1 Ship size
The cruise industry’s standard on vessel sizes is:
Large resort – 1,751-6,500 passengers
Mid-size – 751-1,750 passengers
Small – 251-750 passengers
Boutique – 50‑250 passengers.
2 Cabin style
Cabins (or staterooms) come in four broad categories: inside (no window or porthole); ocean‑view (with window or porthole); balcony (with small private balcony); and suites (separate sleeping and living area).
3 Fare – all-inclusive or not?
Drinks, tips, specialty restaurants, shore excursions and onboard activities cost extra on some ships, but are included on others. Make sure you know what is covered for your cruise.
4 Going ashore
Some itineraries include several sea days, so if that doesn’t appeal choose one that calls at more ports. Ship-run excursions are offered – but you can always organise independent trips.
Always check whether you are required to have a visa for the countries to be visited on you cruise and ask the cruise line if they organise visas. Often you are expected to do this yourself.