How to book the right cruise for you in 2019

03 January 2019 - 10:36 By AFP Relaxnews
An ocean liner in Alaska.
An ocean liner in Alaska.
Image: iStock/NetaDegany

First-time cruisers looking to embark on their first cruising holiday in 2019 may want to read up on a helpful primer released by travel experts as Wave Season gets underway. 

Between January and March, or what is known as 'Wave Season', the cruise industry releases its biggest deals and promos in advance of peak cruising season. Half of all cruises are booked during this three-month period. 

But the volume of information can be dizzying for first-time cruisers, notes Travel Leaders Network. 

Whether your priority is a family-friendly holiday, a culinary journey, or destination-based cruise, here are a few tips on how to book the right cruise for you. 

VESSEL

Large, ocean liners are floating cities, with the most options for dining, activities and entertainment — best for families with children. Ocean liners most often travel to the Caribbean and Alaska.

River cruises are smaller ships that travel close to the centre of cities and towns and emphasise cuisine, history and culture. River cruises are more intimate experiences and are popular in Europe. 

EPICUREAN CRUISES

Food lovers have no shortage of cruises to choose from. Like airlines, cruise brands regularly tap celebrity chefs to bring a dash of star power to their gastronomic offerings. Partnerships include American top chef Thomas Keller and Seabourn, Jamie Oliver aboard the Anthem of the Seas; and Guy Fieri and Carnival Cruise Line.

Likewise, wine, craft beer and cocktail-themed cruise itineraries are also available. 

ADVENTURE SEEKERS 

The more intrepid and adventurous traveller may want to look into booking an expedition cruise which travels to remote destinations for activities like deep-sea snorkelling, diving, and other land-based excursions.

Expedition cruises are often equipped with sturdy inflatable boats called Zodiacs, which can transport guests out to sea or to land for sightseeing adventures.  

FAMILY FUN

Travelling with kids and seniors? Look out for cruises that offer a mix of fun and educational activities that can keep everyone happy. These days, cruise ships have everything from water slides, bungee jumping, movie theatres, teen lounges and zip lining to art and cooking classes.

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