Almost everyone I talk with who has taken a cruise has loved it! In fact, cruise vacations have the highest satisfaction rate of any type of vacation!
Occasionally someone will tell me that a cruise just isn’t for them. After talking more with them about why they feel that way, it becomes apparent that they were on the wrong type of cruise for them. With so many different cruise lines and so many different ships today, how do you know you are on the right cruise for YOU?
Destination – there are so many different ports of call for ships around the world. Most people think of the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Hawaii and the Mediterranean. Within these destinations there are probably 100 or more ports of call. There are cruises to Asia, Australia, South America and the South Pacific. Picking the right itinerary with the right ports of call is very important.
Cruise Line – Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has 23 cruise lines as members. Does the cruise line you choose really make a difference? If you crave quiet spaces where you can relax with your book and end up on a cruise line with non stop action all over the ship, or vice versa – the answer is YES, the line you choose can have a big impact on your vacation experience!
Ship – So you’ve found the destination you would like to visit, you’ve chosen the cruise line – does the ship really make any difference? In some cases you won’t have a choice – if you want to go to Aruba on Royal Caribbean there may only be one ship that goes there. But if you want to go to the Eastern Caribbean on Royal Caribbean, and you don’t really care which islands you visit, you may be able to choose between a ship that carries 1900 passengers and one that carries 3400 or more. Or, you may only want to sail on small ships with around 500 passengers (or fewer). In this case you may choose your destination after researching which cruise lines offer smaller ships.
Cabin Selection – Some people say your cabin selection doesn’t really matter because you won’t be in there that much. Well, you may not spend a lot of time in your cabin, but while you’re waiting for your spouse to shower and dress for dinner would you rather be sitting on your bed in an inside cabin with no window or sitting on a lounge chair on your balcony sipping a glass of wine and watching the sunset? Besides the decision of whether to get an Interior, Oceanview, Verandah or Suite – should you be in the front of the ship, the back, the middle?