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How to Take a Cruise

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How to Take a Cruise

Ah, a cruise…There is no experience quite like it, is there? While it is a nice way to break from the daily routine, there is no better way to see the beauty of the world than going on a voyage. It’s like a surreal bus ride, only this time, you’re not gliding through the forgotten roads of Eastern Europe, with occasional stopovers in little quaint towns. Instead, you are sailing in the sunset without a care in the world, with the clock ticking a little slower than usual. 

Stopovers? It’s ports of call, rather. Well, how about some of the hardest places to reach in the world? Alaska. The Norwegian Fjords. Antarctica. A picture-perfect stop here; a fun-filled stop there. And of course, the random sight of humpback whales and killer whales interrupting you as you go about your lunch on the naturalist deck. It’s a dream.

However, there are few key things you need to know on how to take a cruise that will improve your overall experience, especially if it’s your first time!

The Destination

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Long gone are the days when most cruise ships headed to the Caribbean. Sailing today traverses most parts of the globe, with lines aplenty gracing the multiple destinations. The first thing you need to do if you want to take a cruise is hone in on a destination, then check if there is a cruise serving that area.

Length of Stay

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Some lines offer short cruises of three to four nights, Carnival, for instance, with others like Oceania specializing in voyages of 10-plus nights. There are others that offer 100 nights or more such as Holland America and Cunard. Your length of stay will thus determine which line (and ship) you settle for.

Budget

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Cruises are like hotels, full of an extremely wide array of price points with corresponding features. Beware the lure of cheap fares though, especially the upfront cost. There often are additional charges you’ll end up incurring, be it for the alternative specialty restaurants, onboard Internet, shore excursions, minimum daily gratuity for the staff etcetera. Always know what you will be expected to pay, and what you get for it. Compare the different packages, and choose one that fits your budget best.

Cruise Personality

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Every line has its own personality, and what may appeal to Jess may not be ideal for Ron. There are those that cater to the outgoing, fun-loving crowd. Others are tailored for the style-conscious consumer who likes it a little bit quieter. There are also celebrity ships where a regular customer would feel out of place. Opt for a line and ship that would suit your personality as this will influence your experience, and ultimately, your perception of cruising.

Dress Code

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Cruise ships may not be as formal as they used to some years back, but the dress code still varies from one line to the next. Check what philosophy is allowed on your ship and pack accordingly. Don’t forget to carry your gym clothes while you are at it. Ditto a cheap pair of water shoes.

Eating

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Many cruise lines tend to encourage things like group dining at certain intervals. If this is not your thing, by all means, opt for a more suiting option from the alternatives available.

Activities

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There are a million-and-one things to do on a cruise ship. It’s important to figure out, pre-cruise, which activities are important to you. If they need any reservation, then go ahead, make it! Similarly, there are shore excursions offered, so in the event you haven’t opted for this, research on some interesting ideas of what you can do in ports. Having a plan helps as opposed to just wandering around.

Company

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Then there is the issue of whom you are bringing along on your voyage. Family, friends, a lover…A cruise is best taken in the company of someone else, especially if you’ll be out at sea for long.

Anyone looking to take a cruise should find these ideas valuable, as they all go a long way in making a more enjoyable experience of your cruise. Bon voyage!

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