5 Tips for Booking the Right Cruise

5 Tips for Booking the Right Cruise

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5 Tips for Booking the Right Cruise


Your cruise experience, whether it be your first or tenth, is greatly influenced by which cruise you decide to embark on. It is always important to choose the right one for you and see what fits your expectations best. Cruising can be a great experience for solo travelers or for a group of friends, but if you get on the ship just to discover it’s not what you wanted, you could be in for an expensive and long ride.  Here are 5 tips to help you book the right cruise and enjoy a great holiday!



1. Book the Right Room: 


If you are a first time cruiser, it may be best to pick a room that is reasonably priced. If you book the best room available, then you may be spoiled with the great perks and it will be difficult to have anything less the next time you decide to take a cruise and it can also make everything feel more expensive. It is always important to travel within your means, but if you plan things right you won’t be spending too much time in your room anyways. If you have been on many cruises and you’re sick of dark windowless rooms, then it may be time for an upgrade and get the room you always wanted with that beautiful balcony. Many times cruise ships will offer free room upgrades when you book, so look for that as well.


5 Tips for Booking the Right Cruise


2. Check What’s Included:


Looking at all the amenities on the ship can help you decided if you’ll enjoy your time on board. If you want to enjoy a spa, gym, theatre, or great night life, check to be sure the cruise your looking at has what you like. Although cruise ships are huge and appear to have a lot on board, you’ll be surprised to discover that most of the ship consists of staterooms and it can quickly become quite small. If you enjoy having a few drinks on your holiday, check the alcohol prices. Soda and water can get pretty expensive if you’re traveling with children, not to mention how much alcohol prices can be. Most cruises have a variety of drink packages to fit your needs. It is important to check out all the options right away to find what fits you best and can even save you a lot of money. If you like to enjoy an adult beverage or two each day, or wine with dinner, check into the all inclusive alcohol package which can pay for itself in just a few days depending how much you drink.


3. Location, Location, Location: 


If you’ve always imagined a cruise as a summer holiday in the tropics, then choosing a cruise to Alaska can leave you feeling disappointed. Even if you find a great deal, make sure to book the right type of climate and location you are longing for. Also, check the weather for that time of year. It is never fun when it rains the entire time if you didn’t expect it. Also, remember that the seas are more rough during the winter months, so while you might find some great off season deals, the seas might be a bit more rough than you expect, especially if you have only been on summer cruises.


4. Find the Right Crowd:


It is important to insure that each cruise line or route you take has people on board you fit in with. There is nothing worse then feeling like a kid on a cruise when everyone else is much older than you or being the only retired couple on a cruse full of partying youngsters. If you are looking for a young crowd then by traveling during the summer holidays or school breaks you will have a higher chance of finding like minded cruisers. While cruising appeals largely to the older generations, if you aren’t ready to ball room dance and watch old movies, choosing a cruise with younger passengers may be important. If you’re looking for a young crowd or traveling with the family, then try booking a cruise with Carnival or Princess.However if you are interested in an older crowd look into Costa and Celebrity cruises.


5 Tips for Booking the Right Cruise


5. Check the Excursions:


A large part of the cruise experience are the excursions. If you’re just looking to stay on the ship and relax, then book a cruise that has a lot of days at sea, or on the contrary, if you are eager to get out and explore a new place,  book a cruise that has several days in port. Make sure to check out the daily excursion prices as well, or if on a budget look into how far the cities are from the port and find your own transpiration. Most ports offer a free or cheap bus into the cities as they want to insure that people get safely out of the port so you don’t have to pay the high priced cruise packages to see the city. It’s always helpful to make friends at your dinner table to have people to split taxi prices with in and out of the port. Regardless of whether you like to stay on board or enjoy the excursions, be sure to request the right dinner time. You don’t want to have to leave the pool or rush back to port for a 6:00pm dinner time. Most cruises have an early and late dinner time so requesting the right one for you is important.


Images by jeffweese , peptic_ulcer & androger4336 used under creative commons license. All photos have been altered. 


Marina Dominguez Latitude 34Marina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 




  1. For me, after taking a Carnival cruise, I don’t want to be exposed to the smoke again (it may be my own coincidental single experience, but the drinking/smoking crowd seemed more prevalent there). The Carnival boat (Liberty) was also designed such that I had to pass through the casino to get anywhere. I didn’t find that with Princess (a sister line) or Celebrity.
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    • Ohh man, that could sour a cruise experience real fast. We didn’t notice a smoke problem but mainly a HUGE age gap between ourselves (26-30) and the rest of the passengers (65-infinity). I think this was mostly because we went off season but we were very surprised at the lack of any passengers in our age bracket.

    • The cruise we took this January was with Costa, which had a mainly older crowd. However, I have taken a couple Carnival cruises in the past and they have been the exact opposite, young, loud crowds, which I enjoyed at the time. However, this year was the first off season cruise as took as the others were all summer and warm climate so that might have had something to do with it as well.

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