What to Know Before You Take a Cruise, Part 2


A couple years ago, we posted a blog titled What to Know Before Taking a Cruise. While our previous blog has a lot of great information for first-time cruisers, we thought we’d expand on our cruise knowledge and give you a few more pieces of helpful information:

Cruise Line Choices

While your first instinct may be to book with the cruise line that offers the cheapest cruise or the best package, consider what kind of cruise experience you want. Some cruise lines (like Carnival and Disney) are geared toward families, so you’ll be among lots of children and adolescent-themed activities. Others, (like Celebrity and Holland America) are geared toward couples or adults and may provide a more relaxing experience, but not provide much for younger cruisers. Do your research before you pick one.

Planning Ahead

Many people choose to take tropical or Caribbean cruises during the winter months as a nice, warm alternative to the weather. If you’re from an area that experiences snow (which is most of the northern U.S.) and you book a cruise during a winter month, plan ahead: book your flight for the day before your cruise ship sets sail. This way, if you experience a delay or cancellation, you won’t have to worry about missing your ship’s boarding time (and the entire experience).


Cruises offer some of the most interesting and adventurous excursions, whether it’s zip-lining through Jamaica or a helicopter ride over Alaska. Do yourself a favor and book any excursions you may want to do before you depart. Once the excursions are filled up, there’s no chance in participating.

Dress Codes

What you may not realize is each cruise line has its own dress code – and it’s expected that you follow it while you’re on the ship. Many cruise lines host formal dinner nights, where dress attire is required. The number of formal nights usually depends on how long the cruise is. (For example, a five-day cruise may have one formal night while a seven-day cruise may have two.) During other nights, some cruise lines will require business casual wear while others may simply call for casual wear. Check your cruise line’s dress code before you pack.