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A cruise ship is a holiday, and when you take a holiday you want it to be perfect. That means having an enjoyable time with plenty of memories that will last long after the vacation has come to an end. If you’re anything like us then when it comes to planning for your big break away, we all want to gain as much knowledge as possible. That way we can feel confident that when our big day arrives it will all go well, and the holiday of a lifetime will live up to expectations.

That’s why today we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about how best to prepare for your cruise ship vacation. We’ll look at what things there are to do both on the ship and in port, how to save money when booking your cruise, where to find the best deals on excursions and shore tours, whether you’re allowed to smoke onboard (and where), plus lots more.

1) BOOKING YOUR CRUISE

There is a saying that you always get what you pay for and nowhere is this more true than when it comes to booking your cruise. The reasons for this are twofold, and they concern both the quality of the ship you’ll be sailing on and the number of facilities that will be available to you.

When your budget is limited then it can pay to look around a bit before making a booking, because in doing so you might find a cheaper deal elsewhere. In fact, comparing the prices offered by the different cruise lines can be a good way to find discounts. However, once you’ve found what appears to be the perfect deal it would also pay to double-check the standard of ship and service you’ll receive before finalizing your choice.

It is possible that one cruise line could offer a cheaper price than another but that this is largely due to the fact that their ships are older, smaller and not as well maintained. Likewise, cheaper tickets might mean a lack of onboard facilities such as swimming pools or restaurants, so make sure you know what you’re buying before making a decision.

Another option to consider is choosing from one of the smaller cruise lines rather than choosing from one of the larger ones, because you might get better value for money this way.

2) DECIDING WHERE TO CRUISE

The size of the ship you choose will also depend on where you want to cruise. Bigger ships are more suited to cruising across oceans or even around the world because they can offer a greater range of facilities. However, because they are bigger they will find it more difficult to navigate certain types of waterways. As a result, you might be better off choosing one of the smaller ships if your dream vacation consists of cruising down the Amazon River or along Europe’s waterways.

3) WHAT TO PACK

Another important factor that you’ll need to consider when looking for your ideal cruise ship is what you are allowed to pack. There are some elements of your perfect holiday that you won’t be able to take onboard so it’s important to know about them ahead of time, otherwise, you might find yourself stranded on the dock when your big day arrives.

For instance, many cruise lines prohibit passengers from bringing their own alcoholic beverages onboard. As a result, when you’re exploring the aft deck with your favorite drink in hand you might find that there’s no bar nearby. It’s also worth knowing that certain items are banned on board because they could be dangerous if mishandled, such as knives or firearms.

While most lines will let you bring books, take note of the fact that many of them have banned paperbacks due to the problem of people leaving them behind. If you do forget your favorite read onboard then don’t worry, because most ships have extensive libraries full of books to suit all tastes.

You’ll also want to make sure you know what clothes and footwear are allowed on board. Most lines will ask that you wear casual attire at all times, which means no suits or ball gowns when dining in the evening. However, there are some lines that have more relaxed rules so it’s worth checking when browsing for your tickets.

As always with any vacation, proper planning is important so check out what you’re allowed to pack before heading off on your trip. The last thing you want is to have your bags searched by security or arrive onboard to find that you’ve packed the wrong things.

We hope this blog helped you learn more about the things to consider when booking a cruise ship. Whether you’re looking for an ocean-going adventure or want something specific in terms of onboard facilities, we’ve got some tips that should help make your search much easier. Once you find what seems like the perfect fit, don’t forget to double-check on standard and restrictions so there’ll be no surprises awaiting when it’s time to board!
Have fun!