Blog, Travel

How to Plan a Cruise

By: Kristen Darkow


There are two kinds of people in this world…those who’ve been on a cruise and those who haven’t. As of now, I am the second type. BUT, I am looking forward to my first cruise in just 3 months! Both Amanda and I are going on a cruise with her side of the family, and it’s been in the works for more than two years. Needless to say, there is a lot of planning involved. But I’m here today to guide you through the early decisions in the process of planning a cruise!


  1. Choose your cruise line
    There are so many cruise lines out there, and if you read some reviews you’ll find that some are definitely favored over others. When you’re spending several days on a ship (and quite a bit of money!), you want to make sure you’ve selected a reliable company and feel good about the value of your experience. According to US News & World Report, the best cruise lines for your money are: Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises.
  2. Choose your destination
    Are you feeling an ocean cruise or a river cruise? Tropical temps or chillier weather? Cruises can be so different depending on whether you’re headed to Alaska, The Caribbean, a European river cruise, South America, Asia, etc. I’m intrigued by all of the above, but with snow on the ground here in Wisconsin, I’m especially feeling something tropical today. 🙂
  3. Choose your duration
    Your average cruise can last anywhere from 4-16 days, with one week being most common. Decide how long you’d like to be on-board and go from there!

    Once you have all of that figured out, you’re ready to get into the little details of your trip! This is the fun part and when it really starts to feel real. 🙂

  4. Select your room
    Depending on how much you’re willing to spend and what you think you can handle, there are different room options available. Choose from an inside room, a room with a balcony, a suite with a balcony, etc.
  5. Choose your excursions
    Each cruise makes its own unique stops at ports in different cities and countries. It’s at this point that travelers are able to get off the ship and explore. When at these stops, you can choose to explore the area on your own, or book an excursion. Some examples of excursions on our cruise are: snorkeling, visiting Mayan ruins, VIP beach bungalows, swimming with dolphins, visit an animal sanctuary, and so much more!

All that’s left to do is book your flights to and from the port your cruise leaves from! Since I haven’t been on a cruise before this one we’re planning, I don’t know much more about cruises than these essential details listed above. I’ll save all the fun details of our cruise until after it’s over, so we can recap the trip for you then! Later this week, Amanda will recap a cruise that she took a couple of years ago to give you a better idea of how cruises work and how much fun they can be. 🙂

Have you been on a cruise? What stops did it make? What was your favorite part about traveling by cruise ship?



1 thought on “How to Plan a Cruise”

  1. Haven’t done it yet… but someday! Wish we had gone on the Alaska cruise with my cousin and her husband when we had the chance! Rhonda wants to do a river cruise… people we have talked to who have done that said they’re fabulous!

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