The vacation, for everyone, is one of the biggest costs on the budget list every year.
The first and most obvious thing to do is to spend some time on your choice. Do not rush into anything. No matter how tempting the TV or magazine offer may be, and no matter how strong the whim for a particular cruise line or destination is, it is always worth checking your full range of options. Even if the first offer or discovery seems to be perfect, there is always the possibility of finding something more generous. And one of the most important things to consider while doing your research is as to what time of year or season you plan to take your vacation. These differences can be vast. Cruises during some periods, such a peak school holidays, will obviously be more expensive especially if the cruise line is catering specifically for children and families.
2. FOR SOME - BOOK YOUR CRUISE A LONG WAY AHEAD OF TIME
If your needs as to time of year, and the size of family traveling with you, the type of cabin you need, or if you have special needs of any kind, it may well be advantageous to book your cruise a long way ahead of time. Fulfilling special needs are not always easy and many cruise lines very often and very quickly sell out of cabins and itineraries that meet special criteria.
3. FOR SOME - BOOK YOUR CRUISE AT THE LAST MINUTE
If your needs are very flexible as to when, and where you finally end up cruising, it is worth considering a last minute booking. A lot of special offers show their faces as little as 3 to 6 weeks before departure. Many people with flexible calendars boast of amazing savings and are often able to take two or three cruise every year rather than just the one.
4. TAKE CAUTION IN PAYING FOR YOUR CRUISE
It is considered advisable to use your credit card when paying for your cruise. Generally, a credit card payment is safer, especially when made to the cruise line direct. While we all would want to support the local new travel agency started up by your great aunt’s daughter, and feel confident in handing over the money to her - it is not the safest thing to be doing. That is not to say the travel agencies are continuously folding down - but a payment made to a large cruise company directly is inevitably more secure.
5. INVEST IN ADEQUATE TRAVEL INSURANCE
Cruise vacations are more vulnerable than other types of holidays to cancellations because of weather conditions, a flu bug rushing through all the passengers on the voyage before yours, delayed flights and missed connections. It is wisest to invest in the best insurance available, even though it may seem a little expensive. These are just a few of the cautions we would advize when taking a cruise, especially for first timers. If you have cruised before, you may be a particular fan of a particular cruise line, or a particular destination and/or time of year for the holiday, then things are undoubtedly a little easier for you, if may be the savings may be a little more limited. For many people , however. the self insurance that the cruise line they are booking with is exactly what they like and has been good in the past and this may well be the best part of the vacation coming up ahead.
For more advice on a number of topics take a look at the advice section of Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine