See You in a While: A Guide to Long Cruises

How long does it take to see the maximum benefits of a vacation? According to a study published by the Journal of Happiness Studies, eight days is the magic number—give or take a few. We suggest a minimum of 10 days away to truly unwind.

Booking an extended cruise is the easiest way to see several countries as well as experience adventures, relaxation, and cruise ship luxuries. Opt for a cultural Mediterranean journey or find your slice of heaven in the tropics—whatever your choice, bring a large suitcase and get ready for a bombastic getaway. Here’s our insider’s guide to making the most of your extended time away.

beach-couple-panorama.jpg

Be Prepared

Pack a smile and a healthy dose of excitement, because you are embarking on a 10+ day journey that will be jammed-packed with activities, celebrations, and exotic ports of call.

Come with the Essentials

Heading to the Caribbean? Pack a swimsuit. Sailing to Alaska? Windbreakers and binoculars are your best friends. Most cruise ships will have these things available for purchase, but maximize your time (and budget) by coming prepared.

Tropical beach-palm trees-sunset-vintage.jpg

Enjoy the Sunsets

Longer cruises allow for more downtime. We suggest admiring the panoramic views as your pull out from port. Ships tend to leave right as the sun is hitting the deep blue horizon, providing an epic goodbye to one adventure and an otherworldly greeting to the next.

food-luxury-meal-sushi-sashimi-directly above-high-quality.jpg

Try New Restaurants

More evenings onboard mean more opportunities to delve into international cuisines. Reserve a spot at the new Hibachi restaurant or opt for a night of authentic Italian fare at a specialty spot. Each cruise line treats their dining options differently, but one thing is shared—the food is delectable and the options are abundant. Get ready to satisfy your culinary wanderlust.

 

 Pick a Luxurious Cabin

Select the most spacious and luxurious cabin within your budget, because you’re worth it! Balconies are pleasant for longer cruises, providing beautiful sights, privacy, and the opportunity for some alone time.

bahamas-beach-shore-excursion-horseback-riding-ocean.jpg

 

Embark on Shore Excursions

Shore excursions include everything from snorkeling, to bike riding, to cooking and wine tastings. Enjoy your cruise to the max by choosing some impressive adventures. Who knows? You may even return home with a new skill.

Suggested items for smooth sailing

Identification: Don’t forget your passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate (although always double check with the cruise line if there are additional documents suggested or visas needed). Closed-loop destinations like Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the Bahamas do not require passports for U.S. citizens, but some exotic ports of call might. Check ahead and be prepared.

travel-pack-a-suitcase-bag-luggage-hat-camera-map-supplies.jpg

Carry-on: Hop on board with a lightweight carry on and let the fun begin. Pack a swimsuit, sunscreen, something to read, and any other items you might immediately need. Ships are large, so some time may pass before you’re reunited with your luggage. Bonus feature: the carry on can be used to stow your vacation finds when it’s time to return home.

Proper clothing:  Most cruise lines offer opportunities to dress up or dress down, but some require special attire. For instance, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is known for their H2GLOW and White Hot parties—so pack all white clothes for a night of black lights and glow sticks under the stars. Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships offer zip lining and rock climbing, which require light weight athletic wear. Research is key when selecting what to pack.

Portable charger: Want to make memories for a lifetime? Don’t let your smart phone, cameras, or tablets go uncharged. Juice up on the go without needing to return to your room.

Wrinkle release spray: Cabins do not come equip with ironing boards, so pack a portable steamer or bring some wrinkle release spray for your clothes. Staying sharp while having fun is the just the ticket to a stress-free time.

Above all, remember cruising is all about you. Come back rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to take on life. Longer cruises are the perfect way to find yourself and reconnect with all the activities that bring you happiness and joy.

couple_yoga_sunset.jpg

Common Travel Mistakes to Avoid

Rarely does anything in life go exactly according to plan, but it’s important to get things right while you’re on vacation. After all, a lot of effort, time and money gets poured into a big trip. Might as well get the most out of it, right? However, a few simple mistakes can really throw a wrench in your dream vacation. Read on to learn how to avoid some of the most common travel mistakes. Read more

This Year’s Newest Cruise Ships

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step…”

-Chinese Proverb

Time to hop on board the freshest vessels hitting the open seas in 2018. With the New Year comes new cruise ships, and we are excited to introduce the best inaugurations in 2018. The cruise industry is expanding at an accelerated pace, bringing cutting-edge design and innovations to life. Check out our top three picks for 2018. Read more

A Guide to Europe’s Holiday Markets

Each year leading up to Christmas, holiday markets pop up across Europe, enlivening town squares, amusement parks, and shopping districts. Follow the scent of mulled wine and the warm glow of sparkling lights to a shopper’s paradise filled with treasures, gifts, and epicurean treats. Each country has their own unique flair—read our insider’s guide for an introduction to the best of the best.

Read more