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Planning your Cruise

First time cruisers can be overwhelmed by the choices you have to make before you get on board. These essential tips will give you an insight on how experienced cruisers prepare for their cruise holiday.

Cabin

This is your bedroom for the duration of the cruise. Cruise cabins vary from the standard stateroom to a deluxe suite. Cabins are located on upper, middle and lower decks (depending on the size of the cruise ship) and situated inside (no windows) or outside (with a window or a balcony). All cabins have private bathroom facilities. While it is always tempting to book the cheapest cabin, think carefully about the location of your cabin, as well as windows and balcony access. Early bird deals often enable passengers to upgrade their cabin at little or no extra cost, so always find out what cruise deals are available.

Group Cruises

Cruises are a fantastic holiday option for groups, whether you’re planning a reunion for old friends or a large family get together. Any group activity takes a bit of organisation and planning a cruise is no different. Cruise lines sometimes give discounts for group bookings, so tell your travel consultant if this is the case. It is a good idea to book shore excursions in advance if you want to do them as a group as numbers are often limited.

Travelling with Children

Take everything you need like toys, strollers and nappies. These will most likely not be available on board and if they are you will pay a premium for them. Don’t rely on ports of call to stock up on essential items, this might not be possible at all destinations and would eat into your valuable sightseeing time.

When to Go

The time of year that you take your cruise depends on your cruise destination as cruising seasons vary for different regions. Families usually travel during school holidays, though if you're not restricted to these times, you could take advantage of great cruise deals. Shoulder seasons (the start and end of cruise seasons) can also provide great cruise deals.

Airfare

Unless you book a fly and cruise package, you will have to make your own way to and from port. So remember to factor this into the cost of your cruise. There are so many cheap international flights available that make booking your dream cruise holiday easy.

For more information about preparing for your first cruise experience view our what to pack, cruise essentials, choosing the perfect cruise and why take a cruise pages.

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