In today’s fast paced world, the opportunity to slow down, and truly relax, has a certain attraction. Cruise vacations not only provide the best vacation value, they eliminate “vacation stress.” A vacation cruise avoids the stress of airport security, time lost traveling, and you don’t have to pay extra to bring your suitcase.
For anyone planning a cruise vacation, it is wise to do a little research into the different types of cruises and ships that are available. Cruise vacations offerings have evolved into a wonderful panorama of all the fabulous and diverse vacations imaginable.
There are themed cruises where one can mingle with Disney Characters or learn about finance or cooking. You can choose cruises that provide a wonderful, relaxing experience or, exotic, even adventure vacations. It’s a fabulous family vacation choice, which can provide vacation fun for everyone.
With a little planning, you can be assured of getting the most out of your cruise adventure. It starts with picking the right cruise for you.
Start by understanding that the cruise experience consists of three basic segments.
The at-sea experience – Depending on the length of the cruise and the destination, you will have a lot of bare ocean or, a visual wonderland. Think Caribbean vs. Alaska Cruise. If you know that you will have long stretches of practically nothing to see, opt for a cruise ship with lots of onboard activities that are of interest.
The on-board experience – Your cruise ship is not the way to get to your vacation, it IS your vacation. If your intent is to have a romantic getaway with your significant other, do not take a cruise ship that attracts lots of children and families. It is easy to go online and compare ships and themes to obtain just the right ambiance.
The ports – Every ship will dock in one or more ports over the course of the cruise. While in port you will have an opportunity to take shore excursions. These are normally not included in the price of your cruise. In deciding whether or not to take a shore excursion, take into consideration the travel time to and from the shore destination. Decide, for instance, if you want to spend three hours, each way, on a bus to see a particular sight or engage in a particular activity.
If you give ample consideration to the above, you should be able find just the right cruise ship destination for you. In closing, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your onboard experience:
Unless you know that you will not need anything in your luggage until late the first night of your cruise, don’t give your bags to the porters. Or, at least keep an overnight bag with you. The new cruise ships are huge with thousands of passengers. The porters are delivering thousands of bags to hundreds of staterooms. It might take hours before you get your luggage. Additionally, when you disembark after the cruise, if you are going to be pressed for time, take your baggage with you.
If you will need to stay in touch to home or office, check on the availability of cell phone and texting. Check not only with the cruise line, but also with your cell provider.
If you are traveling with children. Check to see how they separate kids’ areas and activities by age.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. The staff is trained to accommodate guests. If there is a problem with your table or your room, ask to be moved. If there is a problem with the service you receive, ask for ship credit.
Remember that cruise ships now charge extra for almost everything. Ask about options and packages. For example, it might make sense to buy a “beverage package” for approximately $35 for the week instead of paying $2.00 every time you order a soda.
Most importantly, relax and enjoy your cruise.
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