How Not to Mess Up Your Cruise

by Kayla Becker

How Not to Mess Up Your Cruise

by Kayla Becker

The surefire way to ruin your cruise? Not planning ahead. Trust us, you don't want to board only to realize you don't like the personality or style your ship or you can't believe you chose this itinerary. Read on for five things to consider before booking to ensure your trip is smooth sailing.  

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Relaxing on Norwegian Getaway / NCL
Rendering of Harmony of the Seas
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Pick the right ship.

We understand that with so many cruise lines and cruise ships to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. But not all ships deliver the same experience. Do you prefer a bustling mega ship or a quieter yacht-style vessel, a party atmosphere or a sophisticated one, a ship filled with laughing children or peaceful retirees? Whatever your preference, there’s a cruise out there for just about everyone. Not sure where to start? Use our Navigatr tool to match you with the perfect cruise for your next vacation

We understand that with so many cruise lines and cruise ships to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. But not all ships deliver the same experience. Do you prefer a bustling mega ship or a quieter yacht-style vessel, a party atmosphere or a sophisticated one, a ship filled with laughing children or peaceful retirees? Whatever your preference, there’s a cruise out there for just about everyone. Not sure where to start? Use our Navigatr tool to match you with the perfect cruise for your next vacation

Ocho Rios
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Make sure you like the itinerary.

Sure, a Caribbean cruise sounds great — but not if you like authentic beach towns and empty strands of sand and you picked an itinerary full of heavy hitters with a half-dozen ships in port each day and rows of souvenir shops lining the streets.No matter where in the world you're traveling, you'll want to check the itinerary carefully before you book to make sure the ports are the right fit for you. Not sure if you’ll like, say, Cozumel or Ocho Rios? You can search any port by region on ShermansCruise to see what to expect in each. 

Sure, a Caribbean cruise sounds great — but not if you like authentic beach towns and empty strands of sand and you picked an itinerary full of heavy hitters with a half-dozen ships in port each day and rows of souvenir shops lining the streets.No matter where in the world you're traveling, you'll want to check the itinerary carefully before you book to make sure the ports are the right fit for you. Not sure if you’ll like, say, Cozumel or Ocho Rios? You can search any port by region on ShermansCruise to see what to expect in each. 

Pay up
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Don't overpay.

If you book at the first price you see on the line's website, you could be missing out on significant savings. Instead, look for deals. Our newsletters can tell you the lowest prices of the week, and we have dedicated pages on our website just for cruise deals.You may also find significant price reductions if you shop during Wave Season — the months of January to March — when cruise lines offer promotions to encourage sales. And don’t forget to inquire about special discounts, such as those for veterans, in-state residents, and retirees.  

If you book at the first price you see on the line's website, you could be missing out on significant savings. Instead, look for deals. Our newsletters can tell you the lowest prices of the week, and we have dedicated pages on our website just for cruise deals.You may also find significant price reductions if you shop during Wave Season — the months of January to March — when cruise lines offer promotions to encourage sales. And don’t forget to inquire about special discounts, such as those for veterans, in-state residents, and retirees.  

Takeoff at the airport
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Don't fly in the same day your ship sails.

One easy way to ruin your trip: missing the "boat." Plan to arrive one day ahead of embarkation to ensure that airline delays or traffic don't cause you to miss the ship. Bonus:you'll also get an extra day to explore. 

One easy way to ruin your trip: missing the "boat." Plan to arrive one day ahead of embarkation to ensure that airline delays or traffic don't cause you to miss the ship. Bonus:you'll also get an extra day to explore. 

St. Peter's Basilica
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Map out your schedule before you leave home.

Before you leave your house, you should plan what you'll want to do in each port so that when you dock you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. Want to explore, say, Rome the right way? You might need to do a little research on the best sites and restaurants so you don't spend precious time in town figuring out how to get around. If you don't have time to do any planning, we suggest booking the "best of" shore excursions that most lines offer rather than winging it in large cities. 

Before you leave your house, you should plan what you'll want to do in each port so that when you dock you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. Want to explore, say, Rome the right way? You might need to do a little research on the best sites and restaurants so you don't spend precious time in town figuring out how to get around. If you don't have time to do any planning, we suggest booking the "best of" shore excursions that most lines offer rather than winging it in large cities. 

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