CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Derbyshire Life today CLICK HERE

Top tips for booking a cruise holiday

PUBLISHED: 09:05 02 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:05 02 June 2014

Top tips for booking a cruise holiday

Top tips for booking a cruise holiday


With holidays on the high seas more popular than ever, now could be the perfect time to find your sea legs. Derby-based travel counsellor Kirsty Hancock, who has over 12 years of experience in the industry, gives her advice on taking to the sea

Where should I go?

It depends on when you want to go on your cruise. Caribbean cruises are normally available between November and March, avoiding possible hurricanes from June onwards. Mediterranean cruises are popular and busier in the summer months. It is warmer from May through to September, although many Mediterranean cruise ships sail the whole year round.

If you’re looking for stunning scenery then perhaps the Fjords are the place for you. Just remember, because of the location it can sometimes mean lower temperatures out of the main summer season. Many cruise ships allow passengers to fly and meet the ship so you can start in one place, finish in another, and experience some really far flung places.

Which company should I choose?

It depends what you are looking for from your cruise. Some companies specialise in family cruises, couples cruises, activities-based cruises or cooking. Some have celebrity chefs on board!

Celebrity Cruises offer family picnics on real grass, Zumba classes and even an Apple iLounge. Princess Cruises are a popular choice with new and old cruisers. They are an American style cruise line where the dress code is often more relaxed and informal than that of their competitors. P&O currently have seven ships and the new Britannia arrives in spring 2015. There are a variety of options, some family friendly and others adult only.

Cunard is very different again, as it’s typically English in style and very luxurious with exceptional service. To celebrate their 175th anniversary in May 2015 all three sister ships will meet in Merseyside. Norwegian Cruise Line gives the freedom to dress up or down with no schedules, set itineraries or meal times. Freestyle Cruising leaves every decision to you so you can choose how you want to cruise.

There are so many others to experience – Fred Olsen, MSC Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Carnival, Costa, Holland America, Disney Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Swan Hellenic to name just a few. Experience butler service, 6* ultra-luxury, spas, river cruising, Broadway style shows and lectures in atriums! Whatever you want, there is more than likely a company which offers it.

What sort of cabin?

An Inside cabin has no window. An Outside will have a window or porthole allowing you to see outside and gain natural light. Some outside cabins have restricted views, but you will need to check when you book, dependent on the location on board the ship. Sometimes obstructed views can be a little cheaper. Balcony cabins allow you to experience views and sea air!

One thing to bear in mind if you’re a non-smoker is that balcony cabins are sometimes popular with smokers because on some ships smoking is restricted to balconies and certain other outside areas. If that would bother you it may be worth considering a cabin as far forward on the ship as possible. Suites are often larger with the addition of extra luxury and separate living and sleeping areas. You might even get a butler! For stability, mid ship and low down is best. That way you should have less movement, which could be important if you suffer from sea sickness. The better cabins tend to be higher up. If you want to avoid noise then stay away from the lido or deck areas. Perhaps put a deck between you and these areas. Also in terms of noise; better to stay away from lifts and other public areas.

Are there bargains to be had?

Yes there are! It’s certainly beneficial to book as soon as the new brochures are published. Fares tend to go up the nearer the sail date is. However, there are still bargains to be had if there are spare places when the sail date approaches. It’s worth being on an agent’s mailing list to get notice of all the great offers. Another trick is to look out for when ships are re-positioned. For example, when the Caribbean season starts a ship may move over from the Mediterranean. You can sail to the Caribbean and fly back, meaning more days at sea. These re-positioning cruises are often reduced.

When it comes to cruising there is something to suit everyone and every budget. People tend to say that once you’ve cruised you’ll be addicted.

For further information contact Kirsty on 01332 890370 or visit to find your local travel counsellor.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Derbyshire Life and Countryside visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Derbyshire Life and Countryside staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Derbyshire Life and Countryside account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

A ten-minute drive from the western edge of Sheffield brings thrill-seekers to a Derbyshire valley where outdoor activities are thriving.

Read more

Andrew Griffiths meets Jim Dixon, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Peak District National Park.

Read more

This walk offers a dance with the Dove and a meander by the Manifold, whilst along the way passing a church, castle remains, country houses and a hollow way

Read more

With winter on the horizon, trees glow with colour, migratory birds arrive and house spiders set off in search of a mate

Read more

Ann Hodgkin investigates a case of the sincerest form of flattery… or industrial espionage!

Read more

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s vision is of landscapes rich in wildlife, valued by everyone. They will achieve this 
by pursuing their mission of creating Living Landscapes. Here Julia Gow, the White Peak Reserve Officer at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust tells us about the reserve above the River Wye

Read more

Nigel Powlson visits Sudbury where a shopping courtyard is attracting even more visitors to this quintessential English village

Read more

If you’re walking in the Peak District, the chances are that you could encounter a reservoir at some point during your ramble. There are dozens of resevoirs dotted around all corners of the national park, we pick some of our favourite walks from our archive.

Read more
Peak District

A five-year Heritage Lottery-funded scheme, launched in 2010, was designed to encourage the restoration and conservation of the distinctive landscape character of a large area of north-east Derbyshire.

Read more

Enjoy the wonder of woodland in our glorious Derwent Valley on this park and ride special.

Read more

Paul Hobson reveals some of the fascinating wildlife there is to be found in this month of transition

Read more

From far away constellations to gas clouds, our night skies are bursting with natural wonders – if you know where to look... Viv Micklefield goes stargazing in Derbyshire

Read more

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust works across six Living Landscapes with 46 nature reserves to ensure there is wildlife and wild places for everyone. Reserve officer Sam Willis tells us about one of his favourite places – Ladybower Wood Nature Reserve

Read more

A multi-million pound makeover attracts more leading brands to one of the UK’s biggest shopping destinations

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Topics of Interest

Local Business Directory

Property Search