There really is a cruise to suit everyone. Ships offer a huge range of cabin, food and entertainment options, while new destinations are opening up every day.
So how do you make sure you are choosing what’s right for you?
Budget is probably going to be your first consideration. Cruises come in all shapes and sizes, and generally provide excellent value on a price-per-day basis. Even the very cheapest fares include accommodation, transport, meals, entertainment and sometimes exotic destinations. Sure, you can pay extra for excursions, drinks and dinners in signature restaurants. But you don’t have to. At the other end of the spectrum, luxury cruises have a higher ticket price, but “all-inclusive” can mean everything from shore tours to a personal butler and French champagne virtually on tap.
Destination is probably next on any check list and, depending on time and budget restraints, you really can go anywhere. Combination cruising, where a sea journey is combined with a trek or a safari, is also becoming increasingly common.
Who are you travelling with? Do you need great kids’ facilities and lots of activities for an extended family, or are you planning a getaway with the girls who might enjoy a top-notch spa and fine dining? Do you enjoy dressing up for formal evenings or would you prefer to stick to shorts and a t-shirt? Would you like to learn to cook or paint? Whatever you want, you’ll find it cruising.
Duration: If you are new to cruise, test the waters with a short itinerary, close to home. Many lines offer two-night cruises, including “cruises to nowhere”, which will take you out to sea for a couple of days and are all about experiencing life on board.
Ocean or river? If you’re worried about going to sea, there are lots of river cruises available in Asia (Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers) and Europe.