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CruisesCruising with KidsCruising can be an ideal way to travel with young children. Here are some unique travel tips that you may find useful.Booking Your CruiseOnce you've decided on your preferences, it's time to book your cruise! Here are some tips from readers and experts on how to get the most out of your next cruise vacation.Planning Your CruiseOver 10 million people take cruises each year. And no, they're not all on board those big ships you seen on TV. Not sure how to choose? Here are some tips to help you find the one that's right for you!What to Pack for a CruiseGetting ready for your cruise? Make sure your trip goes smoothly by packing what you need. (Click here [WHN page link TK]) for a handy packing list form.)Enjoying Your Cruise While at SeaAnchors away! Here are several helpful tips we've received from past cruise travelers.Enjoying Your Cruise Departure DayHere are some tips to carry you through Day One of your cruise adventure!

Planning Your Cruise

Over 10 million people take cruises each year. And no, they're not all on board those big ships you seen on TV. Not sure how to choose? Here are some tips to help you find the one that's right for you!

There are many different types of cruises:

Family cruises

"Geek" cruises

Knitting cruises

Murder-mystery cruises

Music-themed cruises

Singles cruises

Small boat adventure cruises

…and so on! There really is a different size, theme, style cruise for everyone.

WHN Expert Tip: Choose a Cruise That Suits You
If you are a physically active person, look for cruises that make a lot of port-calls (are at a new place daily or every other day) or book on a ship with those crazy facilities like rock climbing and ice skating.

But if that is less your thing, don't worry about it over-much. "In 15 cruises of anywhere from 7-16 days, I've yet to be bored." Jacqueline Church Simonds, frequent cruiser and publisher of Happy Sails: The Carefree Cruiser's Handbook

Your Preferences

Make a list of your preferences, ranking your preferences by priority and note areas where you might be flexible.

The Basics

Preferred date of travel (time of year or season)

Number and age of people in your group

Budget range

Cruise length (6-8 days is usually the most common length offered)

The Boat

Size of cruise ship

Number of passengers accommodated

Type of cabin

Size of the bed – single, queen, king

Number of occupants

Location on the ship - porthole, balcony, etc., level

The Destination

Preferred destination(s)

  • hot climate
  • cool climate
  • international
  • domestic
  • nature
  • urban

Logistics

Transportation to and from the cruise ship's embarkation point (by air, car, etc.)

Activities

WHN Tip: Know what activities are most important to you. Not all ships have the same options.

  • Casino
  • Excursions
  • Family activities
  • Movies
  • Onboard Entertainment
  • Shopping
  • Sports – dancing, golf, tennis, aerobics, swimming pools

Amenities

WHN Tip: Decide what amenities are on your must-have list.

  • Babysitting/Child Care
  • Beauty Salon
  • Fitness Center
  • Internet
  • Laundry
  • Spa
  • TV

Other Things to Consider

When would you like to eat dinner? (most ships have seating arrangements which are split into early or later seating)

Do you like to dress up? (some ships have a dress code)

Do you have any additional needs (dietary preferences, babysitting or child care services, health concerns, etc.)

Start Your Search

The Cruise Lines International Association has a Cruise Destination Finder, which you can search by destination and Ship Features Finder for the features you want for your ideal cruising experience.

Still haven't found the right cruise? Do a few online keyword searches to find a cruise that suits you (e.g. "Caribbean + scuba diving + cruises + families)

Meet with a travel agent – they can also suggest cruises that might meet your needs and budget.

Decided On a Cruise?

Read our Booking Your Cruise article for top advice on making your vacation reservations.

CruisesBooking Your Cruise

Once you've decided on your preferences, it's time to book your cruise! Here are some tips from readers and experts on how to get the most out of your next cruise vacation.

 Read More
Cruising with Kids

Cruising can be an ideal way to travel with young children. Here are some unique travel tips that you may find useful.

 Read More
Enjoying Your Cruise Departure Day

Here are some tips to carry you through Day One of your cruise adventure!

 Read More
Enjoying Your Cruise While at Sea

Anchors away! Here are several helpful tips we've received from past cruise travelers.

 Read More
Planning Your Cruise

Over 10 million people take cruises each year. And no, they're not all on board those big ships you seen on TV. Not sure how to choose? Here are some tips to help you find the one that's right for you!

 Read More
What to Pack for a Cruise

Getting ready for your cruise? Make sure your trip goes smoothly by packing what you need. (Click here [WHN page link TK]) for a handy packing list form.)

 Read More