Cruise wave season sounds like an exotic time to set sail. Picture the beautiful blue water, gentle waves and you enjoying a poolside chaise. Before you jump on board, there are a few things to consider when selecting a cruise. We gathered several tips from our favorite sites to help you make the most of your time of the high seas.

Making the Most of Wave Season – from cruisecritic.com

  • What is wave season? The early months of the year, when many cruisers book their trips; cruise lines often offer discounts and other deals during this time.
  • Find out the typical price of a cruise trip you have in mind so you can be certain you’re getting a good deal.
  • Use IndependentTraveler’s Travel Budget Calculator to configure how much you might spend on amenities and other features.
  • Be certain to read the details of a discount to make sure it applies to the itinerary you have in mind, sometimes deals are not applicable to certain cabin categories.
  • A travel agent can help you find some of the hidden costs (such as dining, spa treatment, alcohol, laundry, etc.) of cruising and can compare discount prices among different cruise lines.
  • If you’re willing to take a risk, cruise lines sometimes offer last-minute deals and towards the end of wave season.

Picking a Cruise Line

  • Determine what you want out of your vacation – a romantic getaway or a family vacation? Are your kids older or younger? Are you a senior citizen? Are you a fitness enthusiast? Or a food enthusiast? Are you traveling solo? Use those questions as a guide when researching what different cruise lines have to offer.
  • Travel Bags With Annita’s favorite is Paul Gauguin Cruises.  Romance, family or girlfriends you can do either with a high-level of service and attention to detail. They offer a 300 passenger ship in the South Pacific area and a 88 passenger ship in Europe and the Caribbean. The all-inclusive cruise limits the passenger capacity in order to provide an intimate atmosphere; spa amenities for relaxation; great wines and beverages; excursions where you interact with some crew member (Executive Chef and Captain); culinary demonstrations; and of course restaurants with ocean views, panoramic views of villages and excursions offering water sports, tours, biking and so much more. 
  • Cruisecritic.com suggests that seniors may enjoy a traditional cruise like Cunard, which offers formal dinners, ballroom dance parties, performances of plays and jazz concerts, tea parties and lawn games on the deck
  • Families young and old enjoy cruises like Disney (with playspaces and nurseries for younger children) and Carnival (with separate clubs for tweens and teens, and water parks, rope courses, and mini-golf)
  • Other cruise lines like Azamara Club Cruises are perfect for those who want to explore on shore; Azamara often stays overnight in different ports so that guests can immerse themselves in different cities and cultures.

Scoring the best cruise prices – from cruisecritic.com

  • In the hopes of promoting customer loyalty, many cruise lines will offer onboard credit for when you return on your next trip. If you enjoy your cruise and could see yourself coming back, book right away to build a relationship with the cruise line and receive different perks.
  • Another way cruise lines promote customer loyalty is by offering a small amount credit when you refer new cruisers to your cruise line of choice.
  • Cruise pricing changes quite frequently, so often that travel agents can be hired to monitor prices for you to make sure you get the best deal available.

General cruising tips – from livingwellspendingless.com

  • Bring magnetic clips – the metal walls of the ships provide a great hanging space for clothes and important items you need to have ready (like your ship card and other reminders)
  • Research ports ahead of time so that you can make the most of your time onshore.
  • Find a favorite hangout – cruise ships try to offer fun spaces for everyone, whether your idea of fun involves outdoor activities or relaxing on a chair by the pool, these areas can also serve as a designated meeting spot for your group

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