How to Choose a Cruise for your Vacation

Any vacation time is a good time for a cruise, but an island cruise is an entirely different experience.

When you take a cruise, you leave the harbor and head for a destination different than it travels along the coastline. Due to the ship’s massive size, it can’t pass through small cities or towns. It needs to head for the open waters and its marinas, docks, and cities.

Instead of a traditional western-style town to explore, each island has its own character, and each port of call has a fresh new experience to offer.

Consider the popular Florida destinations of Fort Lauderdale and Miami, or try the San Juan Puerto Rico area where there is a US military presence, economic opportunities are booming, and there are plenty of duty-free shops that will allow you to browse $300,000 dresses a piece!

If you are looking for a more offbeat destination, you will find that St. Maarten, in the southern Caribbean, is one of the best cruise destinations for travelers who love the open sea but want something more exotic.

If you love seafood, try a cruise to the tuna shop of Aruba or to Tasmania, a paradise island that is wrapping up a grand vacation of its own.

No matter which island you choose to venture to, you will have the stunning scenery of the ocean, waves, glorious beaches, and country vistas. The countries around the world offer you a spectacular show of land and sea and your cruise will allow you to enjoy both.

Magnificent beaches and other natural wonders will surround you. Sweeping mountains will roll by and harbor seals will cage nearby. If you are interested in sampling the freshest fruits and vegetables, visit Hawaii or Florida.

Look for a cruise that offers not only the destination of your choice but also accommodations and meals. Most offer all of this, from lavish hotel accommodations to simple lodgings that are totally self-contained.

Before you start looking at different cruise companies, you will want to consider the cruises you already have in mind. Consider the length of time you plan to spend on the ocean and be sure to consider what activities you like to engage in. The length of time on each ship can be anywhere from a few days to several months of travel.

If you plan on engaging in a lot of shipboard activities, then a normal cruise probably will not cut it. You will want to look for a cruiser that offers a variety of activities, particularly if you are a first-time explorer. If you already have a lot of cruise experience, you may want to go on a cruiser learning cruise, but if you are a novice, you may want to go on a longer learning cruise.

Not all cruises are the same. Among the differences are the level of accommodations, types of activities, and availability of meals and recreational activities. Some are all-inclusive, meaning they offer a complete bouquet of meals and activities. Others may include snacks and some meals, but not a complete bouquet. Choose the best cruise based on your preferences like whether you prefer to dine in a theater or at an oceanfront dinner.

Plan for fun times on the water.

Take along a picnic basket or some Martini as you take a stroll on the beach. Plan to take a dip in the pool, or just head for the deck and sit on the seating to watch the sunset. Head for the beach immediately after sunset, or take a little longer on a sunset cruise. These are fun family experiences and they should be taken full advantage of.

Get active on the water.

badges are a great way to involve the whole family in your vacation. Get a separate set for each family member and go on a snorkeling trip. Have a swim in the pool. Take a fishing trip, or sign up for a retreat while you sail the Caribbean. A canoe trip to a village can be an hour-long adventure. Be safe and have a great time.

Get a life vest.

Just because you are taking a vacation doesn’t mean you have to forget the fun in the water. If you stay in one of the world’s first cabin-sized inflatable boats, the chances are you will stay in fun in the water. But inflatable boats are not very maneuverable, so you should always scuba dive with a skilled diver.

Not up for snorkeling?

There are still plenty of opportunities to swim with marine life in the Caribbean. You may only be able to view it from a distance or swim in a pool, but there’s no reason you can’t swim with it too. You will find diving fun in the Caribbean, but you will definitely need to get certified.

To take a whitewater rafting trip in the Caribbean, you will need to learn how to raft on your vacation in order to be ready to go after you returned safely home.

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