How to Plan a Cruise Vacation

How to Plan a Cruise Vacation
Cruising is a fun and exciting way to see the world, even for adventurous travelers who would normally turn their nose up to the idea. Explorers who want to experience new people and places, without having to mess with driving directions and multiple hotel reservations, will feel at home on a cruise ship. Even if a destination doesn't live up to the hype, there's plenty to do on and around a ship, like snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, nature watching and swimming. Make sure to book the right cruise line and pack the right stuff to get the most out of your trip.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Craft a budget. Factor in costs of airline tickets, cruise tickets, souvenirs, food and drink, and miscellaneous attractions and amenities.
Step 2
Pick a destination that suits you. Keep in mind that cruise ships routinely dock for daylong excursions, so your destination will set the mood for the whole cruise. On-shore activities range from dog sledding in the Alaskan snow to kayaking along a Hawaiian island to scuba diving in the Caribbean.
Step 3
Research cruise lines that match your interests and your wallet. If you're traveling with kids, consider a Disney Cruise Line. If it's luxury you seek, think about Crystal Cruises. If you're aiming to stay active throughout your trip, pick a line that features a gym and other recreational opportunities on board.
Step 4
Determine a time frame. When you cruise really depends on where you cruise. A trip to the Caribbean during hurricane season may not be ideal, for instance.
Step 5
Book your cruise vacation as early as you can. Although there are many last-minute deals, the earlier you book, the more money you tend to save.
Step 6
Pack intelligently and make sure all of your documents--including passport--are in order before the trip. Bring comfortable clothes and shoes if you plan to work out or engage in lots of physical activity.

Tips & Warnings

 
Lighten your load with versatile clothes. A top that can be dressed down with jeans or dressed up with a skirt is a good example. Don't forget about your ship's dress code. Some cruise lines expect you to dress to impress at nighttime, while others don't care much about what you wear. Leave room in your luggage for souvenirs.
 
Lighten your load with versatile clothes. A top that can be dressed down with jeans or dressed up with a skirt is a good example.
 
Don't forget about your ship's dress code. Some cruise lines expect you to dress to impress at nighttime, while others don't care much about what you wear.
 
Leave room in your luggage for souvenirs.
 
In most cases, cruise passengers aren't allowed to bring their own alcohol on board. Bring cash or credit cards for beer, liquor or wine. Your cabin may not include travel essentials, such as soap. Find out ahead of time, so you can pack accordingly.
 
In most cases, cruise passengers aren't allowed to bring their own alcohol on board. Bring cash or credit cards for beer, liquor or wine.
 
Your cabin may not include travel essentials, such as soap. Find out ahead of time, so you can pack accordingly.

Article Written By Laura Hoot

Laura Hoot is a full-time travel writer and editor for the website Vacation Rentals. Her work has appeared in various online publications, including The Budget Fashionista and See Jack Shop. Hoot holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas, Austin.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.