There is no one-size-fits-all answer for when to sail: It depends on your own personal priorities. Whether you’re looking to avoid the rough seas or score a bargain deal, there’s a time of year that’s best for you. If you’re looking for low prices, shoulder season — the time between peak and low season — is a great option, but it may come with trade-offs like rainy weather or fewer wildlife sightings. Check out our breakdown of the best time to cruise based on destination, weather, and price:
Fifty years ago, no one thought cruise ships would evolve into 1,200-foot behemoths capable of carrying 5,000 passengers. And while we’re excited by the innovations on new ships like Quantum of the Seas, it’s hard not to wonder how dramatically different cruise ships will look 50 years from now.
Cruises are great family vacations because kids are catered to as well as adults. Most ships offer supervised activities, and the biggest vessels have several spacious playrooms geared to different age groups, each with their own age-appropriate toys, electronic gaming, and furniture — there are even bathrooms with miniature toilets and sinks. If you’re the parent of a young child and are eager to cruise because you’ll have lots of time to do your own thing, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with these pointers first:
No matter how old your kids are, few family vacations are easier than hopping aboard a cruise ship — you unpack once, and you don’t have to juggle plane and train schedules or maps to chart a course. We scoped out the most family-friendly cruise lines and found out what make these ships rock. If you think we’re just talking about kids’ menus, mini-golf, and high chairs, you’re in for a surprise; these lines work hard to make family travel easy. Read on for the five best cruise lines for kids, in no particular order:
In light of heightened border security and thorough Transportation Security Administration (TSA) searches, it seems like a given that you need a passport to go on a cruise. Surprisingly enough, the cruise industry has a loophole that lets American passengers soak in the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean and other destinations without a passport on “closed-loop” sailings out of U.S. ports.
If you’re new to cruising, don’t fall prey to these potential pitfalls. Here are the top nine mistakes cruise newbies make and how to avoid them for smooth sailing, from the minute you walk up the gangway for the first time to the moment you disembark:
Just how far has Carnival come from the days of bland buffets and wan salad bars? Well, if you book a cruise on one of the line’s newer ships, you’re bound to be pleasantly surprised. Not only are there more options than ever before, but many are a big upgrade from years past. Check out our favorites and see if you agree:
Ever wonder why tourist traps are so popular? Sometimes, it’s as simple as name recognition, created by effective marketing, and a lack of knowledge about other choices.
I’m a light sleeper — a very light sleeper. If you’re like me, choosing a hotel room’s location is extremely important … and cruise ship cabin real estate is even more vital. After all, you don’t often spend a week at one hotel, but you do on a ship. Here are a few cabin location proximities to avoid:
Booking a cruise is complicated — prices change based on cabin availability, and determining whether you’re getting the best deal is tough. Here, our best advice for booking the ship you want at the best price.