When and to Where Should I Plan My Next Cruise?

Are you thinking about taking a cruise to the Caribbean? Maybe you have never cruised before and you’re thinking about a trip to the Mediterranean. Have you thought about doing it as a cruise? What if you are a cruise expert. Do you know when and to where to go on your next cruise?

There are a vast amount of cruise options available from 1-night “Cruises to Nowhere” up to months at sea. Believe it or not, there are great cruise options available for everyone and although all destinations are great, you might want to choose when to travel to certain destinations.

Year round destinations:
*Mexican Riviera
*Panama Canal – particularly in the the spring and fall when ships reposition from the Caribbean to Alaska

April through November:

May through September:

Late May through September:
*Baltic Sea

May through November:

June through November:
*New England/Canada

November through March:
*South America

Can you take a cruise to one of these destinations any other time of the year? Absolutely! However, if you are looking to go on a whale watch in Alaska or in the Mexican Riviera and you go during a different time of year, you might see absolutely nothing. Granted, you might get a better deal for off-season, but is the cost savings worth it? When you go somewhere hot, especially if it is cold back home, you expect it to be hot, right? Be sure to do your research not only about your cruise, but about your destination ports, too.

Another consideration to keep in mind is whether you want to take a cruise during the time of year when schools are out. If you plan on taking that once in a lifetime cruise during February or April school vacation, expect loads of kids or college students. During summer vacation you can expect lots of families on cruises with popular ships and destinations. If you are planning a romantic vacation and don’t want to be in the middle of Spring Break, not only should you decide on a cruise line that is more focused on what you want, but also destinations that won’t have hoards of families, children, and college students in port with you. Conversely, if you have a family, you might be excited to go during a busy time like this because you know your child or children won’t be the only ones on board.

What can you take away from today’s blog? Picking a cruise isn’t just about the price. In a 2008 CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) and Cruise Critic survey, 36.6% of families said that the destination or itinerary was the primary deciding factor in choosing a family cruise. Almost 30% were motivated by price so certainly price was a consideration. If you are thinking about a cruise and trying to decide which one of dozens to take, you may narrow it down by price, but itinerary should also be your deciding factor.