Taking a cruise vacation is more popular than ever and if you are ready to move cruising off the "to-do" list and into reality, then you should take about the information about cruises before making those reservations. Sometimes, all of the available choices can be bewildering because there are so many to consider. You will need to choose the cruise line, the size of the ship you prefer, the category of cabin, and the duration of your voyage. Then you will need to determine if your finances will keep you afloat.
The major lines visit about 1,800 different ports that span the globe, and not all of these ports will be places that you'll be interested in visiting. Because there are so many destinies, the first thing to do is decide which ones hold the most interest. For instance, you can focus on Caribbean or Mexican cruises if you are looking for warmth and sunshine, or you can go for the scenery and whale watching possibilities of an Alaskan or Antarctic cruise. Once you have narrowed down the general area that you want to cruise to, then you can more easily make your final decision.
The cruise lines have a wide variety of offers for different lengths of cruises. You can get away for a long weekend for a 3- or 4-day voyage, for a week, or choose an itinerary of ten days that usually encompasses two weeks. These shorter trips are very popular and are well-suited for couples and for families.
The major ones also offer longer voyages, with itineraries that span anywhere from three weeks to several months. Often these longer voyages provide opportunities to visit ports-of-call in several countries and sometimes more than one continent. Most of these longer itineraries are especially geared towards the affluent or retirees who have the time and financial freedom to be voyaging for weeks or months at a time.
Some ships are referred to as "megaliners" and are so large that a person can actually get lost on board. In fact, they are so large that they can not even go through the Panama Canal. Cruises on megaliners can accommodate up to 2,000 passengers and provide a plethora of activities to keep passengers of all ages entertained and active.
The mid-size ships are the most common and usually have up to 900 passengers, but still provide a nice variety of activities. The smaller ships are more intimate and usually accommodate less than 400 passengers.
There is also a class of cruise ships called "boutique ships," which could have been compared to luxury boutique hotels. They offer exceptional attention to service and usually have an even higher standard of gourmet food, which is saying something considering that these floating hotels are well-known for the quality and selection of fine foods.
The vast majority of cabins onboard ship are considered to be standard-size and are generally quite cozy, which helps encourage people to take advantage of the many amenities during their time aboard. Cabins with ocean views and verandas are very popular, but will cost more than an interior cabin.
Many of the newer ships are being designed so that virtually all of the cabins have at least a minimal exterior view and some even boast that every cabin has a veranda, albeit small ones. For cruisers with the cash, there are spacious suites, but the cost of these puts them well out of reach for the average person.
You can learn a great deal about the cruises available to the area you are interested in visiting by spending some time on the travel websites, especially those that specialize in cruise travel vacation packages. Many times there are hot deals and discount cruise travel packages that you can find on these websites, which can help you maximize your vacation budget.