Whatever floats your boat
Sometimes a trip is more enjoyable when someone else takes the wheel. And when it comes to taking a cruise, not only is the wheel taken care of, but so is everything else. What better way to visit exciting locations while enjoying all the amenities you can imagine?
Cruising has become so widely popular that you can choose from dozens of different kinds of ships, itineraries, and vacation style options. You can set sail for adventure, relaxation, entertainment, or social events. You can stuff yourself silly with all-you-can-eat meals, dance 'til the wee hours, explore unfamiliar cultures, or just relax by the pool.
But with all these delicious choices, where's a prospective vacationer to begin? Read on--we'll fill you in on what you need to hit the high seas with ease.
Before you begin
Not all cruise ships are luxury liners. Boat sizes range from smaller, 100-passenger crafts (riverboats included) to huge, multilevel seagoing vessels with fabulous restaurants, casinos, spas, and discos. Atmospheres vary from party central to quiet getaways and everything in between. Some ships are casual and some offer the utmost in elegance. There's no class system on a cruise ship--no matter what cabin you're in, everyone enjoys the same restaurants, entertainment, and amenities.
Whatever you choose, be sure to plan and book your trip early (at least three to six months in advance). Doing so will ensure a better choice of cabin, a better price, and maybe even an upgrade or two.