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Home » Cruise Travel Insurance » 7 tips to help you book the perfect cruise

Cruises are a popular choice for many holidaymakers, with our Summer Survey showing that more than 36%2 of you are interested in taking a cruise in the future. There are plenty of options for you to choose from when it comes to cruise destinations or when you go.

Cruises are often synonymous with luxury, with over 11% of potential passengers prepared to spend between £5000-£9,999 on their next trip3. To ensure you get the most for your money, use our tips to help you plan and book a top-notch cruise.

1 – Pick your destination with care

From the warm seas of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean to the colder waters of Alaska, the Baltic and Scandinavia, each offers a unique experience.

Cruises in the cooler waters can offer unique sights and experiences, such as massive glaciers or the stunning auroras of the Northern lights. With a cruise around the Mediterranean you can explore cities steeped in history and culture.

2 – Research your ship before you pick

Once you’ve chosen your destination, the next step should be to pick your ship. Each cruise line and ship is different. They will often be aimed at a specific type of traveller or age bracket. Make sure you do your research here, as choosing the correct ship and cruise line is key to getting the most out of your trip. Check out what entertainment is on offer and the type of shore visits each ship will make.

3 – Look into what’s included in the price

When you’re booking a cruise, make sure you check what is included in the price. Food and nonalcoholic drinks are generally included, as are most of the entertainment and facilities. Some cruise lines charge for certain facilities and luxuries, such as spa treatments or fine dining. Checking before you book makes it much easier to budget for your holiday.

If you’re heading ashore on your cruise, this will usually be an extra charge, and you’ll have to pay port taxes. Tipping also varies from ship to ship, so check this too.

4 – Read your pre-cruise information

Once you’ve booked your cruise, you’ll receive some pre-cruise information to read over. Taking the time to read through this can help you get the most from your cruise. It usually covers most of the questions you may have. Once on board, you’ll probably be given a welcome pack, which includes other details, and a ship map.

5 – Book in advance to get a better deal

This tip applies to both the cruise itself and any onboard services. Booking the cruise in advance will often save you some pennies. Cruise lines rarely offer last-minute bargains, with many offering early bird specials for booking far in advance. This also gives you plenty of time to plan and look forward to your trip.

Making sure to pre-book the onboard services means you’re not at risk of having to wait for a spot in the spa or having to arrive at an awkward time. It also means you’ll be able to plan your days around these treats, making the most of your time.

6 – Plan your packing

When packing for your cruise, make sure you plan ahead. Consider where and when your trip is, as you probably won’t need shorts on a winter cruise in the Baltic. All ships have onboard laundry services, so if you don’t mind spending a little cash, you can pack a bit lighter and use these. Ships will also have toiletries and cosmetics on sale, but it’s cheaper to bring your own if you have room in your luggage. You can find our useful packing checklist here.

7 – Make sure your Travel Insurance includes cruises

Remember to arrange high-quality cruise Travel Insurance. Not all policies include cover for cruises. We offer additional cover for cruises such as cabin confinement or missed excursions, in addition to providing assistance for medical emergencies while onboard. When we asked travellers interested in taking a cruise holiday in the future, they rated AllClear Travel Insurance an average of 4.3/54 for quality of cover, making us an excellent choice to provide Travel Insurance for your cruise4.

With these top tips, you can ensure that your next cruise holiday is ship shape.

‘Author notes

Written by Russell Wallace, Copywriter at AllClear
Edited by Letitia Smith, M.Sc. Content Manager at AllClear’

2 – Based on AllClear’s Summer Survey, August 2022. 3,315 responses.
3 – Based on AllClear’s Summer Survey, August 2022. Based on those interested in going on a cruise. 1,198 responses.
4 – Based on AllClear’s Summer Survey, August 2022. Based on those interested in going on a cruise that plan to take 1-2 trips in the next 12 months. 484 responses.

Written by: Russell Wallace | Travel Insurance Expert
Last Updated: 1 March 2023

[1] Based on Trustpilot reviews of all companies in the Travel Insurance Company category that have over 30,000 reviews as of January 2023.