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How to Research and Book a Cruise Vacation

Jul 22, 2008
If you're planning a cruise, there are eight key questions you need to ask yourself before you even begin to book. Keep reading to learn what these eight questions are and how to research and book the best cruise vacation for you.

1. Who's Going?

Depending on the age of your travelers and whether you're planning a romantic getaway or a family fun free-for-all is going to have a defining impact on the type of cruise you choose.

By determining well in advance who will be going, you can really narrow down the choices.

2. What's Your Budget?

Setting a budget in advance will help you plan how much you spend and the type of cruise vacation that you can afford. A typical cruise vacation costs about $100-$300 per day per person, excluding airfare. If your budget only allows a cruise on the lower end of the expense spectrum, this will eliminate many available options and likely make your search process faster.

Booking early, booking last minute or being willing to take an inside cabin are ways you can save money on your cruise. Inside cabins do not have a window view of the ocean.

3. How Much Time do You Have?

Knowing how much vacation you have will help you narrow down your cruise choices. For example, if you only have 5 vacation days available, you won't be indulging in that 3-week adventure up the coast of East Africa.

Typically, a week's vacation allows for a solid 5-7 day cruise in the Caribbean. It can also work depending where you are in North America, Hawaii, Alaska, Europe and even the South Pacific.

On the other hand, a 3 or 4 day cruise will likely only allow for one stop on land. If you love your time on the ship, however, you may not care.

4. When Do You Want to Travel?

Having a rough idea of when you want to go will help you focus on specific sailing times and even destinations. For example, Alaska cruises only operate during the five summer months. And if time in the water is important to you, traveling during the warmer months will be more enjoyable.

5. Where Do You Want to Go?

From Africa to the Caribbean to the South Pacific, cruises travel all over the world. If you know, for example, you want to explore the cities of the Mediterranean, you'll be able to focus your search on Mediterranean cruises.

6. What Activities Do You Like?

For every taste, there's a cruise ship that caters to it. From wine tasters to extreme athletes, there are cruises designed specifically for you - you just have to determine your interest.

7. Do You Like Structure?

Some cruise ships have set dining times, ranging from as early as 6:00 p.m. to as late as 9:00 p.m. Others offer freestyle service which allows you to eat when you please.

8. Do You Enjoy Formal Wear?

Before you book a luxury cruise that offers formal dining every night, ask yourself if you're ready to pack your tuxedo. Whether you want to dress up for dinner every night, just a few nights or not at all, there's a cruise for you. Just be sure to research your options before you purchase.
About the Author
For info on cruise ideas, please visit www.travel-cruise-adventures.com, a popular site providing great insights concerning cruise recommendations, such as Holland America Cruise Lines , Crystal Cruise Lines , Royal Caribbean Cruises and many more!
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