Summer is already behind us, and as we watch the leaves fall to the ground and images of snow and bad weather loom in our future, it’s beginning to look like time to plan for a winter getaway. Nothing beats a getaway to somewhere hot in the middle of winter when you feel like you can’t take the cold anymore. My suggestion? Plan a winter cruise now for a great winter getaway and avoid scrambling at the last minute.
If you’ve never been on a cruise, think of it as a hotel that takes you to all sorts of great vacation destinations. The best part is that you’ll only need to unpack once. While onboard the ship, you can enjoy great food, beverages, and entertainment, all while experiencing amazing destinations like the Caribbean, Mexico, or the Mediterranean.
If you’ve previously been on a cruise, then you already know how amazing cruising is. Some people go to get away from it all, and others enjoy becoming the life of the party with a few thousand of their new friends. Which kind of cruiser are you?
When it comes time to planning a cruise, there are two kinds of planners:
- The person who plans far in advance to get the possible deal and to always get the cabin of their choice. This person will spend hours online researching the best cruise lines, cruise ships, itineraries, and cruise deals before deciding on a cruise.
- The person who likes to wait until the last possible second to get a last-minute deal. They’re willing to sacrifice choosing their specific cabin in advance for the possibility of getting a ridiculously great bargain on a cruise.
Choosing Your Next Cruise
How do you choose a cruise if you’ve never cruised before then? I definitely recommend the following:
- Decide on an area you’d like to visit first. It makes no sense to look at the dozens, if not hundreds, of cruises available if you aren’t interested in going to Alaska or Norway in January.
- Choose an itinerary. If you’ve narrowed your destination down to an area, next choose an itinerary. If you’ve chosen the Caribbean, for instance, realize that there are Western, Eastern, and Southern Caribbean itineraries, which means you’ll have to narrow your choice down further.
- Decide on the cruise length. For first-time cruisers, I generally recommend a three- to four-day itinerary to help you decide if you even want to be on a cruise ship. But realize that the short cruises are pretty much party cruises on older ships, so they don’t really reflect what a longer cruise will feel like. Conversely, if you’ve never cruised before, you might not want to be on a 14-day cruise for the first time.
- Decide on a cruise line. Not all cruise lines are the same, and it’s up to you to do the research to decide which cruise line will fit your needs. Some cruise lines are family-friendly, while others cater to a somewhat older passenger. Do research in advance and read reviews to see which cruise line sounds the most like what you’re looking for in a cruise holiday.
When you’re ready to book your cruise for that fantastic winter getaway that will get you out of the cold weather and grey skies, always check for the best prices and find out if there are any promotions first before booking. Then start planning your packing list and decide what you’ll do in each port. Before you know it, it’ll be time to say, “Bon Voyage!”