Have you been thinking about a cruise ship vacation?
You want to go on a cruise but which cruise ship do you choose?
So you have decided to go on a cruise ship or are at least thinking about it! Maybe you have already chosen a cruise line, but don’t know what itinerary to choose. Well, there are a few basic questions you will want to ask yourself like “Where do I want to go?” and “What amenities/options are must-have?”.
Caribbean Cruise Ship
Maybe you want to go to the Caribbean and while your days away in crystal blue water, high temps, and plenty of sunshine. If you love beaches and snorkeling a Caribbean cruise is a great choice. Make sure to check out what excursions your cruise ship offers as well to ensure it meets with what you’re interested in doing.
Or maybe you want to go somewhere more exotic like Belize, Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, Dominica, and Grand Antigua. Maybe you want to stay in the US and if that is the case you must do the East Coast itinerary which includes places like Maryland, Maine, and NYC.
Our first cruise last summer was with Carnival Cruise Lines and our cruise ship was the Carnival Magic which left Orlando and took us on a Western Caribbean cruise. One of our cruise must-haves was to have a room with a balcony. While the rooms are a decent size with the three of us in one room and our luggage, having a balcony gave us some breathing room. Plus the views couldn’t be beat.
This view of Key West was taken from our balcony on the Carnival Magic.
Canadian or Alaskan Cruise Ship
If you want to cross the border but don’t want to go to the beach you can head to Canada. Or if you want to skip the heat altogether you can take an amazing Alaskan cruise. The best part of cruising is the options are endless!
You could try a cruise ship in the Mediterranean calling at such destinations such as Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, and other Mediterranean countries. Yes, they have incredible beaches but what you really want to do when you get there is soak up the culture!
Eat some amazing Greek dishes while in Greece, have coffee by a little cafe in France, and of course, you could go for pasta in Italy but the real star of the show would be some of their amazing desserts. Make sure to stay in local areas that are safe!
There are other places to cruise in Europe such as Norway, cruising up the coast and fjords visiting isolated communities in the deep-sea valleys on the west coast of Norway. The scenery is dramatic and by cruising above the arctic circle you can experience the land of the midnight sun. This sun never sets in the summertime but in wintertime, it never rises. Because of this, you need to make sure you only cruise this area in the summer. Norway is super awesome but Alaska is just as nice! You can get the incredible scenery, amazing wildlife, and cooler weather without traveling by sea for days on end!
Panama Canal Cruise
Some cruise ships in the US spend the winter months cruising the Caribbean and the summer months cruising the West coast of Alaska. These ships need to reposition themselves during the fall and springtime and do this through the Panama Canal. These cruises are highly recommended due to the unique experience of the Panama Canal. The US completed the canal in the early part of the last century although the canal was started by the French.
The canal starts at the Gatun locks at the Atlantic side of Panama and travels to the Pacific side which lowers ships over 50 feet in the series of Miraflores Locks. The Panama Canal is one of the wonders of the engineering world. Being on a cruise ship while going through the Canal is a very special experience. Only so many people get to experience it every year, that makes it one of the highest sought after cruises! Sometimes they are booked way in advance!
A cruise does not just take place on the sea though and you could try cruising the rivers of the world. How about the great Mississippi river from New Orleans to Little Rock, St Louis or Pittsburgh. Companies also have theme cruise ships covering themes such as the Civil War, Steamboat racing and special Fall cruises. Also, in Harford County you go on a cruise ship around the Chesapeake while enjoying an all-you-can-eat crab feast or you can head to Ocean City where river cruise options are just a tip of the iceberg!
River Cruises in Europe
You could also try a cruise ship in Europe and cruise on the river Rhine, Elbe, Danube, Seine and Rhone rivers to name just a few, or you could try your hand at captaining your own boat on the canal systems in France or the UK. Donít forget further to the east of Europe there are many other countries offering river cruises. There are also rivers such as the Nile and Amazon as well.
Traveling by sea has never been more exciting. Not only do we have amazing places to visit but a lot of cruise lines have built mega cruise ships which are like high-end floating resorts. One of the best and brightest in the Carnival Vista. It has award winning shows, many food options, and a lot of fun activities. You can visit the places you have always dreamed of while sailing in luxury.
Check out our travel review Family Fun at the Carnival Magic Ports of Call