Which Cabin Is Right For You And 9 Other Things To Consider When Choosing Your Cruise
There’s a lot to think about when choosing your next cruise … destination, timing, all the usual. But there are so many different cruises to choose from. Making sure you know exactly the type of experience you are looking for is going to make a world of difference as to whether you have a good time, or a truly fantastic time.
So once you’ve decided on your destination and time you want to travel, we’ve got a few other things for you to think about. Here are 10 things to consider when choosing your cruise:
- Low Key or High Energy - Are you a party-mad, crowd-loving type of cruiser or would you prefer fewer people and something a little more low-key? If you’re the first, one of the larger liners is more likely to be your thing. If you’re the second, small ship cruising is probably going to suit you better. If you need lots of entertainment, shows, casinos, bars and nightlife, you’ll need one of the larger ships. Small ships will sometimes offer some form of entertainment (it may be a small cultural performance or the like) or it may be talks about your destination. They’ll have a bar on board where you can mix with other guests, but the cabaret-style shows aren’t a go.
- Length of cruise - It may sound obvious, but have a good think about this one. If this is a once-in-a-lifetime cruise, ask yourself if you can spend any longer? You may never get back here again? Eg. Antarctica – can you possibly spend an extra few days and take in the Falkland Islands as well? Chances are you’ll never see them otherwise.
- Are there back-to-back cruises that you could do? If you’re travelling to the other side of the world,there may be two cruises operating back-to-back that you can join together to make into one. There’s often a discount for this type of booking too.
- Cabin type - Again, it may sound obvious. But definitely check out the upgrades. It may not be a lot more money, but you may find yourself with a floor to ceiling window instead of a porthole. Or a balcony or with extra in-cabin luxuries. Check them out and compare and make sure you are getting what you’re really wanting.
- Compare the inclusions - Often you’ll find two comparable cruises but one will seem quite a bit more expensive than the other, so it’s natural to sway toward the cheaper. Check what is included – shore excursions, drinks, gratuities etc. Often these will add up and the one that appeared cheaper isn’t actually cheaper at all!
- What standard are you looking for? If you’re a five-star kind of traveller, you’re going to hate every minute on board a 3-star ship. Likewise, if you prefer a 3-star standard, you’re going to feel uncomfortable in the 5-star environment. Check out the options carefully and match the ship and cruiseline to your own personality.
- Excursions - Compare the excursion options offered by the cruise lines. Afterall, you’re there to experience the destination and you might find one cruise line suits your interests far better than another.
- Timing - If you’re travelling to Alaska for example, and you specifically want to see the bears, you’ll want to travel at the time when the bears are more likely to be seen in the rivers or out and about. If you travel too soon (even if there is a great deal in place), the bears may not have emerged yet and you may miss them altogether. Likewise, if you specifically want to see the penguin chicks in Antarctica, you’ll want to go in January when they’re hatching or a little later to see the rookery chaos as the chicks fledge!
- Cruise lines - Each cruise line has it’s own unique culture. If you’re into education and photography, Lindblad National Geographic might be the right match for you. If you like a touch of French sophistication, Ponant Cruises may be your pick. Perhaps you don’t want any of the trimmings and you’re there as a hard-core expeditionist, then the luxury lines are probably not for you. Check the culture of your cruise line first. A good place to start is to speak to our reservations team who have cruised on several lines and can give you some good feedback to help you choose your right fit.
- Onboard Experts - If you’re cruising to an area like the Galapagos, learning about the endemic species is a big part of the voyage. Small ship companies often have onboard marine biologists or naturalists that are available to share their expert knowledge on the area. In addition to this, cruise lines such as Lindblad National Geographic also often have photography workshops available with professionals to help you get the most out of your camera. Perfect when you want to capture that once-in-a-lifetime moment when a sea lion wanders up to you on the beach! Check which ships offer this service.
Our team of cruise experts can help with advising on any of the above so feel free to request a call to discuss your next cruise holiday.