Customized Cruise Travel Planner, Big Ship Cruising, Little Ship Cruising, Tall Ship Cruising, Small Ship Cruising, Cruise Weddings, Ports-Of-Call Weddings
cruise itinerary: one of the most important choices you make
know the ports of call and what they offer
what do you want: shopping, culture, hiking, watersports?
all ports of call are not created the same!
How To Pick Your Perfect Cruise, Where to Cruise
With 160+ ships, 24 major cruise lines, more than 7,500 itineraries ... how do you pick your perfect cruise? How do you pick a cruise to suit your style? Here's some simple cruising guidelines
Pick a Cruise Itinerary, Review It
from Alaska to Caribbean
. How do you decide which one most suits your style?
Evaluate Your Options Using These Guidelines
Where to go: Decide on the destination and itinerary first and the ship second. Remember, cruise lines are always adding new ports of call and unexpected destinations!
Next, look at the specifics: Caribbean cruises offer Eastern Itineraries, Western Itineraries, Southern Itineraries and Exotic South Caribbean Itineraries. With Alaskan cruises, ships tend to follow two routes: Inside Passage itineraries of round-trip from Seattle or Vancouver calling on southern Alaskan ports like Juneau and Skagway; OR Gulf of Alaska itineraries, usually one-way and farther north, Vancouver to Whittier or Seward or southbound cruises to end in Vancouver.
Head for the high seas and the excitement of a cruise! Choose from a long list of exotic destinations. Explore fascinating ports, relax in luxurious accommodations and let loose with all the fun-filled activities on board your large or small ship cruise vacation, destination wedding or honeymoon! Itís never too soon to start planning your cruise. Ships are recategorizing cabins and staterooms, adding luxury features, restaurants and activities all the time and some offer all-inclusive drink options!
When to go: Shoulder seasons offer bargains and may be more appealing than high season: a mild fall day can be nicer than baking under the August sun in the Mediterranean. Alaskaís popularity with families means that going in May and September (when children are in school) usually translates into fewer cruisers and better deals. Fewer people can also mean more chances to see black bears and humpback whales up close and an available lounge chair around the pool.
Select the cruise line: consider the fact you are also choosing your elbow-to-elbow passengers, consider why you're cruising and your personality. It will make or break your memories and experience if you arenít matched to the cruise line that suits your style and you may well not want to cruise again. Some have dress codes, some have anytime dining, some have assigned dining times and seating. What degree of kid-friendly do you want? Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line are more kid-friendly, Norwegian Cruise Line is more casual, Holland America offers more traditional and cruise lines like Crystal and Regent are more upscale, more luxuriuous and pampering. One of our preferences, the Tall Ships of StarClippers!
What it costs? It's not the daily rate for a stateroom that matters because you'll have port fees, taxes, oil increases, airfare, the costs of incidentals including alcohol, ship-board specials in the shopping zones and shore excursions. Recommendation: book in advance and separately with Wild Side Destinations. You'll save money and have a more personalized experience usually with a significant savings.
Cruise Lines give early booking discounts. Look into possible groups and consider inviting friends or acquaintances with you. Remember, less staterooms available, higher prices. Simple supply and demand, regardless of recent cruise accidents, shore excursion mishaps and hold-ups. Itís never too early to start planning your cruise. Being flexible with your cruising dates, cruising the week before or week after may save dollars.
Size does matter: We have learned this, haven't we? The size of the ship dictates your itinerary, ports of call, length of stay in port and activities (some include activities, carry guides and specialists aboard for you). Smaller ships, like those operated by StarClipper Cruises, SeaDream Yachts, Paul Gauguin, Captain Cook Cruises, Blue Lagoon Cruises dock at smaller ports, offer a more personalized experience, from history, local flavour to nature-oriented cruises.
Why are you cruisin'? For personal attention, for relaxation, for entertainment and dining? Celebrate a cruise anniversary or honeymoon, a cruise birthday, a cruise family reunion, a BFF cruise! A cruise or port of call Destination Wedding is another exciting reason to cruise and we have islands where your dream beach wedding can be a reality while in port! Cozumel Cruise Destination Wedding, Cayman Islands Cruise Destination Wedding, Key West Destination Wedding, St. Thomas Cruise Destination Wedding, one of our newest Grand Turk Destination Wedding and more. Factor this in on selecting your perfect cruise!
Stateroom Choices: consider the itinerary, considering a balcony. Will you be seeing days of blue sea or a new island every day? Do you want to see Glaciers or Islands and palm trees? Your perfect cruise can be all about the view. For example: book a cabin on the starboard side on a northbound Alaska cruise and port side on southbound itineraries.
Pre and Post extentions. Give yourself time to make flights, book them separately so you have control of what flights you are on and what airline. Overbooking, cancelled and delayed flights are common place now. Consider a pre-hotel stay or post-hotel stay and extend your cruise holiday or vacation - see the local sights. Ask our Destination Travel Planner: PJ Ott to assist with this. Cruise lines offer these at higher prices with little or no choices. Remember airline regulations on carry-ons and don't lose your precious souvenirs.
Plan your excursions in advance, separate from the Cruise Line. Avoid their big busses, long lines and higher prices. Don't settle for going as fast as the fastest person or slow as the slowest person. Travel with independent, personalized local business for your added pleasure. Remember to plan your onboard activities once your board for spa treatments and pampering. You can book some massages and facials in advance!
Don't believe everything the cruise line tells you: Cruise lines encourage you to shop specific stores in ports and go as far as giving near threats to stray off their preplanned track for you. The cruise lines benefit from these specific retailers. We believe your cruise should include meeting locals, creating individual memories and purchases that are one of a kind and made by the locals. We call it "sharing the wealth". Explore your island and local shops and vendors, let's face it, if it were unsafe, the ship would not be stopping there at all, right? They make more money on steering you to contracted shops with discount vouchers which may still have higher prices than local shops next door or down the street. Their discouraging words displays greed blocking the wonderful experiences and destinations you are visiting....which is, afterall, the reason you chose that perfect cruise for you!
Before You Leave Park'n Fly Stress Relief: consider your flight times as well as the cost of parking. Many Park'n Fly packages that include free parking for several days are less and more fun to incorporate on your getaway. Early morning flight? Stay at an airport hotel the night before, have free parking and transfers to and from the airport!
Turn to our Destination Planner when it comes to cruises
cruise itinerary: your most important decision
all ports of call are NOT created equal
know the ports of call, what they offer
what do you want to see and do?
shopping, culture, hiking, watersports
nature, culture, guides
Wild Side Tip: ask about Park and Fly hotel packages that include free parking vs high airport or surrounding parking garages.
Cruising Up Close and Personal - the small ship experience! When cruise-ing upclose and personal, you'll discover some of the most breathtaking sites in the world, visit remote locations unspoiled by man's excess and gain an appreciate for how special our world is! And how fragile...
At Wild Side Destinations and Destination Wedding travel, leaving a much smaller footprint than the mega-ship cousins is our delight.
But we're even more serious about our year-round commitment to treat every place we visit with respect and the utmost care. Afterall, it isn't just the earth, it's home. A few small ship cruise lines we highly recommend and can assist you with
Captain Cook Cruise, Fiji
Blue Lagoon Cruise, Fiji
m/s Paul Gauguin, Tahiti
Become a Europe Cruiser
More customized packages created for you! Adventure Package . Beach Bonding Package . Biking . BFF . Destination Wedding Package . Honeymoon Package . Luxury Package . Proposal Package . Reef and Rainforest . Vow Renewal . Private Yacht . Incentive Travel . Team Building
Number of Nights: 7
Ship: ms Statendam
Grandly proportioned and recently enhanced, ms Statendam offers an onboard experience defined by spacious comfort, and the latest Signature of Excellence features and amenities. Upgrades begin with new fixtures and soft goods in staterooms and bathrooms. Staterooms offer a generous amount of personal space and many feature commanding ocean views with private verandahs.