‘Vital’ things to consider when booking a cruise holiday – expert

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Cruise holidays are a popular choice for travellers looking to get their money’s worth of entertainment, sightseeing, drinks and food, but they can be difficult to navigate when it comes to booking a trip. With so many destinations and experiences on offer by various cruise lines, reducing your options down to just a few standout experiences can take some time to ensure you get the best deals. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk Cody Candee, CEO and Founder of Bounce shared his must-have tips to plan your 2023 trip.

The luggage and travel expert explained that the first step to booking a cruise holiday is to consider where in the world you want to visit.

He said: “With much of the world now accessible by cruise ship, it can be hard to pick exactly which destination is right for you. From the Bahamas to Barcelona, and Miami to Marseille, the world is your oyster when it comes to cruise destinations.

“Always take the time to consider what type of experience you truly desire. Do you want to set sail on a family adrenaline-fueled experience, with waterslides and sporting events onboard? Or, do you fancy a slower pace, with opportunities to visit historical landmarks and learn something new?”

If you’re undecided, Cody recommended turning to social media for some inspiration. Unlike travel agent websites and advertisements, you are more likely to find authentic reviews from other travellers who have visited places themselves.

Cody noted that TikTok is one of the greatest tools to fuel your ideas, with billions of searches for cruise content and cruise holidays being made each day on the site.

While there are endless videos and cruise-themed accounts to sift through, the travel expert noted that TikTok profiles such as @smartcruiser are worth looking into. He said: “This account shares regular cruise reviews, and inspiration, helping to make your booking experience a little easier.”

Once you know where you want to go, the second thing to consider is dates and availability. Unlike on-land destinations, cruises tend to be harder to navigate in terms of choosing the perfect duration.

According to the Bounce CEO, one thing that can make this a little quicker to determine is your cruise line choices.

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Cody told Express.co.uk: “Consider how many destinations you’d like to visit in the time you’re sailing.

“Short sailings might include one or two ports to visit, while longer sailings can include significantly more.

“The time of year you choose to go on holiday can also be a vital part of the decision-making process. Seasonality is typically a big factor to consider when booking a cruise.”

“If you’re sailing in the off-season months, such as January or February, your cruise fare may be considerably less than average for a location like the Mediterranean. However, December to April is the peak season for Caribbean cruises.”

Most cruises will be affected by term time price inflation too, so it is always worth looking outside of school holiday dates that fall around Easter, during July and August and over the Christmas period.

Booking during term time will not only impact the price of your chosen cruise line and destinations, but it is also likely to increase the availability on selected dates.

Once you have the dates, destination and duration set, you can then whittle down your options to find the best deals on offer.

With such a varied offering of cruises across Europe and other popular destinations, there’s likely to be something to suit every budget – even those on the lower end.

Cody said: “It can be easy to spot a great deal on a cruise and think you’ve got yourself a bargain, but have you considered the cost you can expect to spend once you’ve set sail?

“One of the most appealing factors of a cruise is that once booked, most of your daily expenditure is taken out of your hands.

“However, ensure to check what is included as part of your cruise package. And, don’t forget to budget for additional costs, such as excursions, alternative dining options, and souvenirs.

“It’s important to factor in each expense to make sure it aligns with your budget.”

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