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:
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
Make a list of your preferences, ranking your preferences by priority and note areas where you might be flexible.
Preferred date of travel (time of year or season)
Number and age of people in your group
Cruise length (6-8 days is usually the most common length offered)
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
- hot climate
- cool climate
Transportation to and from the cruise ship's embarkation point (by air, car, etc.)
WHN Tip: Know what activities are most important to you. Not all ships have the same options.
- Family activities
- Onboard Entertainment
- Sports – dancing, golf, tennis, aerobics, swimming pools
WHN Tip: Decide what amenities are on your must-have list.
- Babysitting/Child Care
- Beauty Salon
- Fitness Center
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
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