Don’t wait till the last minute to book
Travel agent Marni Becker, Director of Cruise Sales for Protravel International in New York City, says that depending upon where you wish to travel—Alaska? Mediterranean? Caribbean? Baltic?—there is still some availability, but that the most popular itineraries, ships, and cabin categories fill up early. You’ll want to act fast if you want to book for travel this June through August. You still have time to book a summer cruise, she says, but, depending on the line, “you may not get that mid-ship verandah or suite.” Think outside the box with these little-known cruises even better than the Bahamas.
Ask for help
Booking a cruise can be a daunting process, especially if you haven’t done it before. “Use a travel advisor to match your lifestyle with the best possible cruise line for you,” suggests Becker. “Remember, what your friends or neighbors like may not be your cup of tea.” Trained travel agents can help you save money on your trip, as well as help you determine which cabin category is the perfect fit for your vacation. Best of all, whether you’re traveling alone or with a big group, they’ll know your best options.
Don’t fly in the same day you set sail
“Get your vacation started at least one day before your cruise by booking a hotel room near the ship,” suggests Christy Scannell, a Dream Vacations franchise owner from California. “That way you don’t have to sweat out possible flight delays or traffic jams that could hamper getting to the pier on time. Instead, you can enjoy a restful morning and then make your way to the ship refreshed, relaxed and ready to enjoy your cruise.” Avoid these other 16 airport mistakes to know before your next flight.