Cruise ship vacations certainly have appeal – they're exotic, allow you to see multiple cities and ports, are almost all-inclusive and they offer a wide range of activities for family members of all ages.
If you're curious about cruise vacations and cruise travel, but want to learn more about what you can expect, keep reading to find out the answers to common cruise ship vacation questions.
Are cruises really all-inclusive?
Typically, no – cruises are not all-inclusive. A ticket on a cruise ship usually includes your cabin, meals and some drinks. In addition to these costs, you will need to pay for any tours excursions, alcoholic drinks, spa treatments, extra snacks, certain special activities and your transportation to and from the port of departure.
Do I need to carry cash?
Normally, you can enjoy a cruise vacation without concern over whether your MasterCard will work or of carrying lots of cash or traveler's checks. Most cruise vacations allow you to sign and bill most items to your account.
At most, you'll need a small amount of money for daily tips and services, though even this is rare as most ships have shifted to digital invoicing technology.
Can I come and go as I please?
For the most part, no – you'll be beholden to the ship's shore schedules and dining times. However, while many ships have set dining times and activity schedules, other lines – like Norwegian – offer freestyle cruising that allows you to eat when you please and engage in entertainment at your leisure.
Whether you're on a freestyle or scheduled cruise, you will be restricted as to how much time you have at each port of call. Typically though, travelers are given one or two days at each land destination.
How do I find the right cruise vacation for me?
First, ask yourself who's going on the cruise? Are you looking for a romantic anniversary celebration or a family fun free-for-all with all the kids?
Some cruises cater to children and families while others focus on seniors. Some center around singles while others attract couples. You get the idea – whatever your demographic, there's a cruise for you.
Cruises also cater to interests. If you're passionate about rock climbing, there's a cruise for you and if you love golf, well then there's definitely a cruise for you. Theme cruises are another great way to find an almost all-inclusive vacation that fits your interests.