Cruise Tips

Top Ten Tips for Choosing a Cruise

by Tess Bridgwater

travel writer Tess BridgwaterBefore you pick up the phone to book your cruise, use these top ten cruise tips to help you choose the best cruise for you.

A cruise is ideal for a multi generational family reunion or for older or disabled adults, as everything is made so easy for you, but there are some things you should check out to make sure your dream holiday is right for you. 
  1. Make sure the cruise caters to your age group and decide what size of ship you prefer. Medium size is better for getting around. Larger ships carry over 1000 passengers.

  2. Check the itinerary. Do you prefer more time at sea or on shore? Some ships have more port stopovers and short stays than others.

  3. If you have a particular interest, like painting or music, would you enjoy a theme cruise? Some cruise lines feature special themed cruises. Check that there is an onboard activity program.

  4. Check the cabin dimensions and layout. Some ships have larger cabins than others and if a passenger is not very mobile, this can be important. Remember --  Pack light. Cabin closets are not very large.

  5. Wide corridors and safety bars are useful for wheel chair or walker accessibility. Ask if the ship is wheelchair friendly. Most ships require you to provide your own medical accessories including wheelchairs.

  6. Make sure there are plenty of elevators  strategically located, and book a cabin close to them.

  7. Ask if special diets are available. Usually special needs can be accommodated with prior notice.

  8. Check medical facilities. Usually there is a fully equipped infirmary and a doctor and nurse on board. Keep a note of all medications currently in use.

  9. Inquire about shore excursions. Are they long or arduous, with lots of walking? Is the ship docking in port or offshore? You might have difficulty boarding a tender to go ashore. It might be better to take a taxi into town and explore on your own, or hire your own guide.

  10. What service does the ship provide for exchanging currency? Most places, with the exception of remote locations or small islands, now have ATM Machines. Use them to draw the local currency in port. It will cost you less as you will save on the exchange rate and cheque cashing charge.

  11. ©2007 Tess Bridgwater Used by permission

    An award winning Travel writer, Tess has been published regularly in both North American and British magazines and newsmedia for more than 20 years. She grew up in southern England, which she visits often, and specializes in cultural stories around Britain and Europe. Her travels have taken her north to the Yukon in Canada and south to Hawaii . Lately, she has taken to cruising and is contributing to a Cruise guidebook. She is a longtime member of SATW (Society of American Travel Writers).

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