Planning your perfect cruise holiday can seem confusing, we share how to plan a cruise holiday so you know where to even start! Everything from the weather to the price can affect this decision, so take your time, consider all of these points and you’ll get it right.
Budget a cruise holiday
Before you start looking at cruises, decide what your budget is. Location, duration and facilities will all affect how much you pay, so it’s worth having a ballpark figure in your head. It’s not just the cost of the cruise you need to take into account, either – when you dock at different destinations, you’ll want to shop around and go out for food. While the majority of your onboard costs are covered, you should bring petty cash for things like tipping. This can change from cruise to cruise, so it’s worth reading this cruise tipping guide so you don’t get caught out. Read our tips on how to take a cruise on a budget.
Weather and climate
If you love hot weather then a Mediterranean or Caribbean cruise could be perfect for you, but if you prefer the cold, then northern European destinations are ideal. Some itineraries will take in the best of both worlds, too – the odd brisk, cool destination and then warmer climes.
Attractions and destinations
Choosing a cruise destination is one of the hardest decisions when planning your trip. You can access every continent and a huge number of countries on a cruise – even reaching spectacular sights that aren’t accessible via other modes of transport. The weather and when you plan on travelling will affect where you go, so consider this alongside the sights you want to see. The activities you enjoy will also play a major role. If you love exploring new cities and soaking up gorgeous beaches, a Mediterranean cruise is ideal. Whereas if you want to witness majestic natural formations and landscapes, then cruising around the Norwegian fjords is a dream trip.
The people you’re travelling with will affect this decision. If you’re going as a family, you’ll want to find a cruise line that specialises in child-friendly activities. You’ll find plenty of options and some ships even have their own water parks! However, if you’re going for a romantic getaway, you might not want children running amok, so look for a liner that offers luxury packages like adults-only restaurants and indulgent spas.
Duration and time of travel
The amount of time you’re planning to travel for will influence where you go. If you’ve got a week set aside for your holiday, look at cruises where you can fit plenty of destinations in, with fewer days at sea. Depending on where you start, you could explore Europe, the Caribbean or even Alaska. The time of year you travel at can also impact your plans, from fluctuating on-peak prices to hazardous weather. Once you decide where you want to go, look at the best times to visit.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizer’s and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these, over backpack and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel Insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offers year coverage.