Ok… so after last week’s post about destinations, now you have chosen where you want to go but now to choose the exact itinerary and date! Are you wondering where to begin?
#1 One way Cruise or Round Trip to the Same Port of Call?
Depending on your destination, many of the sailings may be round-trip to the same port of call where you started, or they might be one way only. For example, many Canada/New England cruises and Alaska Cruises are one way, but most Caribbean and many Mediterranean sailings are round-trip.
#2 Sea Days & Port Days – How many of Each?
Are you more of an explorer or a relaxer? Or a good blend of both, perhaps? Some sailings will offer more days in port so you can explore, or more sea days to relax! If you love days at sea, a Southern Caribbean might be very nice, because there is usually an extra day of travel by sea!
#3 Do you want to stay overnight in any ports?
Nightlife can be a lot of fun! Some cities are magical at night. Some popular overnight ports of call for cruises are Havana, St. Petersburg, Dublin, Buenos Aires, Lima, and Aruba!
#4 Bucket list experiences – Which ones are you checking off on this trip?
When you selected this destination, did you have any specific experiences in mind that are a must do or a must see site while you are here?
If so, you definitely want to make sure that it’s going to fit into the schedule. Sometimes, going to see or do something may take more time than the cruise line is in port. Not sure about that itinerary? That’s the sort of thing I help people figure out all the time!
#5 How you’re traveling to the embarkation & disembarkation ports of call
Do you want to drive or fly?
Do you have any cities at either end of the available itineraries that you would like to spend a few days in? For example, many people will do a pre-cruise stay in Rome or Barcelona.
There are a lot of great pre-and post-cruise stays and journeys you can do. You can stay in a city or add a multi-day tour!
The options are endless!
#6 Time of year considerations: Weather, Special Events, & More
How is the weather in that part of the world at that time of the year? Any of the experiences you want to do affected by weather? Will weather affect your travel?
How about festivals, concerts, and other special cultural events – think Mardi Gras, St Patrick’s Day, Day of the Dead, Carnaval, and the Running of the Bulls!
Can you get a better promotion with some extra freebies at certain times? These are all worth considering. Alaska is one that is particularly sensitive to time of year due to both the weather and in some cases seeing northern lights!
#7 Which cruise line is best for this cruise type or destination?
Every cruise line has its own personality. Some are fun, family, luxury, chic, upscale, laid-back, and everything in between. Some cruise lines do certain destinations better than others, while some cruise lines are for larger ships with more to do on board and other cruise lines take smaller vessels that can get into the cruise ports that the larger ships cannot visit due to their size. It’s all about choosing the right fit for your style of vacation.
These are many considerations, and I am always here to help guide you through the many options available to you.