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How to choose your perfect cruise

By Rachel James / August 8, 2017

If you’re new to cruise you’ll discover that there are countless different types of ship, ranging in size, style and purpose. Choose from river cruises to expedition sailing and from niche operators to the more traditional style of ship. Decide between large resort style ships with rock climbing and ice-skating to exclusively intimate boutique yachts and everything in between. Some cruise ships carry 50 passengers and others can accommodate 6,000. From ship to itinerary, how to choose a cruise that’s perfect for you for you is about finding the right combination of all the factors.

When thinking about how to choose a cruise, you need to consider matching your character and requirements with the style of cruise – do you like to dress up for dinner or prefer to be casual? Are you the sociable type or would you prefer to just relax at the spa with a good book on a peaceful escape? Perhaps you’re looking for adventure or an active holiday? Alternatively you may want to enjoy a cultural, city break experience. As well as British-style cruise holidays, you may also wish to consider the option of an American or European-style cruise for a new holiday experience.

The large resort style cruise ships have an extensive choice of activities and entertainment with a variety of programmes on offer for all ages. They provide numerous dining choices together with varied dress codes and are great for multi-generational families because there’s something for everyone. On these types of cruise ship the on board activities are as much a part of the whole holiday experience as the fantastic destinations you’ll visit.

The choice in size and style of mid-sized ships is extensive-there are those with a very contemporary feel, while others can be likened to a country house hotel. This means it’s important to explore all of the options carefully when choosing a cruise ship in this category. Whether you’re new to cruise or a seasoned cruise guest, it’s important to find the right ship to compliment your tastes and needs. There are various dining options which may include speciality restaurants with menus designed by celebrity chefs. There are those that provide children’s clubs together with a wide choice of activities and entertainment, while others offer a more traditional style of cruising.

The small, boutique ships provide an intimate experience. Smaller ships are able to visit ports inaccessible to the larger ships so the destination often plays a key role when deciding on this style of cruise. Some of these ships are very much like private yachts and, while there is a limited choice of entertainment and restaurants, they offer a very unique holiday experience and are perfect if you’re looking for a new type of cruise to enjoy.

River cruises offer a great alternative to classic ocean cruises and are a fabulous way to see the stunning scenery and cosmopolitan gems inland. The ships are long and narrow, with large windows and mostly outward facing rooms so you can see the constantly changing landscape of the riverbank. A river cruise gives you a great opportunity to explore cities in the evening, as they often remain in port far later than ocean cruise ships.

Together with the choice of ship is the length of the cruise – this can vary from as little as a two day ‘taster’ cruise from the UK, to a standard 7 day cruise and right through to a world cruise lasting more than 100 days!

About the author

Rachel James