No matter how seasoned a traveller you are, booking a world cruise is always an exciting and nerve wracking event. There’s no feeling quite like the one you get as you watch the dock shrink smaller and smaller, knowing that you’re setting off on the first leg of a journey that will take you all around the world.
Like all the intrepid explorers before you, you’ll need to do a bit of preparation before you begin your voyage to circumnavigate the globe. There are plenty of things to think about when you are going on a world cruise and many of those should be considered before you even book your place.
To help you work out whether you were made for life as a salty seadog or you’re more of a landlubber after all, we’ve put together this guide of all the essential things you should know about before you set sail on a world cruise.
When to Go
Traditionally, world cruises set sail in January, which is known as world cruise season. Most cruise lines still adhere to this, with their round-the-world journeys setting sail close to the beginning of the new year. However, in a bid to attract new and different customers, some cruise lines have begun to offer different start dates. Princess Cruises, for example, has a world cruise itinerary that starts in Australia in May. This means that if January isn’t suitable for you, you don’t need to abandon your cruise entirely, just look for a ship that is setting off a little later in the year.
Make the Most of Discounts
Due to the level of luxury and convenience they provide, world cruises tend to be quite expensive, with prices rising even higher if you want a suite or additional services. Because they are so expensive, however, you’ll often find that the incentives to book early or take a premium cabin are also typically quite generous. You will usually be able to find deals that include flights, where appropriate, and things like hotel stays in certain ports and any transfers. Some lines even offer a significant amount of on-board credit, which can then be spent during your cruise. Get in early or look off season to find yourself some great perks at a great price.
Find Out What’s Included
World Cruises often take many months and during that time, additional expenses and gratuities can add up to a significant amount. Check what’s included in your cruise before you book to avoid being caught out by these extra costs. Some cruise lines can charge a lot of money for excursions that are not included in the cost of the cruise and daily tipping can soon add up to hundreds of pounds. Find yourself a cruise that includes the cost of anything you aren’t prepared to pay extra for, or ensure that you have budgeted for any additional expenditure.
Special Travel Insurance
Not only will you need travel insurance, but you should also be aware that many regular policies do not cover the entire length of a world cruise. Most standard policies only cover trips up to 30 days and have pay-out limits that wouldn’t cover the cost of a cancelled world cruise. You will need to take out a special policy that offers coverage for the entire length of your journey and has high enough cover to meet the entire cost of the holiday if something should go wrong.
Choose the Right Cabin
Normally, your budget would determine which cabin you would pick on a cruise and you might even choose a cheaper one in order to have a little more to spend during the trip. With a world cruise, it is often worth splurging on the biggest and nicest room you can possibly afford. Word cruises often take several months, making considerations about space and privacy much more significant than on a shorter cruise. You will need room to store all your luggage and there is no doubt that you will want to escape you fellow passengers for some alone time at some point, no matter how outgoing you are.
You Still Need Visas
Cruising is a great way to travel the world because a lot of the everyday organisation is taken care of for you. However, there are some things that are still your responsibility to organise and one of those is the visas required for each port. Most cruise lines will make it clear which visas you will need to get off the boat at the ports you wish to visit, but you should double check all the same. Some countries have rules that differ depending on the applicant’s nationality, so check all paperwork thoroughly. Apply for all your visas far in advance, it can sometimes take months to be processed.
It Won’t Be Hot Every Day
Taking a world cruise isn’t the same as enjoying a couple of weeks drifting around the Caribbean, where you can expect to spend every day lounging on the sun deck. Before you book your cruise, you should think about whether you’re happy to spend some of your holiday in countries where, although the landscape is beautiful, the weather tends to be a little chilly. If you’re happy to sacrifice the sun for the sights, make sure you’ve packed a sweater and some long trousers in between all those swimsuits.
There Are Lots of Sea Days
Another thing to think about before you book a world cruise is how you feel about sea days. If you hate the days spent between ports and start to feel like you’ll go mad if you have to make one more lap of the deck, a world cruise probably isn’t for you. On a world cruise, the ports are often several days apart, meaning much of your holiday will be spent enjoying time on the ship. Usually, this won’t be a problem, as modern cruise ships are packed with fun things to keep you entertained between ports. Sign up for a class or get involved in an on-board activity, you’ll soon be looking forward to the enjoyable days spent at sea.
If you’ve considered everything and you still can’t wait to embark on your world cruise, why not book yourself one of Cruise1st UK’s amazing deals? See the full selection of itineraries online or call our friendly sales team on 0808 274 6777.