A Guide to Planning a European Cruise

Recently, I sat down to plan a cruise to Europe this summer. After staring at the computer for a few minutes, the first thing that came to mind was to check out kayak.com and see what airfare looked like. Well, small problem – there are a lot of airports in Europe and lots of possible destinations.

I was clueless and enlisted some help. Sarah Phillips, an avid traveler and cruiser, is joining us to share her planning knowledge. As her family’s personal vacation planner, one of her many trips planned was to Europe in May 2011 on the Carnival Magic Inaugural sailing. She was thrilled with the thought of helping anyone plan a trip – in her eyes, planning’s part of the adventure.

Her first piece of advice to me – know what you want to accomplish.

Ask Yourself These Questions

  1. Where do I want to go?
  2. How much do I want to spend – what’s my budget?
  3. What do I want to see?
  4. When is the best time to go?
  5. How long do I want to go for?
  6. Who do I want travel with (think about the demographic of people and the cruise ship)?
  7. What kind of ship do I want? Newer? Upgrades?
  8. Is trip location or ship more important to me?
  9. What kind of accommodations do I want to have?
  10. What documents will I need? Will I need a Visa in addition to my passport?
  11. What’s the most important part of this trip?
  12. What am I most looking forward to with this trip?

Or download the Cruise Radio Cruise Europe Checklist here (Right click and Save As to download pdf).

Colosseum in Rome

Colosseum in Rome

Once you’ve answered the questions, you should be prepared to make a decision on where and when you’re going on vacation.

You’re now ready to start reading through each post to make your cruise planning is flawless.

The European Cruise Series:

  1. Get There – Airfare and Transportation
  2. Stay There – Hotels
  3. Play There – Excursions Guide
  4. Eat There – Restaurants and other tips on food
  5. Get Ready – How to pack, tips and other common sense advice
  6. Protect Yourself – 5 Important Cruise Documents

Featured photo: Flickr

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