The cruise evolution has seen ships sail from frumpy and run down to gleaming and luxurious, and the ever-growing cruise clientele has rapidly shifted along with them.
Nowadays everyone from the adventurous to indulgent, foodie to spa-loving luxury holiday maker – be it young or old – are packing their bags and shipping off on a cruise holiday. What’s more, they’re loving it! Cruising holidays are more popular now than ever before.
So what’s the key to a successful cruise holiday? Choosing the best cruise for you and your holiday preferences.
Here are some tips and considerations to get you started on your own cruise-loving journey.
Where do you want to go?
Considering where you might like to go is an obvious first step right? With so many options to choose from it can be hard to pinpoint exactly where you want to travel – and you may want to explore more than one region <– don’t worry, there’s a cruise for that too!
Like islands and beaches? The Caribbean is a good choice. Don’t want to travel that far? There are plenty of South Pacific island-hopper cruises to choose from. Think you might like to cozy up with a hot chocolate and marvel at gargantuan glaciers? A cruise up the inside passage form Canada to Alaska is a must.
If you’re someone who likes to get out and explore everyday be sure to pick a cruise where there aren’t too many ‘sea days’ on your itinerary. Europe is a great destination for this because the ports of call are so close together and just about every day will be spent somewhere new. Throw in ancient cities, fascinating history, and cerulean seas and you’ve got the perfect all-round cruise destination.
If a weeks-long journey across an ocean sounds like an ideal holiday you should take advantage of a repositioning cruise (when a cruise ship travels to another region for the next cruising season). A well-rounded option for this is a Pacific crossing where you can bag a bargain and cruise all the way from Australia to Canada (often on to Alaska too). You’ll enjoy a variety of experiences and visit exotic destinations like New Caledonia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Hawaii before heading on to the colder climes of Canada and the stunning metropolis of Vancouver (these cruises are also offered in reverse).
Who are you travelling with?
Are you looking for a romantic getaway or a holiday the whole family can enjoy? Or, are you travelling with an entire group or going it solo? There’s no right or wrong, and there’s a cruise to suit each of these.
If romance and luxury sounds divine Regent Seven Seas or Paul Gauguin will deliver with their exquisite ships, romantic dinners for two, decks perfect for late night star gazing, and rose-petal-laden cabins.
Taking the whole family? Disney Cruises has you covered. Their cruises are tailored to the entire clan and with kid friendly cabins, activities, and dining you’re not likely to hear a peep from the littlies the entire trip.
Consider the size
Are you a social butterfly or someone who likes to relax with a good book? Would you like an offering of a lot of activities on-board or would you prefer to watch the world go by while relaxing on-deck?
With ships of every shape and size on offer, and passenger limits varying from just 300 to a few thousand people, it’s important to consider whether you want an intimate setting or a bustling ship.
For those who like to get amongst it all, meet new people, and enjoy a wide range of activities, dining options, and shows then one of the large cruise ships would be ideal. At the other end of the scale, if an uncrowded and more intimate setting where you can find your own oasis on-deck sounds appealing then you’ll likely feel more at home on one of the smaller luxury ships.
Are you a foodie?
Do you enjoy fine dining where delectable food is a non-negotiable? Good news, there are a number of cruise lines that have enlisted the expertise of celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Curtis Stone, Luke Nguyen, and Marco Pierre White just to name a few, so dining on mouthwatering cuisine while at sea is actually easier than you might think.
Some of the best-bet cruise lines for food-loving travellers include Norwegian Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, and Disney. Think blue cheese souffle, Caribbean lobster risotto, and roasted wild pheasant breast with pistachio stuffing on champagne sauerkraut.
Find your perfect ship
Choosing the ship is one of the most important – if not THE most important – consideration when choosing a cruise holiday. You may have found the perfect cruise line for you but each ship in a fleet offers something different. And not every cruise line travels to every destination.
Find your perfect match with Travel & Leisure’s roundup of the world’s best cruise ships, large and small, here. Or, enlist the help of a cruise specialist (like us!) who can point you in the right direction based on your travel preferences.
Did our article ‘How to choose the best cruise for you’ make you want to set sail on a cruising holiday?
Contact our reservations team on 1300 468 268, or via our contact page, for information or to book your cruise holiday.