Cruising is like going on the ultimate, worry-free adventure – aside from the mishaps that have made the news recently. A floating resort – As soon as you embark the ship your adventure begins – exploring the ship and learning the layout of your home away from home, trying new cuisines, and meeting new people. By the time you’ve boarded the cruise everything has been taken care of with the exception of alcohol (some cruise lines offer drink packages) and excursions (if you’ve chosen to wait).I just booked my 6th cruise adventure to celebrate my besties b-day, and this time we’re exploring Jamaica, Haiti, Grand Cayman, and Mexico by way of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.
The Freedom of the Seas – 1,112 feet in length, is a whole lot of ship and I am so excited that we have 7 nights to explore it all! Ice skating, a movie theater, rock climbing, and 4-pools (including an adults only retreat).
How to Choose Your Cruise Adventure:
Where do you want your cruise to depart from? – I don’t get sea sick, but after the roller coaster ride I had on the Atlantic a couple of years ago leaving out of the Port of Baltimore I typically fly South and cruise out of Florida. NYC is a large cruise port though, with 3 cruise ship terminals (Manhattan, New Jersey, and Brooklyn).
Where do you want to go? Alaska, Caribbean, Europe, Canada, Australia?
How long do you want cruise? 3night, 5nights, 7night, 14nights?
What cruise line do you want to use? Does it matter? – So far I’ve cruised with Royal Caribbean and Carnival and Royal Caribbean is by far my favorite. I have heard good things from friends that have cruised with Celebrity and Princess Cruise Lines though.
Now you’re ready to book! How do you find great cruise deals?
Cruise Line Websites (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Norwegian, etc…)
USAA (for military members)
Tip: Additional discounts are given based on state residency, age, and military service – always inquire
Short Vs. Long Cruises – My only advice here is always check the amenities available on your cruise ship – you don’t want to choose a long cruise that has a number of “At Sea” days and not enough to keep you entertained. I’ve gone on 3-night, 5-night, and 7-night cruises before and I enjoy the 5-7 nighters the best. I’m not sure if I’m ready to embark on a 14-night cruise adventure just yet, but there’s an Australia, New Zealand, Fiji cruise that is calling my name.
To Go for the Balcony or Not? – Now,I have gotten a balcony room before – at the urging of my Mother who wanted to have more space, and it was nice to relax on the balcony while pulling in and out of port, but I wouldn’t say that it’s absolutely necessary. I actually enjoy relaxing on the deck, watching the sunset as we pull away, and napping. I typically just go with an inside room since I don’t spend much time in my room. Plus it’s cheaper, so that means more money to explore with.
A Cruise…..To Nowhere? – Still on my list of things to do – I think it would be awesome for both the seasoned cruiser that wants to get underway and have a good time and the cruisin newbie who wants to test the waters. Ships leave port, cruise offshore for 1-2 nights, then pull back into port. You get all the luxuries of being on a cruise vaca – music, food, bars, shows, comedy, casino, and other ship amenities minus the port calls and excursions.
Cruise Myth Busters:
The Cruise Ship
15 5- Either make your way to the well-equipment gym each day, dance your butt off at the club each night, or choose not to over indulge at dinner. Trust me they know how to feed you on a cruise ship, so over-indulging is very easy to do. It seems like there is ALWAYS food around and at dinner they will let you try anything you want on the menu.
Booking Your Excursions through the Cruise Line is Best – Not always the case. Often times local guides will give you a better rate for your money than the cruise line. That $90 paddleboarding adventure, may only cost you $40 and is equally safe and fun.
Tip: Want to read reviews about your ship, meet people who will be cruising with you, read reviews on excursions to help narrow down your choices? Visit Cruise Critic.
Until Next Time! -xo AGT