If you are looking to take a relaxing vacation with your family, loved one or simply by yourself for some peace and quiet, a cruise is definitely one of your top options. If this is going to be your first cruise, there are a number of issues that you need to define to help you with your planning.
Firstly, who is it that is going on this cruise with you? Whether it is your husband, your kids, or you are planning on spending some quality “you” time, everyone is welcome on most cruises. However it is easy to find a cruise that is mainly adult, or some that are more focused on providing entertainment for kids, from toddlers to teenagers.
Financially, you need to decide how much money you want to spend, and figure out a realistic budget for yourself. Usually, approximately 100 US dollars a day is sufficient, not including the cost of getting to the cruise ship itself. Make sure you find out exactly what is included in your fare; some extras that used to be thrown in are now an additional charge. There are a couple different ways to save, like taking advantage of the early bird fares and booking in advance. Also, while it’s risky, for those of you with flexible schedules, booking last minute can save you a bunch as well.
So, what’s the most affordable way to get to your cruise ship? The most likely, and popular, ways are driving or flying. A cruise can be a great finish to a road trip, where you can stop off whenever you please and explore several destinations on the way to your fabulous vacation to be.
Some cruise lines can give you a flight and cruise package, which is easier, and less stressful way to plan your trip, plus it usually includes the pricey transfers from the airport to your cruise ship. In addition, most cruise lines usually take care of your luggage, which means they can transfer it directly to your cabin.
Ask someone to picture their perfect vacation, and you will usually get an answer that involves the words sun, sand and water. The perfect way to relax is to get far away from your daily routine and relax in the warm sun. If this sounds like the vacation for you, what you need is a Caribbean cruise.
If you truly want to experience the feeling of living on a boat, or, if you are looking for a cost-efficient way to see the Caribbean, you’ll find this aboard a mid-size cruise ship. Mid-size ships offer most of the luxuries of a large ship, but for a more economical price.
If you are nervous at the thought of sailing on the ocean, or, if you want to be pampered, a large cruise ship should be your choice. These ships contain their own swimming pools, spas, restaurants, dance floors, and much more.
No matter which size of cruise ship you choose, you will be sure to have the time of your life! No cruise would be complete without a few stops along the way, and your cruise ship would be stopping at some of the beautiful islands in the Caribbean ocean. You can shop for local hand-made crafts, explore the islands, or go sailing or snorkeling in the tropical waters. Some islands will host a feast or traditional performance – something you don’t want to miss!
If you only have a few days, or are travelling on a small budget, three and four-day cruises are available. Even though you may be away for less than a week, you’ll still come back feeling as refreshed and reenergized as if you’d been gone for a month! Often, all we need is a change of scenery and time to relax, no matter how long or short it is. If you want to get away from it all, splurge on a two-week Caribbean cruise; you’ll see more of the tropics and have time to get used to being waited on hand and foot!
There are numerous cruise lines to choose from, with ships sailing from several different ports at all times of the year. With a bit of research on the Internet or at a local bookstore or travel agent, you can find the Caribbean cruise that is perfect for you!.
Have you thought about the destination for your next cruise?
Could it be the Caribbean which many cruise ships cruise around. Where will you visit? How about Belize, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grand Antigua, Cayman, South Carolina, Martinique, Barbados, St. Lucia, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, the Bahamas or Mexico. These are all destinations from cruises setting out from places such as Fort Lauderdale.
You could try a cruise in the Mediterranean calling at such destinations such as, Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal and other Mediterranean countries. When visiting Gibraltar you must check out the “Rock” but look out for the Apes. These are known as the Barbary Apes and they want you to feed them. I have seen people being attacked by the apes in their search for food. It can be very scary if it is you being attacked but very funny if you are watching it. If it happens to you just let go of the food and the Apes will leave you alone. It’s the food they are after.
There are other places to cruise in Europe such as Norway, cruising up the coast and fiords visiting isolated communities in the deep-sea valleys on the west coast of Norway. The scenery is dramatic and by cruising above the artic circle you can experience the land of the midnight sun. This sun never sets in summertime but in wintertime it never rises. Because of this you need to make sure you only cruise this area in the summer. Just as much fun as Norway is Alaska where you can get just as dramatic scenery and it is just as much fun.
Some cruise ships in the US spend the winter months cruising the Caribbean and the summer months cruising the West coast of Alaska. These ships need to reposition themselves during the fall and springtime and do this through the Panama Canal. These cruises are highly recommended due to the unique experience of the Panama Canal. The US completed the canal in the early part of the last century although the canal was started by the French. The canal starts at the Gatun locks at the Atlantic side of Panama and travels to the Pacific side which lowers ships over 50 feet in the series of Miraflores Locks. The Panama Canal is one of the wonders of the engineering world.
Cruises do not just take place on the sea though and you could try cruising the rivers of the world. How about the great Mississippi river from New Orleans to Little Rock, St Louis or Pittsburg. Companies also run theme cruises covering themes such as the Civil War, Steamboat racing and special Fall cruises.
You could also try Europe and cruise on the river Rhine, Elbe, Danube, Seine or Rhone rivers to name just a few, or you could try your hand at captaining your own boat on the canal systems in France or the UK. Don’t forget further to the east of Europe there are many other countries offering river cruises. There are also rivers such as the Nile and Amazon as well. Whatever you choose to do, just enjoy yourselves.
When it comes to vacationing aboard a cruise ship, many individuals consider preparation to be the luggage that they plan to bring with them. Packing for your cruise ship vacation is important; however, it is not the only preparation that should occur. Preparation shouldn’t wait until the week before your trip. Rather, it should begin as soon as you book your cruise ship reservation.
The type of cruise that you will be taking is vital to preparation. A large number of cruise ships travel on international waters. In addition to being on international waters, many dock at international ports. Before begin able to board your ship, you may have to show proper identification. With international cruises, this identification often includes a drivers licenses and a passport.
Unfortunately, when it comes to obtaining a passport, there are many individuals who wait until the last minute. Last minute passports can be obtained in the event of an emergency, but most require at least a week or more to process. You will not be automatically granted a passport; instead you are required to apply for one. Almost all individuals that apply for a passport are granted one, but planning ahead is the best option. If error is made on the information you supplied, you will have enough time to fix it before your cruise ship departs.
The proper identification is needed to board a cruise ship. Your passport and your driver’s license are not the only forms of documentation that you should bring onboard. If you are covered under a health insurance plan, you are encouraged to bring your health insurance cards. In the event you fall ill while on vacation, your insurance cards will allow you to obtain the needed medical attention.
In addition to your medical insurance cards, it is advised that you bring along all of your needed medications. You may even want to consider brining along extra medication. Many physicians will write extra prescriptions for their patients that are traveling on a cruise ship. Should your medication become lost or misplaced, the extra prescriptions can be used until you return home. While requesting extra medication from your healthcare provider, you may want to question them on safety precautions aboard a cruise ship.
To pay for onboard and port activities, you will need to bring along extra money. Vacationing aboard a cruise ship is similar to vacationing anywhere else in the world. You are encouraged not to carry large sums of cash with you. If you must bring cash along, you are encouraged to divide your money up and place it in safe locations. Almost all cruise ships and popular cruise ship ports accept credit cards, cashiers checks, money orders, or traveler’s checks. These forms of payments are great alternatives to carrying cash.
When traveling aboard a cruise ship, you are urged to give a copy of the cruise ship’s itinerary to multiple friends and family members. This will make it possible for you to be contacted in the event of an emergency. When registering for a cruise ship, you may also be required to give the contact information of someone that should be contacted in an emergency. Your first thought may be to give the contact information of your spouse, children, or a close friend. When doing so, it is important to make sure that they will be on land and accessible.
Once you have made the above mentioned preparations, you can begin focusing on other preparations, such as packing your luggage. When packing, you are urged to keep the climate of your cruise in mind. At the same time, you should be prepared for unexpected weather. Making the proper cruise ship preparations will ensure that your vacation will be a success……