Based on my experiences of world cruises and longer voyages, I want to share three essential things that you need to consider if you’re thinking of going on one.
Right Cruise Line
Make sure that you cruise on the right cruise line and ship. I have been on segments of world cruises, and the difference between people who were having a great time and people who weren’t, were those who were on the right ship for them.
For example, I was on a line that had quieter and enrichment-led activities and a strict evening dress code, that included Formal Nights. A group of guests I met disliked dressing up and wanted games around the pool in the day and late-night parties. This line had none of this, and they were pretty miserable for weeks. They had not done their research to ensure they were on a line that met their needs. A surprising omission when committing to weeks on a ship.
Do your research, read reviews, talk to past passengers and your travel agent to make sure you’re going on the right cruise line and the right ship for you.
Ideally, if it is a new cruise line for you, go on a short cruise with them on the exact ship and in the grade of cabin you are thinking of. Test it out to see if it is for you before you commit your precious time and money for a long voyage.
Mix of Port and Sea Days
When you look at the itinerary, look at the mix of port days and sea days carefully.
Sometimes when cruise lines list their world cruises online or brochures, they show the ports of call and date there. They do not always make obvious at a glance how many sea days there are in between ports.
You could have many stretches when you’re at sea for five or six days as you move around the world. That’s especially true if you’re going on a world cruise that is circumnavigating the globe point-to-point. In order to cover the distances, there can be lots of 5 or 6 sea days at a time.
On two parts of world cruises that I have done, we had lots of sea days at a time. For me, this was part of the experience and I loved it. However, this may not be for you, and so review the itinerary carefully to understand the mix, and pace, of ports and sea days.
If some stretches have more sea days then you would like, you could choose to do segments of a world cruise. Cruise lines usually sell individual and combinations of segments, which is what I have done to date. Explore cruise line brochures and websites for their ideas on the top destinations for a world cruise
Take time to understand what the cruise fare for the world cruise will cover, and what will be extra charges that you need to budget for. Some cruise lines bundle some of the items that are usually extra charges into the fare for passengers doing a full world cruise.
Make sure you know what the costs above the fare are going to be, and budget for them. You will be on the ship for a long time and these could be fairly significant.
The items, based on my experience, that I recommend you focus on are excursions (or costs of self-exploring), drink, Wi-Fi and gratuities. Also, check if there is a guest laundry to save you having to have your clothes laundered. These costs could add to up a significant amount if they are not included in your fare. Spend time carefully working these out and setting funds aside for these too.
Make sure you have bought and included good cruise travel insurance to cover losses or unexpected medical issues. As you are going to be away for over 60 days, you will have to buy specific cover and an annual policy will not cover you, as these will usually only cover individual trips up to 30 consecutive days. The cost, if something does go wrong, could be large and so build the cost of good insurance into your budget.
Want More Tips ?
Hope these have been helpful. I have even more tips and advice in my video about world cruising which you can watch below or on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kRiLALWqtLo