Cruising for Beginners
Updated: Jul 10, 2018
Think you might enjoy cruising, but are overwhelmed with where to start? Think you might hate cruising, but still find it mildly intriguing? Love cruising and like to read everything you can find on the topic? I can help with all three!
Since I started cruising in 2008, I've been on about 20 cruises, sailing all over the Caribbean and Europe. But believe it or not, I was very skeptical about trying cruising. I was a land traveler, content to piece it together myself and wing it when I felt like it. I didn't want to be trapped on a big ship with a lot of people for a week or more. I didn't want to follow someone else's schedule. But an opportunity came up to give one a try with a lot of great friends and I was surprised with the results. It was fun. Really fun! And I was hooked.
So here's a few handy tips:
- Not all cruise lines are created equal. It's important to prioritize what's important to you - whether that's luxury dining, visiting more remote destinations, or the size of the ship.
- The time of year matters. Much like other aspects of the travel industry, prices go up for major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Prices can tend to go down during hurricane season. The newest ships tend to have the highest price tags. Certain itineraries are more expensive. Generally speaking, the prices tend to be lowest when bookings first open for a sailing.
- Last minute deals can be great, but only if you live within driving distance of a port. Last minute airfare doesn't tend to follow this same trend.
- Not all lines go all places all year, so if you want to go somewhere specific, you need to keep this in mind. Understandably, you'll find that many lines keep a lot of ships in the Caribbean during our winter. When you get into our summer, many lines move some of their ships to Europe or Alaska.
- It differs line to line what is included for a cruise, but you can generally expect that gratuities, Internet access, alcoholic drinks/fancy coffee/soda, excursions, and spa usage are not included in your cruise fare.
- Cruise itineraries are at the mercy of the weather. Missing a port can and does happen, so if a port is a must visit for you, cruising to it may not always be the best option.
I've trained extensively with a most of the major cruise lines, but more importantly I cruise and have a wealth of knowledge about cruising in general. Whether you're new to cruising or cruise several times a year, I can help you find exactly what you're looking for. Contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-987-4770 ext 1071.
In case you're curious, here's where I've cruised...
Hurtigruten MS Fram (05/18) - New York, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland * RCCL Adventure of the Seas (02/18) - St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados * Carnival Breeze (11/17) - Mexico, Belize, Honduras * RCCL Anthem of the Seas (10/17) - Cape Canaveral, CocoCay, Nassau * NCL Breakaway (05/17) - Bermuda * Carnival Vista (09/16) - Greece, Malta, Italy, Spain, France * RCCL Oasis of the Seas (04/16) - Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico * Carnival Breeze (09/15) - Aruba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, and Turks and Caicos * RCCL Jewel of the Seas (02/15) - St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Dominica, Barbados, and St. Kitts * Carnival Sunshine (01/14) - Key West and the Bahamas * Carnival Legend (07/13) - England, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, Estonia, and the Netherlands * Carnival Destiny (01/13) - Bahamas and Turks and Caicos * Carnival Breeze (06/12) - Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Monaco, and Croatia * Carnival Magic (01/12) - Mexico, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands * Caribbean Princess (04/11) - St. Thomas, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire, and Aruba * Carnival Freedom (01/11) - Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, Tortola, and the Bahamas * Carnival Miracle (03/10) - St. Kitts, St. Maarten, and St. Lucia * Carnival Dream (10/09) Italy, Croatia, and Spain * Carnival Freedom (05/09) - Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize * Carnival Legend (01/09) - Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Cayman Islands
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