A nice start to the day at Lower Mazinaw Lake, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

How to Plan Your First Cruise

Going on a cruise is an exciting adventure enjoyed by everyone from honeymooners to families and retirees. More and more millennials are discovering the joys of cruising as the Cruise Travel Report indicated in 2018 - the percentage of this generation that stated they "definitely will" book a cruise for their next trip increased from 63 to 70 percent over the previous year.

For those who'd like to try cruising for the first time, planning can be a challenge, simply because there are so many options to choose from, like where do you want to sail, which cruise line should you travel on, which room to choose, and so on. There's a lot you need to know in order to make the best decisions, but these tips can help you plan the trip of your dreams.

The Destination

The destination is obviously a top consideration. While you might be fantasizing about an around the world cruise, for your first time, it's best to start with something short and simple to be sure that this mode of travel is right for you. For example, if you recently purchased one of the homes for sale in Vancouver, B.C., you might want to consider a cruise to Alaska, with many outstanding 7- and 10-night itineraries departing right from your own city. If you're on the east coast of Canada or the U.S., fall foliage cruises typically take place over 7 nights and will bring you to some of New England's hottest spots. You'll also have lots of options for the tropics, like Bermuda or the Caribbean.

The Ship

Mega-sized cruise ships aren't the only option for cruises. While those large vessels often come with a wide range of attractions from waterparks to Broadway shows, a small-ship cruise can provide a more in-depth look at the destinations visited for a more authentic cruising experience while still providing some luxuries like onboard Jacuzzis and gourmet cuisine. Think about what you really want in a cruise, weighing the pros and cons to determine the type of ship.

When to Book

To score the best possible deal, you'll need to book at the right time, which is generally 18 months before the departure date or at the last minute. While last-minute sales can be a bargain, for a first-time cruise you probably don't want to deal with the stress. Instead, secure your spot as soon as possible and you may get a 25 to 50 percent discount off typical fares.

Choosing Your Cabin

The cabin you choose can make a big difference in your cruising experience. You'll generally have options that include an inside cabin with no windows, a cabin with a window or porthole, a balcony cabin or a suite that may range from just slightly bigger than a regular cabin to huge, luxurious and pricey. Book the highest-level cabin you can comfortably afford - many cruisers prefer balcony cabins for enjoying the fresh air and the view, watching the sunrise or the sunset over the sea. Consider the layout too - avoiding cabins above a noisy nightclub, or near an elevator or busy passageway.

If you think you might get seasick, choosing a cabin on the lowest possible deck around the middle of the ship will decrease the odds.