Tips for Planning an Amazing Cruise! HMDesignStudioUS

Cruise Tips for Family Trips

Are you looking forward to making new memories during your next family Cruise for a girls trip or a family trip? We are here to help with TONS of tips and tricks!

Firstly, never miss an opportunity to capture the moment and visit our cruise collection for plenty of fun family and unique cruise shirts


Here are a few things you need to know for your next cruise. 

Cruise Trip

What are the best times to take a cruise?

The best time to take a cruise depends on the destination and personal preference. However, here are some general guidelines:

  • Caribbean: Winter months (December to April) for warm weather, while summer and fall months (June to November) offer lower prices but also a higher risk of hurricanes.

  • Mediterranean: The peak season is May to October, with warm weather and many port stops.

  • Alaska: The best time to visit is during the summer months of June to August, with warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours.

  • Europe: Spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) offer pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds.

  • Bahamas: Year-round destination with warm temperatures and clear waters, with the peak season being December to April.

It is always best to check the specific destination's weather patterns and peak tourist season to plan accordingly.

Family Cruise Trip

What are the most popular cruise lines?

Some of the most popular cruise lines include:

  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • MSC Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Holland America Line
  • Disney Cruise Line

These cruise lines are known for their variety of itineraries, on-board amenities, and overall customer satisfaction. However, the popularity of a cruise line may vary depending on personal preferences, budget, and destination.

cruise ship

When is a good time to start planning your cruise?

The best time to start planning a cruise varies depending on various factors, including the destination, time of year, and the cruise line. However, here are some general guidelines:

  • Peak season (e.g. summer for Mediterranean cruises, winter for Caribbean cruises): 6-9 months in advance.

  • Shoulder season (e.g. spring/fall for Mediterranean cruises): 4-6 months in advance.

  • Off-peak season (e.g. early spring/late fall for Caribbean cruises): 2-4 months in advance.

Planning early ensures more options and better rates, while last-minute deals may be available for those who are flexible with their dates and itinerary. It is also recommended to book excursions, specialty dining, and other on-board activities in advance to secure availability.

Tips for planning a successful cruise:

Here are some tips for planning a cruise:

  1. Determine your budget: cruises come in a variety of price ranges, so it's important to determine what you can afford before you start looking.

  2. Choose the right itinerary: consider the destinations you want to visit, the length of the trip, and any specific interests you have.

  3. Select a cruise line and ship that fits your needs: consider the type of experience you're looking for, such as luxury, adventure, or family-friendly.

  4. Book early: to secure your desired dates, cabin type, and get the best rate.

  5. Look for deals and discounts: check the cruise line's website, travel agencies, and discount travel sites for promotions and special offers.

  6. Read reviews from previous passengers: to get an idea of the ship's amenities, food, and overall atmosphere.

  7. Consider travel insurance: to protect yourself from trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events.

  8. Plan ahead for excursions and on-board activities: to ensure availability and avoid disappointment.

  9. Pack appropriately: check the cruise line's dress code, bring comfortable shoes for shore excursions, and research the destination's weather and cultural norms.

  10. Be prepared for unexpected expenses: such as gratuities, shore excursions, and on-board purchases.

By following these tips, you can plan a successful and enjoyable cruise vacation.

Here are some things to plan while on a cruise:

  1. Shore Excursions: research and book shore excursions in advance, to ensure that you can participate in the activities that you are interested in.

  2. Dining: make dining reservations at specialty restaurants, if available, to ensure that you can enjoy a special meal during your cruise.

  3. On-board activities: plan your days on board, with a schedule of events, such as shows, workshops, and games.

  4. Budgeting: set a budget for on-board expenses, such as drinks, souvenirs, and shore excursions, to avoid overspending.

  5. Spa treatments: book spa treatments, such as massages, facials, and other pampering services, in advance to ensure availability.

  6. Entertainment: research the entertainment options, such as shows, movies, and concerts, and plan to attend your favorites.

  7. Fitness: plan your fitness routine, with a schedule of classes, such as yoga or Pilates, and visits to the gym or fitness center.

  8. Relaxation: plan some time for relaxation, such as reading by the pool or taking a nap in your cabin.

  9. Photos: plan to have your photo taken, either professionally or by friends and family, to capture memories of your cruise.

  10. Packing: make a packing list and ensure that you have all the essentials for your trip, such as passport, medication, and sunscreen.

By planning ahead, you can ensure that you make the most of your time on board and have a wonderful cruise experience.

Here are some of the best cruise celebrations:

  1. New Year's Eve: ring in the new year with a big celebration on board a cruise ship, often featuring parties, music, and champagne.

  2. Halloween: many cruise lines offer special Halloween-themed cruises, with costumes, parties, and spooky events.

  3. Christmas and Hanukkah: celebrate the holiday season with festive decorations, holiday-themed events, and traditional meals on board a cruise ship.

  4. Valentine's Day: treat your significant other to a romantic cruise, with special events, dining, and a variety of romantic activities.

  5. Mardi Gras: experience the excitement of Mardi Gras at sea, with costume parties, parades, and live entertainment.

  6. Independence Day: celebrate the Fourth of July with patriotic events, live music, and fireworks on board a cruise ship.

  7. Caribbean Carnivals: take part in the vibrant festivities of Caribbean Carnivals, with music, costumes, and parades.

  8. Oktoberfest: celebrate the world's largest beer festival at sea, with German food, music, and beer.

  9. New Year's Day: celebrate the start of a new year with a relaxing cruise, filled with scenic views and a variety of activities.

  10. Easter: celebrate the Easter holiday with religious services, Easter egg hunts, and other festive events on board a cruise ship.

These cruises offer unique and memorable celebrations, with a variety of events and activities to suit different interests and tastes.

Here are some of the best cruises for families with kids:

  1. Disney Cruise Line: Disney cruises are known for their family-friendly atmosphere, with a range of activities, characters, and entertainment designed specifically for kids.

  2. Royal Caribbean International: Royal Caribbean offers a variety of on-board activities, including rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, and water parks, as well as age-specific programs for kids.

  3. Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival is known for its fun-filled atmosphere, with a variety of activities, such as mini-golf, water slides, and interactive play areas, as well as a comprehensive youth program.

  4. Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian offers a range of family-friendly activities, including escape rooms, laser tag, and water parks, as well as youth programs for kids of all ages.

  5. MSC Cruises: MSC offers a variety of on-board activities, including water parks, arcades, and kids' clubs, as well as a comprehensive youth program.


These cruises offer a wide range of activities and entertainment designed specifically for families with kids, making them ideal for a fun and memorable vacation. They also offer age-specific youth programs, giving parents a chance to enjoy some alone time while their children are well taken care of.


Here are some of the things that kids enjoy doing on cruises:

  1. Participating in Youth Programs: many cruise lines offer age-specific youth programs, with activities, games, and events designed for kids.

  2. Playing at the Water Park: many cruise ships have water parks, with slides, pools, and other fun water-based activities.

  3. Trying Out the Arcade: kids love to play video games, and many cruise ships have arcades with a variety of games and activities.

  4. Making Arts and Crafts: many cruise ships have art rooms, where kids can participate in arts and crafts activities and take home a memorable keepsake.

  5. Participating in Sporting Activities: kids can join in on sports and games, such as basketball, mini-golf, and dodgeball, on some cruise ships.

  6. Meeting Characters: kids love meeting popular characters, such as Mickey Mouse and SpongeBob SquarePants, on some cruises.

  7. Watching Shows and Movies: many cruise ships have theaters, showing popular movies and theatrical performances, that kids enjoy watching.

  1. Pool Time: kids love to swim and play in the pool, and many cruises offer family-friendly pools with water slides and games.

  2. Food and Dining: kids love trying new foods, and many cruise ships offer kid-friendly menus and buffets, as well as themed dining experiences.

  3. Adventure Activities: some cruises offer adventure activities, such as rock climbing, ropes courses, and zip lining, that kids love to try.

These activities provide a wide range of options for kids to have fun, socialize, and create new memories while on a cruise.

Here are some popular excursions during a cruise

  1. Beach Excursions: many cruise ships dock at ports with beautiful beaches, offering passengers the opportunity to sunbathe, swim, and snorkel.

  2. City Tours: popular ports often have organized city tours, allowing passengers to explore historic sites, museums, and other local attractions.

  3. Nature and Wildlife Tours: many ports offer excursions to see local wildlife, such as whales, dolphins, and sea lions, or to explore lush rainforests and other natural areas.

  4. Cultural Tours: cultural tours are a great way to learn about local history, traditions, and customs, and often include visits to historic sites, museums, and local villages.

  5. Adventure Sports: excursions that offer adventure sports, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking, are popular among thrill-seekers.

  6. Food and Wine Tours: food and wine tours are a great way to sample local cuisine and wine, and often include visits to local markets, vineyards, and restaurants.

  7. Spa and Wellness Excursions: some ports offer spa and wellness excursions, allowing passengers to indulge in treatments, such as massages, facials, and yoga classes.

These excursions offer a wide range of options for passengers to explore and experience the destinations they visit, making the most of their time in port.


Here is a list of items to consider packing for your cruise

  1. Clothing: pack comfortable, casual clothing, such as t-shirts, shorts, and light-weight pants, as well as swimwear, a light jacket or sweater, and comfortable shoes. For formal nights, pack semi-formal or formal attire, depending on the dress code of your cruise.

  2. Toiletries: bring your essential toiletries, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and sunblock.

  3. Medications: pack any prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter remedies for motion sickness, headaches, and other common ailments.

  4. Electronics: bring your camera, smartphone, and other electronics, as well as any necessary chargers and adapters.

  5. Travel documents: pack your passport, cruise tickets, and any other important travel documents, as well as cash, credit cards, and a small amount of local currency for shore excursions.

  6. Swimwear: bring a swimsuit for use in the pool, hot tub, and for any water-based activities or excursions.

  7. Formalwear: if your cruise has a formal night, pack semi-formal or formal attire, such as a cocktail dress or suit and tie, depending on the dress code of your cruise.

  8. Comfortable Shoes: pack comfortable shoes for exploring ports and for casual wear on the ship.

  9. Beach Towel: some cruise lines provide beach towels, but it's best to check with your cruise line beforehand, and pack a towel if necessary.

  10. Optional: binoculars, books, a hat, and sunglasses for outdoor activities, and a power strip to charge multiple devices at once.

This list should provide a general guide for what to pack, but it's always best to check with your cruise line for any specific guidelines or requirements.

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