So you’re thinking of booking  a cruise? Great! However, there are definitely a few things you need to know before you cruise in order that you make the right choices. This can be everything from which cruise line you sail with to which stateroom type you opt for on board.

Is your chosen cruise line right for you?

This is by far the most important thing you need to consider before booking a cruise. Cruise lines vary so much and if you don’t like the idea of getting dressed up for dinner but end up on a cruise where there are formal nights where tuxedos and ballgowns are expected then that’s definitely the right option for you.

Before you book anything make sure you do a lot of research to find out what your cruise line of choice are like. Do you need to get dressed up for dinner? What’s included when you’re on board? What’s the average age range of their passengers? Is there somewhere you can do laundry/enjoy adults only space/indulge in speciality dining (etc etc)?
If you don’t find out the answers to these questions and any more you might have then you could end up on a cruise line that isn’t right for you which will obviously impact upon the enjoyment of your cruise holiday. Do some thorough research and then you won’t be in for any unexpected surprises when you get on board.

What is your itinerary?

This might sound basic and a little silly and you’re probably thinking ‘of course I’ve looked at the itinerary duuuh‘ but you’d be surprised how poorly some people look at the itinerary. I’ve met passengers on board various cruise ships that have been ‘surprised’ by how many days at sea there were or how many hours we were spending ashore.
Make sure you read through the itinerary thoroughly check out how much time you have in each port and how long you’ll be on board.

Which stateroom is right for you?

This is a really important consideration before you book a cruise. The size and quality of staterooms can vary wildly between categories so make sure you have a good think about what you need and want during your trip.

If, like me, you plan on spending very little time in your stateroom whilst on board then perhaps an inside cabin would be best for you. If you don’t like the idea of a room without a window then opt for an outside cabin with a porthole or full picture window. If you would like to enjoy some private outdoor space then a room with a balcony will be perfect for you.


A gorgeous Verandah stateroom on board Silversea’s Silver Shadow

You need to make the right choice of which stateroom to book or the quality of your holiday will be affected.

Also, the location of your stateroom on board is important. You don’t want a room under the pool deck or under a theatre, lounge or bar as these are all busy and potentially noisy areas of the ship. The middle of the ship is the best area if you are worried about feeling seasick as this is the area where you’ll feel least movement.

What are the costs on board?

You need to know what’s included in your cruise holiday before you get on board or you could be in for a few nasty surprises.

Have a search on google (or whatever search engine you prefer) and check out what the prices are like on board for drinks. Most cruise companies don’t publish these on their websites but you’ll find plenty of people will have posted these online after a cruise holiday.
Many cruise lines now offer drinks packages that you can purchase before you sail or once you embark. Look at the costs of drinks without a package and estimate how much you’ll be consuming and whether or not it’ll be worth you getting a package. My partner and I both got packages on our recent cruise with MSC Cruises and saved literally hundreds of pounds!

What other things do you think you need to know before you cruise?