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Where To? How to Pick the Perfect Cruise Destination

My husband and I have been married for six years and in that time we have been on three cruises together. We went on our first  three years ago, seven months after our second baby was born.

We are those parents who rarely take time away from their children to be alone. We see, on average, one movie in the theater a year, and a date night for us is eating take out in our living room with a glass of wine. Needless to say, we look forward all year to the chance to sail away together.

Which destination we are going to visit next is a topic we begin discussing on our drive home from that year’s cruise and it is not uncommon for us to debate for months before coming to a decision. There are so many factors to consider when selecting an itinerary.

My husband is really keen on Alaska as our next cruise destination and, while I am tempted by the stunning photographs I’ve seen from that locale, I am a Southern girl at heart. I love the sunshine and it is hard for me to envision vacationing in full-on winter gear.

Since we typically only get one full week alone together a year to relax, it is important that we plan a vacation that we will both enjoy. Here are a few questions we try and answer when planning a cruise:

  • What dates work well for our trip? If we will be traveling during Winter or Fall, would we prefer to escape to a warmer climate? If our trip falls in a Summer month, do we want to continue working on our tan or find some place to cool off?
  • How long do we want our trip to be? Cruises can be as short as a weekend or greater than two weeks.
  • From what port would we like to depart? If airfare isn’t in that year’s budget, that can narrow down the destinations to which we can travel.
  • Is there a ship in particular that we are dying to sail on? If yes, this can make narrowing down a destination easy as some ships are dedicated to travel to certain locations.
  • Is there an activity we are dying to do? A couple of years ago, I had my heart set on cave tubing in Belize so the choice to cruise the Western Caribbean was easy. If there’s an activity your vacation wouldn’t be complete without, make sure you select a destination that offers what you have in mind.

By the time we work our way through these questions we have a pretty good idea about when and where we’re going. Do you have a method for selecting a cruise destination or tips for narrowing down the choices?

A big thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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