Twist Travel Tips: Taking a Cruise

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If you’ve never taken a cruise before, you’re not alone. More than 75 percent of people living in the United States have never tried a vacation at sea. For anyone living in New Orleans who might be thinking “this is the year” – there are multiple cruise lines that leave from the Port of New Orleans.

The first step to planning a cruise vacation is choosing a ship – and what you need to remember is… size matters! You can be one passenger among a few dozen, meandering on a river, aboard a small vessel or  sail the high seas with thousands of fellow passengers on a massive ship the size of a small village.

There are pros and cons to both types of cruising. Smaller ships offer a more intimate experience, where the captain can navigate ports not accessible to the big guys. But, the larger crowd means bigger EVERYTHING, such as top-notch entertainment, and more choices for dining and recreation.

Skeptical landlubbers often worry they won’t have enough to do onboard, but today’s cruises are packed with opportunities. You can go “Dancing with the Stars at Sea” on Holland America, treat your family to a Dr. Seuss-themed “green eggs and ham” breakfast on a carnival cruise, or relax courtesy of a Canyon Ranch spa treatment on Regent Seven Seas, Oceania, or, starting in April, Celebrity Cruises.

Choosing your cabin is the next step: Inside cabins generally cost less – but ocean views are nice, especially if you can afford a room with a balcony.

Another cost-cutting idea: opt for a “virtual” view aboard Royal Caribbean’s newest ships, thanks to giant LED screens.

If you’re prone to seasickness, you’ll want a cabin toward the center of the ship – the spot with the least apparent motion.

Ready to go? Now’s the time to find a deal – the first few months of every year are known as “wave season” – when cruise lines roll out deals and perks to entice travelers.

Do your research online, then book with a travel agent who can help you chart your course to a successful floating holiday.

Look for more tips from Travelgirl Stephanie Oswald at Travelgirl Magazine.

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