Cruise vacations are very different from traditional vacations, so if you’ve never been on a cruise before, the idea can be both exciting and a little overwhelming. The most important thing is to do your research before booking so that you know exactly what to expect. In the meantime, here are some tips from our EWR parking company to help you get started:
While some people like booking their cruises at the last minute for a spur-of-the-moment vacation, the majority of cruisers plan their trip about 6-8 months in advance. Planning in advance guarantees that you’ll have more dates and cabin options to choose from.
Like other package vacations, you can choose to book your cruise directly through the cruise line or through a third party like a travel agent. At our EWR parking company, we recommend using a travel agent, as they can help you decide which destination is best for you and may be able to offer you an exclusive deal.
Unless you booked a larger suite, your cabin room will likely be small and minimally equipped, but don’t worry – you won’t be spending much of your free time in your room. If you can, pack lightly so that you won’t have trouble finding room to store all of your belongings. When you first arrive, you should find a list of scheduled events and be able to access the account that will be tied to your room key (often through the television). Since the ship won’t be leaving for awhile (anywhere from a few hours to a day), take some time to explore all that the ship has to offer.
As with many planned vacations, cruises have various packages. If you choose to add packages like “drinks” or “excursions,” your up-front cost will be a bit more. If you don’t add a package, you’ll have to pay for it while on the cruise. At our EWR parking company, we suggest paying for a package up front – especially a drink package. Drinks can add up while you’re on vacation. Also take into account souvenir expenses and the cost of any separate activities at the destinations you visit.
With so many cruise lines to pick from these days, it might be a little overwhelming to choose one. Before you choose the one with the cheapest deal, however, keep in mind that some cruises are geared toward certain types of people. For example: If you’re taking a family cruise, choose a cruise line like Carnival or Disney. If you’re an adult or traveling as a couple, try Celebrity or Holland America. Each cruise line has different activities and offerings, so do a little research before you choose one.
When to Go
The best time to take any cruise is in the off-season when the weather is still nice and the ships aren’t as crowded. Here’s what we recommend:
- Caribbean: October – July (deals are usually in December and January)
- Hawaii: September – mid-December
- Europe: May or September
- Bahamas: May – June
- Mediterranean: March – April; September – October
- Alaska: mid-May – mid-September (book early, since these cruises aren’t offered year-round)
- Mexico: May or November
You may not realize it, but each cruise line has its own dress code that you’re expected to follow while you’re aboard the ship. The casual dress code is often laid back, but there are many cruise lines that host formal dinner nights. These nights, you’re expected to dress nicely (often business casual). The number of formal dinner nights depends on how long your cruise is. (For example: A five-day cruise may have only one formal night while a seven-day cruise may have two.) Make sure you look into the dress code before packing.
Are you flying out of Newark Airport to your departure destination? If so, our EWR parking can get you there fast and give you peace of mind while you’re gone. Make your reservation today!