Cruise trips can be pretty expensive, and not many people get an opportunity to experience one. However, the stellar service and onboard amenities you get to enjoy are definitely worth the investment!
You may be wondering how to plan a cruise trip and hit all the best destinations. In this guide, I'll walk you through some of the top cruise ship itineraries. You'll also discover the must-grab cruise services and how to make the most of your cruise experience.
What Is a Cruise Itinerary?
A cruise itinerary is a detailed plan of a cruise journey. It includes places you'll visit, activities to expect, the onboard amenities guests can enjoy, and more!
Cruise itineraries differ from one cruise line to another. The price also varies depending on the type of accommodation you choose. Most cruise ships offer 3 to 7-day itineraries for guests to enjoy individually or in groups. Ideally, in a cruise itinerary, activities and events will be scheduled on specific days.
There are various cruise itineraries to choose from, depending on the destinations and the season. You can browse cruise packages on platforms like Luxury Escapes for incredible deals at reasonable prices. Cruise travel packages allow you to enjoy the various onboard and offshore activities a cruise line has to offer.
Must-Explore Cruise Itineraries
Many places across the world are endowed with a combination of natural beauty, cultural richness, and pure charm. These make absolutely stunning destinations for your next cruise excursion.
In this section, let's go through some of the most iconic cruise ship itineraries that are sure to wow you and your travel buddies.
3. The Mediterranean
The array of possibilities for cruising this historic part of Europe is hard to surpass. Every day presents a new, enticing destination, from the French Riviera to Athens' Saronic Gulf. Each trip combines urban tourist capitals with hidden wonders to discover.
If you've never gone to Europe, you may be overwhelmed by the many cruise options. You can opt for the massive vessels of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Crystal Cruises or MSC Cruises' year-round itinerary. The journeys range from four to five days in length to a whole month and much more.
Alaska is America's last frontier, featuring grand mountains, stunning glaciers, and abundant wildlife. It's certainly not the kind of trip you would want to put together at the last moment because it can be rough and challenging to get around.
An Alaskan cruise presents the perfect opportunity to admire its raw beauty and learn about its indigenous cultures. Explore Juneau to see the incredible Mendenhall Glacier and perhaps catch a glimpse of blue herons and humpback whales.
Most cruises do round-trips from Seattle or Vancouver along Southeast Alaska's Inside Passage. This allows you to take in the breathtaking natural views around the Gulf of Alaska.
1. Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia tours usually encompass a dozen or so countries and territories between China and Australia. From sun-kissed coastlines and tropical rainforests to diverse cuisines, this fascinating part of the globe has it all.
Exploring Southeast Asia by ship will give you a unique perspective on the ancient trading routes. The region offers warm weather and a wide selection of cultural activities. Discover the natural beauty of Vietnam's Halong Bay, or the urban skyline of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor.
You can choose from short trips across Hong Kong to Singapore or one-way voyages from China for your itinerary. For the best cruises in Southeast Asia, check out Celebrity Cruises, Emerald Cruises, and Aqua Expeditions.
Cruise Do's and Don'ts
Do Plan and Book Ahead of Time
Booking your cruise ship travel in advance offers several advantages. You can select from the best cruise cabins and enjoy your vacation in peak comfort. Early booking may also help you score a worthwhile deal and save a good amount of money!
Plus, it never hurts to plan ahead. This way, you can be prepared to make the most of your cruise experience from the moment you step onboard.
Don't Forget to Pack The Essentials
Out of excitement, people often forget to pack the essentials or end up packing way too much.
Your cruise packing list should include weather-appropriate clothing and footwear, toiletries, and tech accessories. Of course, don't forget your travel documents and medications! You should also bring cash or credit cards to pay for any extra amenities onboard the cruise.
Do Use a Cruise Ship Tracker
Using a live cruise ship tracker is a must when going on a cruise. You can find apps and websites that provide real-time information on the location of specific cruise ships.
A cruise ship tracker will let you stay up-to-date on your current location. It also allows your loved ones to keep tabs on you offshore.
Don't Go Over The Budget
It's easy to go ham and spend a fortune on a cruise ship, as there's a vast range of tempting amenities and entertainment areas onboard. However, it's important to set a budget and stick to it. You don't want to regret draining your bank account later on!
Top Cruise Activities
Most cruise travel packages include activities and amenities access. So to get your money's worth, you should enjoy as much of what the cruise has to offer as you can.
When booking a cruise, choose one that offers some of the best activities and amenities. Below, I've compiled my top picks for an unforgettable cruise experience onboard.
Cruise Ship Tour
One of the first things you should do when going on a cruise is to wander around the ship with your family and friends. Most top-rated cruise ship companies offer a guided tour or allow guests to explore the vessel at their own leisure.
Large cruise ships have various areas for guests to relax or have fun. The picturesque interiors also make great backgrounds for your cruise photos!
Most luxury cruises, like Viking Venus and Celebrity Edge, feature a spa where guests can destress and pamper themselves onboard. Having a spa day lets you achieve the ultimate relaxation while on holiday.
Some cruise ships have a casino lounge where guests can enjoy a variety of table and slot games. It's even the highlight of luxury cruises like Allure of the Seas, Queen Mary 2, and Norwegian Escape!
Bar and Restaurant
Cruises have bars and dining areas onboard where guests can sample world-class cuisines and a wide range of beverages. Going on a cruise allows you to have a taste of some of the best foods and drinks cruise companies boast about.
Princess Cruises has some of the coolest bars onboard. For a futuristic drinking experience, visit Royal Caribbean's Bionic Bar and have a robotic bartender mix up your cocktails.
A cruise trip is never complete without mind-blowing entertainment shows onboard. Most cruise ships feature a series of amusement performances and game shows for people to watch or participate in. It'll be a night to remember!
Not all cruise ships have fully-equipped fitness centers onboard. If you're keen on fitness and regular exercise, select a cruise that offers a gym, like Seabourn Cruise Line or Viking Ocean Cruises. This way, you can stay on top of your workout routine while enjoying tranquil ocean views.
Most cruise ships have spacious decks where guests can engage in games like mini golf, bowling, and pickleball. You and your friends can keep yourselves entertained at sea by playing sports onboard!
An onboard pool is an amenity most travelers look for when booking a cruise. A pool deck is one of the best spaces to unwind on a cruise, by yourself, or with friends. You can lounge by the poolside to soak in the sun or swim to cool off from the scorching heat.
An overwhelming number of cruise companies offer enticing travel packages with compelling destinations. To make the most of your money, it's essential to carefully evaluate each cruise itinerary and select the one that ticks all the boxes for you.
Ready to sail? Now that you know the best cruise itineraries out there, you can start to craft your ideal travel experience for you, your family, and your friends.