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Cruising 101, Part 2: 5 Tips for Booking a Cruise

Updated: Oct 29

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5 Tips for Booking a Cruise

Cruising used to be a luxury for rich folks waaay back. Now, it is more and more affordable and cruising is a popular option when you are planning your vacation. There are many levels of affordability. Here are some things to consider when you book a cruise:

1. Departure ports: you should take note where you want to leave from and how you will get there. You can build an extra vacation around your departure port. Will you have to fly? Can you drive there and how much does it cost to park? Does the cruise line sell air fare and transportation to and from the departure port?

Sailing from New York

2. Destinations/Itineraries: For the world traveler, cruising is an excellent way to introduce yourself new countries without booking an entire vacation there. You can get to know a place and come back later or visit a port again and again and do something different every time. The amount of ports depends on the length of the cruise and the distance from the departure port.

Corfu, Greece

3. Ship: Cruise lines build ships in classes. Ships in each class have many things in common: size, amenities, activities but each one will have something that distinguishes them so that they are not all exactly alike.

Smaller ships are necessary for some cruises

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4. Dining/Food: Food quality is can vary from line to line. Most cruise lines keep the quality the same for each class of their ships but the variety may differ. Ships will also have extra restaurants (that you pay extra for). Larger ships may have more types of foods available in between meals. Most cruise lines include lemonade, iced tea and water as part of the price but sodas are extra. Drinks with alcohol are almost always extra and some lines will sell you a package for that, too. Read the website carefully or check with your travel agent so that you know what to expect.

5. Staterooms: You can choose your room. The rooms will be very nice but smaller than the average hotel room. It's a stateroom. Rooms near the Lido deck (near the pool), and on Decks 1-2 (under the galley/kitchen) may hear some noise. So will rooms near the elevator or the stairs. FYI: Be kind to your cabin steward, they're your host for the week.

Stateroom with king bed

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Happy Travels!

Other Articles in This Series:

Cruising 101, Part 1: Welcome to Cruising

Cruising 101, Part 2: 5 Tips for Booking A Cruise

Cruising 101, Part 3: Behind the Scenes of A Cruise Ship

Cruising 101: Part 4: What To Pack

Cruising 101: Part 5: Plan Your Own Excursions

Cruising 101, Part 6: Hidden Costs of A Cruise


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