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Your Ultimate Guide on How to Choose a Cruise Itinerary

Whether you're cruising for a first-time or experienced, choosing a cruise itinerary is essential. So select a cruise itinerary and start sailing with these steps.

By Cruise Booking Team

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There are more than 100 cruise lines with more than 7,500 itineraries that cover the whole world. So, it might be tough for you to select which one most suits your style? Select your options using these simple procedures:

Below are the ten simple steps to select a cruise itinerary

Step 1: When to go?

Choosing the right time of year can vividly impact your cruising experience far more than people with whom you are traveling and when you are traveling. Usually, there are two seasons – shoulder and high season. You can bargain the offers in the shoulder season, which may be even more appealing than high season. The ideal time to take a cruise vacation is during winters and summers.

Step 2: How to pick a cruise?

Start your exploration with the help of a cruise line website or travel websites. Select your choice based on the following factors,

Date or month of travel

Location like Alaska, the Caribbean, or Transpacific

Length of the cruise

Cruise line

Name of the ship

Departure port

Take help from our travel experts at for discovering and narrowing options.

Step 3: Which line to book?

The third step you should take when choosing a cruise itinerary is which ship you should sail on. Different cruise lines have different personalities, and passengers should try to match their vacation expectations with the line they choose. For example,

For families: Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Princess Cruises

For cruisers on budget: Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line

For Foodies: Seabourn Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, and Oceania Cruises

For Luxury cruisers: Celebrity Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Yes, there are many more cruise lines than those that are mentioned above.  But if you are a cruises for first timers, you can consider going on Holland America or Princess Cruise for your Alaska Trip.

Step 4: What are the activities?

The activities of cruise lines vary from cruise line to cruise line. Some cruise lines offer adventure, while some are focused on nature. Since the day cruise trips have limited time, the number of activities also reduced to a minimum of Kayaking, surfing, jungle safari, etc. You can also visit the cave or relax on the beach. There is also a BBQ party, shore excursion, swimming, cooking classes, floating villages, and exploring.

Step 5: Find a discount?

Don't just look at your cruises per day fare; along with that, check the airfare and stay also. Many cruise lines offer discounts year-round or on a special occasion. It is just an issue of demand. If the demand increases, the fare will increase. If the demand decreases, the fare will decrease. Moreover, you have to pay extra dollars for shore excursion activities such as watching the Glacier Mountains of Alaska by Helicopter. It's never too soon to plan your cruise vacation.

Step 6: Size of the cruise

The size of the cruise also matters because its size can dictate the itinerary. Generally, there are four sizes available. Such as,

Megaships: This size of cruises can carry more than 3k people at a time. Generally, they visit the greatest-ports to see, making a perfect cruising experience. They have a lot of tour options and plenty of onboard activities. But you can't expect to visit the isolated beaches and hidden gems.

Small ships and yachts: Yachts can carry less than 1000 people at a time. It can dock into smaller harbors that are the hidden gems and out-of-the-way destinations to escape from the routine life. However, it will pay you the privilege and provide luxury travel with top-notch dining and facilities.

Riverboats: Usually, riverboats are mostly preferred by the person who gets seasick. They choose riverboats because rivers are calmer than the ocean, so they can't get seasick. This type of boat is small, with a minimal attraction but has many things to offer. They let you explore land rather than the ocean. The riverboats run on the rivers like Europe, Asia, South America, and the USA.

Expedition ships: This type of ship lets you explore the rugged and ice-strengthened corners of the Earth, including the Arctic and Antarctica. On these cruises, you will find onboard staff who is experienced in nature and science. Moreover, you can do some water-based activities and surprising luxury touch-ups.

Step 7: Choose a destination

First-time cruisers have clear thought about vacation goals and activities but not about the destination. Some people choose their vacation based on activities and attractions. But when you decide on a cruise itinerary, a passenger should consider thinking about a proper destination. Cruises to Alaska and the Caribbean have long been mainstays. Still, cruise lines add itineraries to unexpected places such as the Indian Ocean, Asia, and South America. You can take a round-trip or a single-way trip.

Step 8: What you want to do in port?

Different ports offer different types of onshore excursion programs. All ports are divided into different categories, such as

Adventure: They are best for an active outdoor lover who loves hiking, kayak, zip line, and many more adventure sports.

Nature: They are best for people who are animal lovers, nature lovers, and safaris.

History and Culture: All ports have their history and culture.

Beach break: The Caribbean tour has the most amazing beaches. Some are isolated beaches, where some are hidden gems. Even some of the cruise lines have their little island for their passengers.

Step 9: Ways to get to the port

Get ready for your journey of getting to and from the port. You have many options such as,

Drive: If you are traveling with your family or group, consider hiring a car or tempo, unless it's a great distance.

Bus: Be brave and take city transit to the port.

Fly: Usually, the most preferred option but the costly one.

Train: Take a train if you stay in nearby the city or county.

Rideshare: If you stay near the port, take rideshare and reach the departure port.

Just make sure before departing, you know exactly where the port is.

Step 10: Turn to experts

When it comes to cruises, specialized advice is often indispensable. Experts will help you to plan your cruise with a perfect itinerary. If you have extra time, consider researching more about the cruise lines. You can even contact our support executives for more information.


Searching for a perfect itinerary can be a time consuming and frustrating experience when using traditional search methods. It's always a good idea to research and compare cruise itinerary to find some exciting itinerary at decent rates and excellent location.

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