7 Essential Steps to Planning a Hassle-Free Cruise
If attempting to plan your cruise has left you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and confused this post is for you. I've created a quick list of the essential cruise planning steps to help narrow down your choices and guide your decision making.
- Choose Your Travel Dates and Destination: You can literally cruise around the world, so in this step, you'll want to get out a map and decide where to go, for what length of time, and your ideal cruising climate.
- Choose Your Cruising Style: The different cruising styles include River Cruising, Ocean Cruising, Yacht and Sailing/Tall-Ship Cruising, and Expedition/Adventure Cruising. Each style is unique so choose one that feels right to you.
- Choose Your Ship and Stateroom: Picking a ship, and shortly after a stateroom, is an important step, but it can also be complex due to all the choices. Consider the interests of your cruising party to find a ship that best meets everyone's travel needs.
- Create a Shore Excursion Plan: So many people forget this step and often times (especially those who are new to cruising) will mistakenly wait until the last minute to plan excursions leading to sold-out opportunities when they begin their cruise. Avoid this situation by thinking about your port options ahead of time.
- Draft a Pre/Post Plan: Will you fly or drive? Make sure your arrival and departure plans correspond correctly with your ships itinerary so you don’t miss the ship or your plane coming home. Better yet, plan to arrive the evening before your cruise and make hotel arrangements so you don't feel rushed on the day your cruise actually departs. Make sure to note the distance to your port and your transportation getting there as well.
- Estimate Extra Expenses: Will you need travel insurance? If so how much and what type of insurance? Have you made a note of any additional ship dining, entertainment, and drink costs? There’s a lot of fine print within a cruise contract, make sure you review all that’s included and what’s not.
- Get The Right Travel Documents: This step includes reviewing not only the passport requirements but additional visas which may be required while traveling. Also, the proper legal documents if you're traveling with a child, but not the parents (i.e. a grandparent taking a grandchild on a cruise) as well as vaccine documentation if required by a country you're visiting.
There's no need to feel "lost at sea" planning and if you'd like some guidance planning your cruise the next best step would be to contact me for a complimentary consultation.
This free, no-obligation call gives us a chance to connect voice-to-voice, rather than just via the Internet. This is primarily a getting-to-know-each-other call and at the end of the call, we will both have a good idea of whether or not I’m the right person to assist in your cruise planning.
What are some areas of cruise planning that have left you confused? Tell me about it by commenting below.
About The Author
Jennifer Puga is an innovative and gifted Virtuoso® Travel Advisor who specializes in luxury cruise planning for couples, groups, multi-generational families, as well as designing tailor-made pilgrimage experiences in the Holy Land of Israel. Contact her here to learn more about planning your cruise vacation.