All Aboard! Things To Consider Before Booking A Cruise

June 29, 2015  |  

Are you ready to get your travel on this season? Those who can’t decide on a specific location might want to consider a cruise. Yes, we know there have been a string of… mishaps… on cruises. but hear us out.

Cruises allow people from all walks of life to enjoy a wonderful vacation. Not only can you taste delicious meals but will also experience memorable entertainment, activities and destinations.

I personally have yet to try one but am interested in taking a cruise sooner than later. (If you’ve taken one, please take to the comments with your experience.) I’ve heard great stories from friends and family — along with nightmares I can’t believe are true. Before I say yes to a cruise, I’ll be sure to do my research first. Here are a few things you might want to check out before signing the contract.

Learn more about the cruise line. Not all companies are created equal and offer different perks. Some cater to families while others focus more on adult crowds. Spend some time getting acquainted with cruise companies and their boats. You might have to pay more in order to get a little more privacy and luxuries. Note: Do check out current news as many cruise lines have been popping up on Google over accidents and unthinkable situations. It’s also a good idea to read reviews left on third-party sites to understand what’s in store.

Pay attention to the time of year. Weather can literally rain on your vacation happiness. Sure you might be able to score a discount on cruises to the Caribbean during hurricane season, but are they really worth it? Keep the time of year in mind so you don’t feel as though you didn’t get your money’s worth. Remember, you’ll also need spending money for off-the-boat excursions. Travelers who vacation during high season will typically pay more.

Understand accommodations. Do you know the difference between an interior, balcony, ocean view room or suite? Aside from price, they’re all going to vary in size and amenities. Some vacationers hate feeling holed up inside a tiny room, let alone one that’s windowless and in the middle of the ship. It’s also a good idea to peek at the ship’s deck plan. Who wants to sleep next to an area that gets loud traffic 24/7?

Know what’s included. While many things are included in the cost of a cruise, don’t assume everything is. Cruise critic points out hidden fees many people tend to overlook. Alcohol and alternative dining experiences are just two examples that come with their own pricing. Speak with your travel agent or cruise specialist to get a better understanding of things that come with a fee. You’ll want to budget for extras and of course the just in case.

Book excursions early. Many of my friends have told me about the importance of booking activities sooner than later. You have to remember there are tons of people looking to travel and enjoy a vacation just like you. Many of the activities off the ship can and will sell out.

In addition to these tips, consider timing. Who knows, you might be able to capture early bird deals and specials not available at a later date. You should also consider travel insurance.

How do you prepare for a cruise?

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