
There’s no doubt you’ll be satisfied saving money by taking a Cruise. Having everything planned and done for you take most of the stress away from your vacation so you can focus on the fun parts (Shopping for outfits beforehand!).
Have you been on a cruise? What was your favorite part? Any tips you’d like to share?