Planning a trip on a cruise? There is a lot to know, including how to choose a cruise itinerary for your trip.

Learn more about how to choose a cruise itinerary

Learn more about how to choose a cruise itinerary

Going on a cruise is a lot of fun when you know how to choose a cruise itinerary.

How to Choose Between Tropical, British or Greek Island Cruises

One thing that is exciting about a cruise is getting to see cities that you might otherwise never get to visit. Part of choosing the best itinerary for your needs is knowing what it is you enjoy doing and going from there. For instance, if you enjoy the beach, then you might want to choose a cruise that features ports of call in tropical areas. However, if seeing Europe is something you have always wanted to do, then a British Isles cruise is your best bet. The point is to go by what you love first then plan your vacation around it. Just like you wouldn't plan a trip to a theme park if rides make you sick, you want to pick areas that are exciting to you and those that include things you will love. If you love historical areas, a tropical vacation may not be your style. So whether it's Greek Island cruises, a British Isles cruise or a cruise to Virgin Islands, make it something that interests you beyond the location itself.

Picking a Length of Time for Your Tropical or British Isles Cruise

Did you know that there are more than 1,800 cruise ports around the globe? For obvious reasons, a cruise to the Mediterranean is going to take longer than a trip to the Bahamas from Florida. You will want to take into account the number of days that you will be gone and plan your budget around that. For example, someone living in Florida can take a three day cruise to the Bahamas or a five day cruise to Mexico. However, cruising to a further location will be more days and cost more. Cruises traditionally start out at three days of fun and then go up from there—anywhere from five days up to a month or more. Greek Island cruises or a British Isles cruise is going to be longer than a cruise to Virgin Islands simply based on location.

Picking a Length of Time

Where Are You Embarking From?

Another thing to keep in mind is the port you embark from and whether you want to drive there or fly to get there. Flying will obviously add more cost than driving but some cruise ports only sail to certain areas. For instance, a cruise to Cuba will leave out of Florida, so if you live in California, you must add in the cost of getting to the port of call that you will be leaving from. The same thing goes for any destination—know what port you have to leave out of so you can adjust your expenses and for time.

Learn the Area You Want to Visit

Some areas you may want to visit can be confusing due to the geography. Say that you want to visit the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. This is typically not offered since they are in different parts of the Caribbean. The Caribbean has eastern, southern and western locales, so you have to visit ports of call that are located in the same region. You can also stay somewhat local by taking a cruise to Canada and New England. These are popular between the months of May and September when it's not so cold and can sail anywhere from four days up to two weeks. If you are going to Europe, you are traditionally looking at a minimum of a seven day cruise and up to typically a couple of weeks. Again, there are regions to consider, so if you want to see Greece, then you will be visiting the Eastern Mediterranean, for Denmark and Finland you are going to be on a Baltic cruise, and for the Netherlands, England, Scotland, and Ireland, you will be on a British Isles cruise.

Learn the Area You Want to Visit

Find Out More About the Cruise Line

Another important aspect is to find out all you can about the cruise line when working out how to choose a cruise itinerary. What do they offer on-board to do, what are the meals like, what extra amenities cost additional money, and what kind of features and luxuries can you expect. Different cruise lines vary in what they have to offer, how much they cost, and what there is to do on-board. You should take a look at reviews and critics of each cruise line and this is especially important for first time cruisers since you may not already have a cruise line in mind or know which is right for you and your family. No matter what you ultimately decide for your cruise, the important thing is to relax and enjoy it. Too much stressing over what to do is counteractive to your vacation and by knowing more about what to expect, you can spend more time enjoying yourself instead of wondering what's next or what to do. The whole point of learning more about how to choose an itinerary is so that when the time comes for you to take your cruise, you are already as relaxed as possible.