I was anti-cruise for a long time, primarily due to the environmental damages but also how narrow focused shore experiences were. So, every opportunity I have, I question my cruise partners about how they are dealing with those issues. Obviously, I was not the only one questioning those topics. The cruise companies are committing to meet aggressive environmental goals defined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other sustainable tourism organizations. Many cruise companies are also working with local communities to support local commerce and art & cultural sustainability. I am still selective about cruise line bookings but feeling much better that they are aware we are watching their progress.

With that being said, selecting a cruise line and destination can be overwhelming. Here are things to consider:

  • Who is traveling with you?
  • What would you like to do on and off the ship?
  • When would you like to travel and for how long?
  • What destinations are you interested in and why?
  • Why are you taking a cruise?

Not all cruise lines are created equal. There are cruise lines for almost everyone who is interested in the experiences. Answering the following questions would help you narrow down your selections.

  • Would you like to enjoy a floating resort in beautiful sceneries?
  • Would you like to explore remote locations that are hard to reach without an expedition ship?
  • Are you celebrating a milestone event with friends and family on the ship?
  • Would you be interested in active shore activities?
  • Would you like exclusive experiences?

You will see more and more small luxury cruise lines. Luxury hotel brands such as Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons and Aman Resorts are a few examples of the service and exclusive experience focus cruises.

Cruise companies offer promotions quite frequently, but holiday seasons and the early part of the new year are good times to keep an eye on your favorite cruise line offerings.