Luxury Cruise Travel Planning Resources
With more than 300 cruise nights onboard small luxury ships, Alan and I really do KNOW cruising, which is why we’ve created this luxury cruise travel planning guide. Start at the luxury cruise reviews page to read about our first-hand experiences. Our number one piece of cruise advice: use a travel agent who is an expert in the cruise line and type of cruise that you’ve chosen.
Alan and I prefer itineraries that are 21 days or longer for their abundance of sea days, but it helps to have a strategy for surviving a long cruise. A budget-friendly way to experience your first long cruise is by booking a crossing because you’ll usually find 2 for 1 pricing. What about luggage? Should you send it ahead? Read about our experience shipping luggage to our cruise ship.
As far as cruise excursions, we’ve experienced hundreds and most of them booked through the ship. Reading our cruise excursions page will help you decide which one is right for you. And, if you’re stuck on that never ending ride with grouchy cruise guests, you’ll be happy that you read our 9 Tips for Surviving a Cruise Bus Excursion.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to go off on your own exploration when reaching a new port. If you’re cruising around Europe, make sure to check out my recommendations for Six European Ports to Explore on Your Own.
Using our years of luxury cruising experience as a guide, we have compiled some more of our luxury cruise travel planning tips, along with a number of cruising resources so keep reading:
Online Cruise Travel Resources
Cruise Critic, in our opinion, is the most comprehensive cruise site on the Internet. You’ll find reviews, forums and advice on every cruise line and type of cruise.
Thinking about an Alaska cruise? Read our tips on how to choose the best Alaska cruise.
Luxury Cruise Talk is our go-to forum for discussing luxury cruising, especially Regent, Silversea and Seabourn cruise lines.
Chris Cruises offers the inside scoop on cruise vacations. Cruise travel agent turned travel writer (and baby boomer), Chris Owens knows how to take you “inside a cruise vacation.”
Avid Cruiser shares cruise reviews, port profiles and more. We especially enjoy Ralph Grizzle’s real-time reports from luxury cruise ships.
CruiseReport and CruiseCal show just how many cruise ships will be in port while you’re there. We check this information before booking a cruise. Who wants to be in port with thousands of other cruise travelers?
MaritimeMatters keeps us up-to-date about cruise industry news.
Considering an Atlantic crossing? Read my tips for Taking a Transatlantic Cruise.
Cruise Trip Books and Guides
Rick Steves’ Mediterranean Cruise Ports helps you explore Mediterranean ports independently.
Fodors Travel Guides for Cruise Ports and other cruise guides are on this page at Amazon. Since travel guides rely upon personal preferences, we’ll leave the choice up to you. Boomer travel tip: read the reviews carefully before making your purchase.
And, who knows? One of these days we’ll be linking to our own cruise excursion review books. After all, we’ve been there and done that.
Gear for Luxury Cruise Travel
You’ll find this gear in our cruise cabin:
Over the Door Shoe Organizer: If I had to pack one item for my luxury cruise, it would be an over the door shoe organizer to hang on the inside of the bathroom door. While many new ships offer abundant storage, I prefer to have my toiletries conveniently located on the back of the bathroom door. At the end of the cruise, give the shoe organizer to your cabin attendant for his or her use.
Universal 3-Outlet Power Strip and Surge Protector: Cruise cabins never have enough electrical outlets for today’s wired traveler. We like this power strip because of its long cord and versatility—the universal socket accepts plugs from any country and the 100V – 250V is great for worldwide travel.
And, of course, we’ve included a few “must” personal items:
Ribbon Crusher Travel Hat or Women’s Isla Hat: Hats are a must for sun and wind protection. Both of these hats are packable and they’re great for bad hair days, too. Our recommendation for men? Wear your favorite baseball hat or buy one on the ship as a souvenir.
Black Therafit Women’s Athletic Shoe: These are my go-to shoes for gym days and excursions. The black color goes with everything and they don’t scream “workout shoes.”
Eagle Creek Travel Gear Packing Cubes: I’m a new convert to packing cubes. After using them during my 18-day traveling in a carryon challenge, I’ll never travel without packing cubes. They keep me organized and save room in the luggage.
Click over to the My Itchy Travel Feet Boomer Travel Gear shop to discover more of the cruise gear that we use and recommend. Check back often as we update and add new products.
Health and Safety Tips for Cruise Travel
With so many days at sea, our advice for staying fit and active on a cruise is to have a strategy for eating healthy while on a cruise. You can’t travel if you aren’t healthy. I learned that the hard way when a back injury caused my early return from a Christmas markets river cruise in December 2012. That’s why Alan and I dedicated 2013 to getting healthy and staying that way. Read our tips at the One Healthy Change page.
What do you do if there’s a disaster onboard? Our article, 10 Tips for Surviving a Cruise Disaster, recommends creating your own escape plan.
Disclosure: The Amazon links are for your convenience, although My Itchy Travel Feet receives a small percentage of the sales at no cost to you. Thanks for keeping us in business.