Sunday, October 2, 2011

Starting Your Cruise Planning

Explore the World of Cruise Vacationing

If you've ever thought about going on your first cruise, October is the time to begin that journey.  We suggest you also read our article Cruise Rookies to get started.

Remember when you were a baby and you found something on the floor?  What's the first thing you'd do?   Most likely, you put it in your mouth to see what it was. You compared the newly found object with others that you had already experienced. 

To start planning a cruise vacation, there are three basic questions you'll need to answer.   The answers to those first questions will narrow the list of remaining choices that you'll need to make.  You can draw upon past experiences in your life to answer them.

When do you want to go? 

There are cruises year-round, but some destinations have specific cruise seasons, like Alaska for example which goes from May through September.  The more flexible you are on when you want to go, the more choices you'll have to select from.  Also if cost is a factor, the time of year you travel will play a significant role in what you pay.

Where do you want to go?

Assuming that the time you selected has several cruises that match your criteria, you'll next want to decide what you'd like to see. Since this is your first cruise, the sky is the limit - everything is going to be new to you. After you have been cruising awhile, you'll want to try different destinations.

There are 23 ports in the United States that offer cruises ranging from 3 nights up to World Cruises which are over 100 nights in length. If you have restrictions on where you want to depart from, that will limit the ports of call that you could potentially visit.

What type of accommodations do you want?

If you've ever made hotel reservations, it won't come as a shock to you that the next question you'll be asked is what type of cabin you would like.

There are three basic types of cabins: 
inside cabins (like your bedroom with no window), outside (again like your bedroom, but now you have a port hole or picture window), and balcony (it includes a private veranda with a sliding door).

There are additional classifications of cabins, but we don't need to get into that at this time.  Location (forward / aft / mid-ship and deck) factors into the cost of the cabin.   If you think that the motion of the ship might make you uncomfortable, you'll want to have a cabin mid-ship.

As you can see, booking a cruise vacation is very similar to booking a hotel room.   You decide when you want the reservation,  which hotel location, and what type of room.   Your hotel could either face the parking lot or the ocean with the latter costing more than the former.

For more cruise resources, be sure to bookmark the following blog post, where we'll be adding additional links throughout the entire month.

Virtual National Cruise Vacation Week Calendar 2011

It is best to discuss your cruise plans, especially for your first cruise, with a professional cruise specialist.  They can assist you by asking all the right questions to narrow down your selection to the cruise that is right for you. We love working with first time cruisers since we are able to draw upon our experience and expertise to get them started on, what we hope will be, a lifetime of cruise vacations.

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