Even after 10 cruises, how to find a cruise the RIGHT cruise for us is a step that we decide on together. After all, there is so much to consider. Large ship or smaller ship. When to cruise. Warm climate or cold climate (such as Alaska). What cabin type. What are the current deals. Who do we book with. And the most important, how much do we have to spend (which decides most of the quieries stated above). After all, if you see a deal for a seven day cruise for $199pp, you can be assured that the accomidations are for an inside cabin. Will you be comfortable in an inside cabin? Also, the $199pp is NOT the final payment. You have to add on port fees and taxes as well as travel insurance which will bring that $199 up to more like $300pp. Luckily, there are many cruise agents that promote "No Down payment" to book your cruise and you can even pay your cruise off over the coming months as long as final payment is made 90 day's prior to the sail date. So if you want to book a cruise, Check your finances on what you can spend (and don't forget there are things onboard such as shops and beverages you must pay extra for just to name a few), decide where you want to cruise to then start researching deals. Or do what we have done since 1990, call a reputable cruise agent and get the ball rolling. They will take the reins and advise you of the best cruises for you in conjunction with your budget. Bon Voyage!! :)
Always A Tough Topic Especially For New Cruisers
Hi Tim! Great points – we’ve also had fantastic experiences with the help of a professional cruise agent!
We too use a cruise specialist \who often notices things that we didn't see. Many times there is not one right cruise but many and then you get to pick which one fits your interests the best. Remember there is always the following year to pick a different cruise.
When I stared cruising I used a Travel specialist. For the last 7 or 8 years I have been using the web site Vacations to go rot booking. I research the ship and ports myself before booking and look at the ship deck plans when picking a cabin.
I am always up to try new ships and cruise lines, I look for the good in each so I enjoy the cruise from Carnival to Celebrity to HAL, found good in all of them.
I do wish the prices listed would include tax and port charges so you knew before calling the total cost.
It seems we started off D-I-Y but more recently have been working with travel professionals to get the most out of our trips.
Because we were more interested in getting off in every port to explore and not spending time in our stateroom, interiors worked perfectly. Another benefit of that approach was that the lower cost allowed us to cruise more often instead of blowing our vacation dollars on one splurge.
Now, square footage, bathroom configuration, and direction the cabin door opens are all more important because of mobility issues. Having a professional to help us makes a big difference.
It's funny how our priorities change over time.
CruisingCM, I joke with my family and friends, I'll stop cruising when I can no longer be wheeled on board a ship. (when in a chair you get so much better service then with a cane, I saw this with my brothers father inlaw on a family cruise) As the Baby boomers age I can see ships going more and more accessible. We are the biggest segment in the population so we are where the $$ is at. I agree with you on the inside cabin and more cruises Vs suite and fewer cruises is the way to go.
Finding the right cruise is always hard. Then its finding the right excursions and specialty events... All the choices and decision and FOMO and all that just melts away once you are on the ship
Well, luckily I've had good luck with booking my own cruises. My family has been happy thus far, and I usually do a crap ton of research before and after booking.