If you are planning a cruise trip, you need to find out all it takes to ensure that you enjoy your vacation to the maximum. Whether you have been planning this trip for years or you have just won a trip through a random raffle, you can maximize the benefits of your cruise vacation. The things you do before you leave for the cruise will determine the kind of vacation that you will have. One of the best things that you can do is to book the trip through an expert. When you go through the right channels, you can save yourself many hassles ranging from billing mistakes to bad service.
Book in advance
To make sure that you get the right cabin, you should book far ahead in advance. If you have particular needs when it comes to accommodation, you cannot afford to wait until the last moment. It is important to remember that in some of the large ships, it can take you fifteen or twenty minutes to walk from the bow to the stern. With this in mind, choosing the cabin location is a very important decision. Booking up to five months ahead of the trip will allow you to choose the best cabin in the ideal location. Your trip will be more pleasant if you do not have to wait for an elevator every time.
Buy the airline tickets yourself
It is usually not a good idea to buy your airline tickets through the cruise line especially when booking the trip months in advance. By waiting to buy the tickets yourself, you can take advantage of sales that are available a few months before the cruise. Set up alerts that will notify you when ticket prices drop and you can end up saving hundreds of dollars. Those who buy plane tickets through the cruise line often end up having to deal with inconvenient schedules. Make sure that you plan to get to the port early to avoid missing your sailing due to cancelled or delayed flights.
Start the cruise on the right note
To avoid getting frazzled by the logistics on the day of departure, consider flying in at least three days early. When you fly in just one day ahead, you can become mired in all the details that include getting from the airport to the hotel and then to the ship. This does not leave you much time to decompress and you start your trip on the wrong mental note. With proper planning, you can kick off your cruise feeling relaxed. You should also try to avoid the crowds by arriving after lunch. The embarkation-day buffet crowd can be quite the nightmare and if you are hungry, you should consider room service.
Research on the shore activities
Researching the activities in advance will allow you to plan your itinerary with knowledge. You can avoid the tourist traps and instead explore some of the little known wonders. If you wait to get to port before planning your day, you will end up going on group shore excursions that might not be too exciting. Look at websites and visit local tour agencies to find out the excursions available. You should try to do something new especially if this is not your first trip. Find out the activities available in each port so that you can try something you have never done before when you get to the location.
Planning your time wisely
If you are travelling with your family, balancing your time is essential. Plan when to have alone time, couple time and family time. When you balance your time, you will make sure that everyone enjoys the trip equally. If you immerse yourself in your kids’ activities and fail to make time to spend with your spouse or alone, you will not enjoy the trip to the fullest. It will also not do you much good to drag your kids to activities that they will absolutely hate. You can make everyone happy by planning activities with all in mind. Remember you can take full advantage of the kids’ clubs to have some intimate moments.
Needless to say, you can only enjoy your trip by choosing the right cruise line in the first place. The first step is choosing where you want to go as this will determine the cruise you should book. When planning your trip, find out all the options and remember that all cruise lines are not created equal.
Do your research and find out everything beforehand, from the size of the cabins to the amenities available and the activities on board. Think about what you need and if you are traveling with your family, remember to choose a ship that will offer adequate accommodation. It helps to remember that the time or days you plan to travel will determine the cost and other factors like space availability.