5 things you need to know before you book a cruise

Essential intel from a travel industry insider.
A middle aged woman in a sunbonnet relaxes on the top deck of a cruise ship during her vacation at sea

Jannette Wall, a cruising fan and specialist with Travel Associates, shares her top tips to land the best cruise deals, and make the most of a cruising holiday. 

When is the best time to book a cruise holiday?

Book as soon as the cruise itineraries are released (up to 24 months in advance). The earlier you book the more likely you are to secure exactly what you want – such as preferred dining times and cabin location. This can be important if travelling with a group and cabins close together are required or travelling with children and you want interconnecting cabins. If you leave it to the last minute you can end up with accommodation no one else wants (i.e. no balcony or under the nightclub), or run the risk of the ship being sold out. 

How do I choose the best cruise line for me?

Work with a cruise specialist travel adviser to book your cruise holiday. Doing it yourself online will only give you answers to the questions you ask. It’s what you don’t know that is key. Having a great conversation around your needs and expectations (i.e. price point, destination experiences, travel party, reason for trip, what your non-negotiable points are) is key to getting it right. 

What regions should I visit on a cruise?

The world is 70 per cent water, so many places are best seen by ship. There’s an itinerary, ocean or river, to suit everyone. Alaska comes to mind as it’s easier to get around by the Alaskan Marine highway, which is a ferry servicing the Alaskan coast and islands, by expedition, or cruise ships. European rivers were traditionally the ‘marine highway’ sailing through large cities, small towns and villages transporting goods.

Who should go on a cruise?

Cruising is an affordable holiday option for people with varied requirements and expectations. When considering a cruise be honest with your cruise adviser as to what you like and don’t like. The more you share with your cruise adviser, the better chance your cruise will deliver the experience you seek. It’s a great option for couples, solo travellers, friends, groups and families, including multi-generational groups. There’s a cruise to suit everyone’s tastes, style and budget. 

How can I make my cruise more enjoyable?

From the moment you step on board, you’re on holiday. You unpack once whilst the ship transports you to new locations, and there’s a huge selection of dining options. You can meet new people, or have the opportunity for quiet time. You can do as much or as little as you want. Turn off the mobile phone – particularly at sea!

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