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How do I Choose the Best Cruise Line?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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Choosing a cruise line may seem like a monumental task, given the choices and options available. However, different cruise lines specialize in different things. Some may be more prevalent at offering long-term trips, and others may be better at two or three-day excursions. Others may offer better on-board entertainment. Some may focus on shore excursions.

No matter what you may look for in a cruise line, there is no doubt that the genre of travel is quickly becoming one of the most sought after. No other type of trip offers you the chance to visit multiple locations for not much more than a nice hotel room would cost at one location. This makes cruises ideal for those who want to get a feel for a general area of the world.

When choosing a cruise line, the first thing to consider is where you want to go. Cruise ships are often docked in certain areas for a reason. They are ideal for the type of travel in that area. So whether you want an Alaskan vacation or the tropical appeal of the Caribbean, there is something for everyone on a ship well-equipped to handle that region's nuances and differences.

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Another thing to consider is the length of time you want to be at sea. Some will offer three-day trips. Some as many as 14 days or even longer. While cruise lines often will offer various days, some may be better at shorter trips and some better at longer trips. Search what cruises are available for each individual cruise line. Those offering more shorter trips than longer ones may be more comfortable with that niche.

Also important to consider is what on-board entertainment you may want to take advantage of. Cruise ships are known for their casinos. However, not all cruise ships offer casinos, in an attempt to cater to families. Whichever is your desire, make sure you know what may or may not be on the cruise ship before booking a trip. The best cruise ship is often dependent on what your idea of entertainment may be.

The cost may also play a role in choosing the best cruise line. While cruise lines will hardly ever charge the "list price" for a trip, some may offer more substantial discounts than others. Also, the size of the staterooms will be a consideration for some. The best cruise ships will still offer a comfortably-sized room, even if you choose the cheapest interior room you can find.

While some passengers choose to explore the various ports of call independently, others appreciate having a variety of shore excursion options to choose from. If this is the case for you, research these thoroughly, especially if you already have in mind what you may want to do. Some cruise lines will only offer certain things and the costs may be different from one cruise line to the next.

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To be able to get the best deals, find a cruise line that offers the destination you want a year earlier. Almost all cruise ship companies offer an initial discount at the beginning of the cruise promotion, so if you can find them and book earlier, you can save a lot and at the same time, you will be able to prepare for the budget for your trip. That equals more savings and preparation time for you.

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