8 Great Elements of a Cruise Vacation

Our eight great elements of a cruise vacation will help you decide on which cruise vacation will most likely match your style and preferences.

There are a dizzying array of choices and selecting the right cruise is usually an overwhelming task. Is it best to choose a cruise line or destination? Large cruise ship or small? What else is important to know?

I am been on all types of cruises and here are what I consider some important factors to consider when choosing a cruise vacation.

relax on your next cruise vacation
follow these cruise tips to select your next cruise

8 Great Elements of a Cruise Vacation

1. Cruise Vacation Destination

Do you want to go to the Caribbean? Alaska? Mediterranean? South Pacific? Galapagos?

Larger cruise lines may visit several different destinations around the world. But smaller cruise lines might specialize in a specific area of the world and could be the right choice for that cruise vacation.

2. Cruise Vacation Itinerary

After narrowing down the general region(s) you are most interested in for your next cruise vacation, look at the exact ports of call (stops). In the Caribbean, for instance, most ships stop in larger ports such as The Bahamas, St. Thomas, and San Juan. If you want to stop in a smaller port, like Antigua, choices will be limited (but that can be a good thing!). Also research the dates of travel.

3. Cruise Ship Size

Some ships are floating cities with over 5,000 people on board. Larger ships have more facilities and activities but are limited as to which ports they use. The smaller the cruise ship, the more flexibility is possible. Smaller ships will stop in smaller (and thus less overrun) ports, like Antigua.

select your next cruise vacation using these tips
select your next cruise vacation using these tips

4. Facilities

Do you want to be pampered in a luxurious spa with gorgeous scenic views? Do you want to spend time in casinos, doing physical activities, lounging by the pool? After deciding on your destination, itinerary, and cruise ship size, it is worth digging deeper and comparing onboard amenities, services, and facilities.

5. Cabin

Some people opt for a minimalist cabin with the expectation of experiencing all that the ship has to offer. Others want a luxurious cabin with an ocean balcony.

See also 8 Great Tips for Selecting a Cruise

6. Cruise Travel Style

Are you looking for an elegant experience with fine dining and dressing up for meals? Would you prefer a more casual environment? Or a mix?

See also Cruise Line Personality below. Note that cruise line ads project the persona of the cruise vacation experience. This is true whether it is a brochure, TV ad, internet ad, or their website.

If you want an elegant, fine dining type cruise vacation and the ads show a bunch of people frolicking with umbrella drinks, it is not a great match.

See our Princess Cruises Dining Tips

7. Ask Friends

Asking friends and others with similar tastes and preferences is often beneficial. The message boards on Cruise Critic and other websites have fantastic recommendations.

8. Cruise Line Personality

Cruise lines spend millions of dollars annually designing ads for the right audiences. Cruise line ads may show people limbo dancing or an elderly couple enjoying scenic nature views; that is the cruise’s personality.

You will be disappointed if you select a cruise that does not match your personality. If every cruise line brochure photo, website video, and TV commercial show people partying, well do not be surprised when passengers are making a lot of noise at 3am.

Similarly, if every photo and video shows people elegantly or formally dressed (whether for meals or shows or on deck), do not be surprised at the lack of casual options onboard.

This may be the most important factor in choosing a cruise vacation.

Well, those are eight elements or factors for selecting the right cruise vacation for you. For more detailed cruise information see our articles about cruise vacations on Viking River Cruises, Princess Cruises, Carnival Journeys, Viking Ocean Cruises NorwayViking Ocean Cruises Mediterranean, Celebrity Cruises Galapagos, UnCruise Adventures Cruise, Pearl Seas Cruises, and Maine Windjammer Cruise.

Note that I did not even mention cost, which for many travelers is the most important element for choosing their upcoming cruise vacation.

See also 8 Great Ways to Save Money on Cruise Excursions

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