If you have never been on a cruise, you don’t know what you are missing. My first cruise was a gift from my mom – it was 7 glorious days on Princess Cruise Lines in the Caribbean. It was the FIRST vacation that I actually relaxed – no phone, no email, just sun, fun and relaxation.
Yes, I love visiting North Carolina. Yes, I do relax – at least a little. The truth is that I don’t truly shut down my electronics and I think that is the key. So if you are looking to take a cruise and think it is WAY too expensive….. think again!
You have decided to take a cruise. Now comes the daunting task of pick what type of cruise. Fear. Dread. Overwhelmed! There are religious cruises, intellectual cruises, party cruises, celebrity-themed cruises, political cruises and the list goes on, with options numbering in the thousands.
Lorri Christou, senior vice president, strategic marketing and communications with CLIA says that preparation is key when it comes to ship selection. I LOVE this graphic that appeared in the Washington post. Check it out and see what tips it gives you.
If you are new to cruising, here are some tips.
Use a travel agent who specializes in cruising. Yes, there are still travel agents even in this digital world. They can help you get up to speed on the different ship options and destinations. They can help with booking flights. NEWS FLASH! Travel agents can often help you get better deals than you can find on your own.
Don’t overcommit. I know that there is LOTS of things to do not only on the ship but also when you get into port. Be careful. What do you really want from your cruise vacation? Rest and relaxation? Adventure and socializing? A mix of the two? Remember this is a vacation. How many times have you come home from vacation saying “I need a vacation from my vacation”? Schedule some things but also leave some down time for you to relax and enjoy the sea air and read a book (or get some extra sleep).
Introverts can enjoy cruises, too. Do you struggle in social settings? Are you a home-body? The truth is that was my hubby. When we went on our first cruise, he was ready to just sit and read. Once we got on the ship and started to explore things, he actually found it fun. There are a variety of cruises with something for everyone. The dining rooms offer a variety of table sizes, so guests can opt for a two-seat table, a 12-seat table or anything in between. We were with family, so we sat together but when we were in the buffet areas, we mingled with other guests. Some cruises are more social while others more low-key. Splurging on a room with a balcony can also offer more privacy for those times when you just want to be by yourselves.
Cruising is a great way to see multiple countries in a short amount of time. I love that you unpack once and basically the ship does all the work for you.
Where are you dreaming of cruising to? Share your tips and thoughts with us.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!