Proper Cruise Planning Can Help You Put Together Your Perfect Cruise

Cruise planning doesn’t need to be overwhelming. This guide will help you know what to research before you book your cruise, what to do before your cruise begins, and what to pack so you can relax and just look forward to an incredible vacation.

Cruise Planning Before You Book

Picking a Destination, Itinerary, and Departure Port

The first thing you’ll want to do for your cruise planning is choose the destination you want to visit. Would you prefer the tropical beaches of the Caribbean or the cobblestoned towns of the Mediterranean? The icy glaciers of Alaska or the bustling cities of Southeast Asia? There are numerous options to explore.

Once you narrow down the destination that’s best for your next vacation, you’ll want to choose the departure port, particularly if where you must fly to get to your cruise ship matters to you. Celebrity Cruises makes this easy for you when cruise planning. Just click on “Find a Cruise” in the top navigation bar of Celebrity Cruises’ website. Then after you choose your destination and travel month from the drop-downs, the departure ports drop-down will automatically populate just the departure ports for that destination.

If you’re not picky about departure port, then move straight onto planning your cruise itinerary. When it comes to choosing an itinerary, you’ll want to figure out what about cruising most appeals to you. Are overnights in port important to you? Do you prefer less or more days at sea? Do you prefer a round trip journey? As you look through different itineraries, you’ll find what is most important to you.

Picking a Stateroom or Suite

Once your destination and itinerary are decided upon, you’ll need to make one more big decision before you can book your cruise, and that is what type of accommodation you want to stay in on board.

Celebrity Cruises has a large variety of staterooms and suites to suit every traveler’s needs and wants. Those who are on a tight budget and don’t care about being able to see views from inside their stateroom may want to choose an interior stateroom. For those who are still on a budget, but want some sunlight, an oceanview stateroom may be the way to go (and is also the lowest category of stateroom that gets you a perk with Celebrity Cruises’ ongoing free perk promotion!).

While those staterooms are all luxuriously appointed with fine amenities and comfortable bedding, those who can should splurge a bit and upgrade to a veranda stateroom. If you talk to seasoned cruisers, you’ll often hear that once you stay in a veranda, it’s hard not to cruise with your own private balcony again. That’s because it is such a wonderful experience to be able to wake up and immediately step outside into the fresh sea air to see that day’s view. On Celebrity Cruises you can even get your breakfast delivered to your stateroom so you can enjoy it on your veranda. As the day begins to end, sipping a pre- or post-dinner drink on your veranda while you enjoy the peace and quiet of your own little outdoor sanctuary is also a wonderful way to unwind from a busy day of sightseeing or having fun on the ship.

Those who want the finest luxury accommodations while cruising should book a suite. All suites on Celebrity Cruises have an outdoor area and come with butler service. Most also have separate living and sleeping areas.

Choosing Airfare and Making Sure You Arrive on Time

The ship part of your pre-booking cruise planning is complete, but there’s one more big thing you have to reserve if you don’t live in driving distance to your embarkation port: your flights.

Celebrity Cruises makes it easy for you to do so with its Flights by Celebrity program, which offers you incredible service due to its three tiers: price, points, and protection. For price, you can rest assured you’re getting a competitive price on your airfare thanks to Flights by Celebrity’s Lowest Airfare Guarantee. You can also choose the airline you want to fly on, which let’s you use any loyalty points you have accrued for that airline if you so choose.

As for the protection tier of Flights by Celebrity, you’ll rest assured you’ll have professional help if your flight is delayed or cancelled. Flights by Celebrity has dedicated specialists available 24 hours a day to find you different flights and work on your behalf to get you to your cruise ship on time.

Cruise Planning Before You Board

You’re booked! Now it’s time to start planning all the fun you’re going to have on your cruise.

Choose what shore excursions you want to do in while in the ports your itinerary will be stopping in. Then reserve the shore excursions before you leave as the most popular ones fill up quickly and may be all booked up if you wait to reserve until you board the ship.

Reserve Your Specialty Restaurant Dining

Another thing you can reserve before arriving to your cruise to ensure you get the day and time you want are the specialty restaurants. Celebrity Cruises has an assortment of restaurants on board beyond the Main Dining Room and for a small fee (that is often just a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay for a similar caliber dining experience on land) you can experience an assortment of tastes and dining settings.

Figure Out If You Want a Beverage Package

If you know you’ll want to enjoy some wine or cocktails on board (or other libation), it’s worth looking into a beverage package and deciding if one is right for you. If you’re planning on daily drinks with dinner or by the pool or while watching a show, this can save you money and help you stick to your cruise planning budget. Celebrity Cruises offers two beverage packages, a Classic Beverage Package and a Premium Beverage Package. Both packages include alcoholic beverages and specialty coffees and teas, but the Premium Beverage Package include higher-end liquors and wine plus craft beers.

Cruise Planning for Your Suitcase -- Packing Tips

When your cruise is right around the corner, it’s time to start planning what to pack. The attire you’ll want to stick in your suitcase will differ depending on what location of the world you’re visiting and what time of year it is, but here are the things you’ll want to bring no matter where you’re going:

Layers

The temperature while cruising can change dramatically from day to night and from port breeze to sea breeze.  Pack clothes that layer easily so you’re always comfortable.

Sunglasses

Protect your eyes from the glare of the water while you’re on the cruise ship deck or your veranda.

Medications

Refills can be hard to find in port and there is no pharmacy on board so make sure you bring any medication you need to last the entire cruise.

Swimsuit

Bring a swimsuit so you can take advantage of the pool and hot tub plus any water activities in port.

Clothing for Different Types of Excursions

During the course of your cruise you may want to partake in a variety of excursion types so make sure you bring clothes that make sense for them all, from hiking to wine tasting.

Evening Chic Nights

Don’t stress about having to find cocktail attire before leaving for your cruise in order to participate in antiquated formal nights -- on Celebrity Cruises formal nights have been updated to modern Evening Chic nights. Bring your favorite clothes that follow the Evening Chic guidelines and you'll fit right in.

Turn Your Cruise Planning into Reality

Are you ready to turn your thoughts of cruise planning into action? Celebrity Cruises makes it convenient for you with its #BookItList platform. Book your cruise, airfare, and activities all in one easy to use place. Then start getting excited about your cruise vacation!

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