Taking a cruising vacation can be a lot of fun. It can also be convenient because the price includes food, many amenities, and entertainment. However, those who have never cruised before may feel overwhelmed by the choices. There are different prices of cruises and pricing depends on both the cruise line, the destination and the length of the cruise. There are also extra amenities, such as excursions and spas, to consider adding to a cruise package. Cruisers also must consider factors such as how much formality they want in their cruise, how much activity versus relaxed time, and whether the cruise fits their age, personality and lifestyle. How much money should be spent on a cruise? What is the best between so many options to pick the best value? Once you understand some basics about cruising, you will feel more comfortable you are picking the best value cruise line for your money.
Answer: Your Lifestyle Plays the Biggest Role in Pricing
Everyone wants to enjoy their vacation and choosing a cruise just because it's the cheapest could mean sailing on a cruise where there is nothing in common with other passengers or there is no interest in the planned activities. There are those who like party ships and others seek a quieter cruise where they can sit by a pool with a book. Others want a family vacation where they can take the kids. So, the first thing to do in booking a cruise is deciding the kind of cruise fits vacation styles.
The second factor is to decide the length of time you want to sail. A shorter cruise is less expensive, but it may not allow for enough time to really relax. Also, the cruise must be longer if the vacationer has their heart set to travel to a faraway destination. Another factor is to determine where it is convenient to embark. Some want the port to be close to where they live while others don't mind flying to the port city to embark. Some ships offer discounts for embarking from particular cities, especially if it's a new ship they are promoting. The embark location plays a role in how much the entire trip costs, so it is an important factor.
Other items to consider in costs is the cruise line's tip requirements and the cost of excursions. Different ships have different pricing for these things, so it pays to ask. Finally, consider the cruise line itself. The rule of thumb is less formal cruise lines, or smaller ships will cost less. However, larger cruise lines may have the type of service that makes guests feel exclusive and some enjoy dressing up for formal nights.
To get the most value out of a value cruise line, compare services, activities, food, excursions, and lifestyle. Prioritize what is most important and spend money on the cruise line that offers the best in the high priority areas.
This is an overview of some of the factors related to the cost of taking a cruise. There are other resources on the web that can give more specific information and guidance. Some of those recommended resources include:
- TripSavvy - Trip Savvy is one of the most recognized websites for travel information. They provide a wealth of information and advice for first-time cruisers in this article and also pose questions those new to cruising should address before booking.
- USA Today - USA Today is a nationally circulated newspaper that has stories on a variety of topics including budgeting and planning vacations. This article deals with how to plan a cruise that meets both vacation needs and budget.
- U.S. News - U.S. News is a nationally circulated magazine that offers information on a wide range of topics. This article is specifically aimed at non-cruisers seeking more information about cruising.