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What You Should Know Before You Book a Cruise
A cruise can be a wonderful vacation opportunity, and contrary to what you may have heard, they can be a decent value for your money. These days, cruises are available to many different destinations, and for varying lengths of time. You can take a cruise vacation for as little as three days, or for more than ten.
They keys to successfully booking a cruise are in the planning and research that you do ahead of time. Here are the most important things to compare and consider.
First, determine your price range and the number of days you would like to be on vacation. You will need to factor in the travel days for getting to your cruise departure destination and returning home, in addition to the actual number of days at sea. When you are looking at this part of the trip, remember that many cruise vacations do not include the cost of your airfare in the quoted prices. Check this carefully so that you will know exactly what you are getting for the money you pay.
Cruise vacation destinations are almost unlimited. You can vacation in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, the British Isles, and the Mediterranean, just to name a few of the more well-known destinations. Check with the cruise lines to see if a passport is needed for your vacation. Make sure you find out early, as it can take a while for the passport to be processed.
If you have never been on a cruise vacation before, you should know that the cabins are small. Most people spend very little time in their cabin, so it often doesn't matter to them. However, you should consider upgrading to a more expensive, larger cabin if you think this will bother you. You will also want to consider how badly you need a window in your cabin, as this will add to your price.
Check out the various recreational options offered for each cruise. There are opportunities for excursions, which usually cost a little extra, and there are activities available on the ship itself. Generally there are organized exercise classes, games, dancing, swimming and more.
Cruise vacations offer the opportunity to dress up for dinner, and to have unlimited food at every meal. Be prepared to tip your staff, even though the price of the meals has been factored into your cruise ticket. If you drink soda, you will want to see if this is included with your meals. Some cruise lines require an extra fee for unlimited soda pop.
The bottom line on a cruise vacation is to do the research before you book the vacation. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what is included in your ticket, and what extras you need to provide. If you aren't sure, contact the cruise line directly and ask questions so that you wont' be caught unprepared.