Size of the cruise ship.Luxury cruise ships are usually smaller in size, though there are also larger ships. Intimate cruises carry 60-70 guests while larger ships 600-700. Smaller ships may not offer the most spacious suites, but on the other hand they can reach places larger ships can't. Level of service.On smaller ships the crew can know you by name and the service can be more intimate than on larger ships. On smaller ships the crew members can wrap you in a blanket on the deck if you sit there in a cold day, the bartender can bring you your favorite drink and the chef will know exactly what you want to eat. On larger ships the service is less personal and may be a bit slower.
Destinations.You can choose exotic sail destinations, romantic destinations or historic destinations. For less adventurous cruises you can choose the more popular and crowded destinations along the Mediterranean. Match your ship to the destination type: be on an icebreaker if you’re doing the Northwest Passage, be on an intimate small ship if you're cruising the Spanish Riviera. Ocean voyage or river cruise.For expansive views and leisurely days at sea, cruising the ocean with a larger ship is better. For visiting fascinating cities and towns along a river, take a river ship.
Cruise amenities on the ship.Luxury cruises offer exceptional amenities, though facilities and services can vary. Among the most popular amenities are wireless internet, gourmet cuisine, pampering spas and more. For seniors or people with disabilities check that there is a doctor onboard, that the cabin is close to the elevator and that there is an elevator. Couple or family.If you are a young couple on a romantic cruise, make sure that the ship doesn't host families with small children. If you're sailing as a family, make sure there are other families with children of the same ages as your children.
Theme based cruises.Today there are many cruises that focus on themes and sailing activities, and less on destination based activities. For example, you can choose a voyage that includes wine tastings, special food cooking or holiday markets. Themes can also depend on the time of year. For example, a spring cruise could focus on gardens. Group or solo.Traveling with the family is different than traveling solo or with a partner. With kids or grandkids you may want a bigger ship with a water slide, available baby sitters or sports activities.
Cruise or tour language.While on a luxury vacation you may want to communicate with your fellow travelers. In such case make sure the primary language is English, or that your fellow guests talk the languages you talk and understand. Included services.Do fares include gratuities? Are there complimentary shore excursions if you're on a cruise? If so, are these basic shore tours, or are they concept or theme excursions designed to inspire and create a lasting impact on the participants? Will you be guided about the local culture, art or food?
Behavior.In keeping with a more sophisticated cruise environment, you must follow a more casual dress code. Respect your fellow guests and don't go bare feet. Don't enter the restaurant with tank tops, baseball caps, bathing suits, shorts, or jeans. Dressing code.When entering a fancy restaurant, bar or club, formal evening wear is required. Make sure you can rent tuxedos if needed along the tour or cruise.
Recommended attire.Women should pack sporty and dégagé dresses, comfortable blouses to trendy skirts, cropped pants and leggies. Always choose fabrics that make you feel loose and look great. For men - grab your sportswear if you want to take part in the sports events, buttoned shirts or your favorite polos, elegant pants for evening events and shorts for daily activities. Light fabrics such as linen, cotton, silk and wool gabardine are best. Cruise activities.Even on summer, be sure to pack a sweater for cooler mornings and evenings. Don't forget your workout clothes and a pair of sneakers or rubber-soled shoes for deck sports.
Bags.Bring with you a reasonable amount of personal luggage onboard the cruise. Keep in mind to bring with you a small bag for each person. Since the staff will collect all your luggage on the last night of the cruise, you'll need the small bag to keep a few necessary clothes and toiletries. Valuables Insurance.Be sure to identify all your bags and insure all luggage and valuables. And of course make sure you carry with you at all times all the cruise related documents, including of course the tickets.