Planning your first cruise can be an overwhelming experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Take a deep breath, get your bearings, and follow these simple tips. You will find your planning is done in no time, and you can relax and start packing.
1. If you haven’t already decided where you are going, that should be your first step, of course. If you are already overwhelmed at making this first decision, I would suggest leaving it to chance. Grab a map, close your eyes, and point! Your destination awaits! You can also use loftier versions of this, such as a pendulum, and an atlas or globe.
2. Once you have a destination in mind, you will need to start looking at various cruise itineraries and ships, and decide whether your trip will be casual, or formal. Many things may determine this factor, such as whether you will have children in tow, or if you are going on your honeymoon, or just by yourself to relax and have fun.
With the wide variety of packages to choose from, you should have no trouble deciding on the proper cruise, once all factors are taken into account. You can even make a pros and cons list to help you make your final decision if you are still not sure once you have narrowed it down to a few choices.
3. Hopefully, most of your budgeting worked itself out during the previous process, but you should now go back over your finalized plans to check for any hidden expenses you may have missed, and be sure everything is accounted for.
It is helpful to do this on paper, or in a word document, so that you can look it over carefully, and be sure you haven’t missed anything. If you plan to do any shopping on your cruise, this should be figured in as well. Be sure to figure in little things, such as the cost of your passport (which you will need to get, or may need to update before your trip), and any additional travel guides you may need to purchase.
4. Depending on how soon you are going on your cruise, your next step will be to pack. Be sure you pay attention to the type of weather found in all regions through which you will be traveling, as well as your finale destination, so that you will be well prepared with the proper clothes.
If children are traveling with you, they must be adequately prepared as well, not only with clothes, but with things to occupy their minds. This can be helpful if weather keeps them in the cabin during your trip, or while traveling to the ship itself. You may even want to consider doing the same for yourself.
5. At some point before your departure date, go back through all the previous plans you have made to be sure you have everything covered. It never hurts to double check everything, from the itinerary, to the budget plan, to the packing. Do you have your passport? Does everyone else who will be traveling with you. Make a checklist to be sure every detail is accounted for. Then relax and rest assured that all will go well. You have a great master plan, and can now concentrate on nothing but having fun on your first cruise.