A cruise vacation – questions to ask to kick-start your planning

Choose a cruise vacation package and embark on a cruise adventure that will change the way you think about holidays from now on. Not only are you about to take a trip of a lifetime, but one that you most likely will want to do again and again in the future.

Customizing a cruise vacation package for yourself has never been easier. You can plan, choose and book each element of your trip yourself from home.

Or make use of the extra options your cruise lines offers such as booking flights, hotels and transfers.

You can tailor-make your cruise vacation package to suit exactly what you and your family want from a vacation, at a budget that suits you.

Use this guide to help you understand the steps to creating a cruise vacation package that is the best choice for you and your family, or just for you as a solo traveler.

1. Choose a cruise

What region of the world do you want to visit?

Where do you want to go? Where have you never been that you have always dreamed of visiting? Let us inspire you!

  • Never been to Oceania and visited Australia and New Zealand? we have – check out our destination pages for Australia and New Zealand!
  • Dreaming about Iceland, the North Pole rim or Scandinavia? See our amazing cruise vacation packages for Northern Europe!
  • Want to explore the beautiful British Isles including Scotland but don’t know where to start? We do, British Isles is an unforgettable cruise for many, many reasons.
  • Do you dream of sailing the Mediterranean from Spain to Italy and beyond? We have ideas on how to combine visiting breathtaking cities with your dream cruise.
  • Are you thinking of a road trip exploring Florida and the Keys before cruising the Southern Caribbean? Watch this space for new articles about tried and tested packages for you and your family.
  • Want to head on over to California and pick up a cruise to the Mexican Riviera? Yep, we know all about that too as California used to be home is still very close at heart!

Ports of call and excursion options

Once you have decided the region of the world you are interested in, find cruise intineraries in those regions and take a look at the listed ports of calls. Next look at excursion option to explore all the destinations you will visit.

Remember to check the dates when you will visit each port of call. Beware if you visit a port on a Sunday or on a national holiday, you could find all the shops and museums are closed. Especially at European ports.

On these days, it’s best to book a shore excursion and do something active out in nature instead of planning to shop. Or find an itinerary where you are cruising at sea on a sunday, where everything on your cruise ship is open!

Which cruise lines offer the cruise package vacation you want?

When you have found several itineraries that you are excited about, explore the different cruise lines that sail to these destinations. Find the cruise line that best suits you and your family.

2. Book a flight

Let your cruise company know where you live and where you can fly from. Ask for 2 or 3 suggested routes and airlines so that you can compare prices and travel times. 

Alternatively check out our advice for booking your own flights.

Remember to check transit times when you have a flight connection as waiting around at the airport is just not fun. Choose the smoothest route possible if you cannot get a direct flight. 

Do not fly in on the same day your ship departs port. If your flight is cancelled or delayed you risk missing check-in for your cruise. Plan to fly into your departure destination (if you cannot drive) some days before your cruise departure date. That way you can experience the port city before your cruise – and really create a perfect package vacation on both land and sea! Check out our destination pages for tips on how to spend your pre-cruise days in the most popular port cities.

3. Book hotel and transport to complete your cruise vacation package

Decide if you want to kick-start your vacation with one, two or more nights at a hotel so that you can explore your departure city before climbing on board your cruise ship. 

Is your cruise ending at a different port? Lucky you! Then why not let your cruise line book you into a hotel when your cruise ends too? That way you finish off your vacation by experiencing another new city or revisiting an old favourite.

Ask your cruise company to book a transfer to and from your hotel/airport/ ship. This way you will always get to where you should be on time.

Never before have you ever been able to visit more places in one and the same vacation as you can now. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring destinations here!

Meet the author: With more than 20 years experience from the travel industry, Mattias offers tips, expert advice and a unique perspective anchored in having worked with market leading cruise lines, tour operators, consolidators, airlines and hospitality suppliers. Read more..