Finding the perfect cruise is never easy. There are so many destinations to choose from, so many operators to sail with and a constantly expanding range of ships vying for your attention. However, it all comes down to what kind of holiday you want and, hopefully, after answering these questions, you will be able to do just that. Assuming you know the part of the world you would like to visit, here are few considerations to help you decide the rest.
Luxury vs Choice
Whilst these two things aren’t always mutually exclusive, it is rare to find a ship that offers a luxurious and intimate cruising experience and a plethora of choice in terms of entertainment, dining, etc. That’s not to say that luxury operators provide no choice – just that there are usually a lot more options when choosing a larger vessel that doesn’t focus on offering six-star pampering.
Having said that, the ships with the biggest selection of dining and entertainment facilities will always have areas where you can treat yourself and relax away from the crowds. In a nutshell, it’s the choice between resort style vessels such as Harmony of the Seas and the sumptuous, all-suite surroundings of something like Seven Seas Explorer. It comes down to personal preference.
Family Fun vs Couple’s Retreat
This next consideration will depend on who you are taking with you on your cruise. If you are planning a family trip then the thought of the children being stuck without anything to do is likely to push you in the direction of the family-friendly operators. Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and P&O Cruises all have great kids’ facilities to help keep them smiling. However, the latter splits its fleet between adult-only vessels and those allowing everybody on board.
If, on the other hand, you want to escape the little ones for a while or you are planning a romantic couples break, there are plenty of options too. Just simply sailing outside of the school holidays will limit the number of children on board, but Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises are all great choices for couples. Alternatively, P&O Cruises’ Arcadia, Adonia and Oriana are all exclusively for adults.
Fly-Cruise vs Cruise From The UK
This one will depend on where you want to visit, but it is important to decide whether you want to sail straight from the UK or fly out to meet the ship. Obviously, if you are looking for a Caribbean cruise or something in the Far East, no fly-cruises are hard to come by. However, there are some destinations that offer both options.
The Mediterranean is the perfect example. Some cruises will depart from Southampton and travel to ports such as Lisbon, Barcelona and Rome, whilst others will sail out of ports like Rome, Venice and Marseille and visit destinations further east. If you are looking to take advantage of the hassle-free aspect of a cruise out of the UK, the Norwegian Fjords, Northern Europe and the Baltic are all perfect regions to visit.
Drinks Package vs Pay As You Drink
Whilst some cruise lines offer an all-inclusive product (something which more and more companies are deciding to do), others still allow you to make a choice between a drinks package or to simply pay for each drink as you go. This is an important decision to make as it could help you save some money during your holiday, and it comes down to more than just ‘how much alcohol will I drink?’
To start with, the majority of drinks packages also include soft drinks and so if you include how many of these you plan to have then it could mean a package is a much more cost-effective choice. You also need to ask yourself how much time you are going to spend on board the ship. Obviously, you have no choice during the sea days, but do you plan to go ashore every time the ship makes port? If the answer is yes, then perhaps you won’t be drinking as much as you think on board.
The best way to decide is to work out roughly how many drinks you are going to want per day and see if this adds up to more or less than the price of the package. Also, remember that some operators have different packages depending on whether you wish to drink premium products or not.
These aren’t the only considerations when booking a cruise, but our team is on hand to answer any other questions you might have. Call us today and we’ll help you find the perfect holiday for you.