With so many cruise lines out there, the number of options can be daunting. Which cruise line should you choose? Here are a few things to consider when choosing your next cruise.
1. Are you planning on going with kids or grandkids? If so, you should look into cruise lines that will have activities for them or you will have bored kids on your hands. Which is never good. Research cruise lines that have a basketball court (like Norweigan) or surfing (Royal Caribbean). Some cruise lines even offer babysitting or kids programs that will have them occupied all day long. Depending on the age of the kids, make sure there are programs made for them. I once went on a cruise when I was twelve and the younger kid programs cut off at age 11 and then the pre-teen activities and clubs started at 13. I had no one to hang out with and very little to keep me occupied. I was either too young or too old.
2. Do you want the ability to have free style dining? If so, make sure to research which cruise lines have no set dinner start times. Some cruise lines make you pick what time you have dinner every night. If that’s important to you, choose a cruise line that allows you to eat dinner anytime you want. Some cruise lines also make you sit with other people at dinner instead of only sitting with your party.
3. What types of activities do you want to on the ship? Look what types of bars, restaurants, clubs, shopping and shows they offer. Some ships have Blue Man Group, ice skating shows, or comedians. Make sure the boat you choose has what you want to do! When there are days at sea, you want to make sure you are still happy. Some people are happy sitting at the casino all day long, other people like to sit by the pool. Either way, make sure your ship offers what you want!
4. What types of activities do you want to do while you are off the ship? Although you can just take a cab and do your own tour of the port, sometimes a nice guided tour is fun. Look into the excursions they offer to see which ones you are interested in. Excursions are great because the cruise line plans all of it for you so you just have to show up in the designated area and they take you to a bus, boat or other vehicle to get to your destination. They usually hire local tour guides to bring you around so you learn a lot!
5. Are you looking to cruise by yourself? Some cruises offer a singles floor where all of the rooms sleep one person and offer singles events and cocktail hours to help you meet other friends while on the cruise. Every cruise I have been on has single travelers. It is a great way to go on vacation by yourself without feeling unsafe in a foreign land.
What other things do you think vacation planners should consider when choosing a cruise line?