Planning a Cruise

Planning a cruise can be a frustrating yet wonderful experience. The list of info you can get nowadays is infinite! After about 5 minutes of web searching, you could possibly be faced with hundred of sites, all claiming to be the easiest and fastest way to book your cruise. Which site should you choose ? You've got web sites chockfull of critics, cruise reviews and past cruise travelers recommendations, all telling you that you should listen to them. At times too much information can feel overwhelming, and planning a cruise could be over before it even gets started. In order to help your cruise planning experience flow as smoothly as possible, I recommend that you first surf cruisenetwork.com for cruise news, deals, and fresh offers. Then I suggest that you follow these next four steps.

Planning a Cruise Step 1 - Choose your Destination

Oh, sounds simple, does it But what if I were to ask you Where, on this big, vast green earth would you like to travel I would bet you'd have to stop and think about that one, now wouldn't you Of course you would! There are so many wonderful places and great things to see. There's the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London. There's the Windmills of Holland and the volcanoes of Hawaii. India's Taj Mahal sounds impressive, but so does a cruise to the Orient. You can't forget the hip-swaying adventures that await you in the melodic Caribbean isles. So how do you figure out where you'd like to cruise

Planning a Cruise - Length

First things first. Consider how long you'd like to cruise for and how much you want to spend. If you have less than a week of party time places like the Bahamas, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean are probably your best bet. Or you could sign up for a cruise to nowhere. A cruise to nowhere is long weekend cruise with absolutely no ports of call. But you'll still have all the activities on the ship to keep you occupied, and this gives you the opportunity to experience what a cruise would be like. If you're in the hunt for a lengthier cruise, like maybe a week, the whole Caribbean is basically handed to you. Depending on where you live, you could probably get to Europe, Alaska, Canada, or the South Pacific. If ten days or more is doable for you then you'll have a great number of options. Think the Mediterranean. Think all seven of the continents.

Planning a Cruise - Cost

You should plan out a budget for your cruise. In the past, the general tenet was that $100 a day per person was sufficient. That tenet's still somewhat realistic, even though many cruise lines are now charging extra for things they once included in the price. I'd say that you could probably get away with, on average, about $500 a week if you cruised with a mainstream cruise line sailing for the Caribbean. Just remember to Shop Around! If you book a cruise with a Cruise Specialist, however, you'll only have to shop around in one place.

Planning a Cruise Step 2 - Choose Your Ship

Choosing your ship depends on whose going on the cruise with you and why. Are you planning a group cruise Are you planning a cruise wedding or planning a honeymoon cruise? Is this vacation solely a couples getaway Or is it time for that much-needed family holiday These questions are pertinent to what type of cruise ship you'll need. Family ships offer unique amenities and services, especially childcare services. If you want your children to be entertained kid style then you'll want to make sure the ship you choose has activities tailored specifically to children's needs. Many family ships have teen discos, kiddy pools, and video arcades. In addition, the menus will be kid friendly, too. If you want a group cruise, there are certain steps to planning a group cruise that you'll need to take. The most important step, however, is finding out what ship offers the best group rate. Booking with certain cruise lines on certain ships could save you big money. The Cruise Specialists at Cruise Network reign supreme when it comes to getting the best deals for their clients. Inquire more about group cruises. Now if you don't have a group, and don't have kids or even want them hanging around while you're trying to enjoy your vacation, there are some cruise ships that are almost all adult inhabited. On these ships, most of the activities are tailored to adults—loads of martini bars, nightclubs, casinos, and formal dining restaurants. Most ships have fitness centers, day spas, Vegas-style shows, and deck games, too. You'll also want to find a ship that has lots of private places for easy "cozying up."

Planning a Cruise Step 3 - Choose Your Stateroom

Now that you know where you're going, who's going, the ship you're going on and for how long, and the amount of money you're going to spend, it's time for you to choose a stateroom. Staterooms usually come in two categories: suites and staterooms. There are inside rooms (no view) and outside rooms (porthole or window view). If you're like me and don't mind the basic amenities because you really don't plan on being in your room a great deal of the time, you should book the cheapest outside cabin, which gives you the window or porthole view. However, the balconied and more expensive cabins may be a cruise experience you can't afford to pass up. Can't you just imagine yourself wearing a tightly tied, fluffy white robe, sitting on your room's own private verandah or balcony, with a glass of wine and the ocean as your view The good news is that most of the newer ships are adding verandahs to all its cabins. This means the cabins are also getting less expensive.

Planning a Cruise Step 4 - Cruise Activities

There are a myriad of shore excursions and onboard activities that can enhance your cruise vacation experience. Most, if not all cruise lines offer shore excursion packages that can be added to your cruise vacation. Shore excursions are great, easy and timesavers. With a shore excursion previously planned, you won't have to be at loss for what to do when you pull into port. When you're in a foreign place it might take you a while to get acclimated. And you're only at a port for a very limited amount of time so you don't want to fumble around trying to figure out what you want to do or see. You'll only be wasting time and energy. Booking a shore excursion could maybe save you both.

Planning a Cruise - Online Cruise Booking

First-time cruisers should probably work with cruise planners or a travel agent who is experienced in booking cruises, like one of our Cruise Specialists here at Cruise Network. Moderate to Experienced travelers could probably do it all online, and in less than ten minutes. However, doing it without the benefit of a Cruise Specialist could cause you to spend more money in the long run. Why? That's because cruise agencies usually get a jump on the best deals and discounts cruise lines are offering. But what's worse than spending more money than you have to on a cruise Not maximizing your cruise experience to the fullest extent! If you're not getting the aid of a Cruise Network Cruise Specialists, then you could wind up robbing yourself of perfect cruise vacation.

Planning a Cruise - Reservations

Planning a cruise vacation has never been easier! Whether you're planning a group cruise, planning a wedding cruise, planning a honeymoon cruise, or are just looking a get away from some much deserved rest and relaxation, our certified cruise planners are here to help! or get all your cruise questions answered by an experienced Cruise Network cruise specialist.


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