Globetrotters can once again rejoice, as the cruise industry is up and running again after a brief hiatus.
If you’re considering choosing a cruise and sailing the seas in the months or years ahead, it is important that you choose wisely.
The average cost of a cruise in 2020 is $150 per person per day, with wide variations depending on the cruise you choose. Since this is no small amount of money, it is important that you know how to pick a cruise that is right for you and your family.
With that in mind, here are the six essential factors to consider before choosing a cruise.
- What Kind of Experience Do You Want?
The first question you need to ask yourself is; what kind of cruise do you want? Are you looking for a luxury voyage that is evocative of a bygone era?
Perhaps you want to experience the common cruise activities such as performances, onboard water parks, and plenty of partying.
Perhaps your budget for cruises is better suited to a more minimal experience. Decide what experience you want before anything else.
- Who is Joining You on Your Cruise?
Next, you will need to consider who you are going cruising with. If you are traveling with a partner, a more romantic cruise might be appropriate.
If you are with children, always choose cruises for families. If you are elderly, pick a cruise that caters to your needs and tastes.
- How Big is the Ship?
Few people consider how important the size of a cruise ship is to the overall experience.
However, as this guide by the cruising experts explains, some cruise ships are more than 1000-feet long and have the capacity for several thousand guests.
If you would prefer a mammoth cruise ship with a wide range of amenities, then comparing cruise ship sizes is important.
- Where Would You Like to Go?
Embarking on a cruise is about more than just the ocean views and the food and drinks. It is also about the destinations you will get to experience.
Would you prefer a blissful and sun-kissed voyage around the Caribbean? Perhaps a culture and history-filled cruise around the shores of Europe?
Decide where you would like to see most and choose your cruise based on that.
- How Long Would You Like to Go For?
This is another important practical and budgetary consideration. Some cruises can be completed in a long weekend. Others, meanwhile, can last as long as 245 days and traverse every single continent.
There is a lot of variety in between, so consider how long you would actually like to be at sea before booking.
- Which Season Are You Travelling?
Finally, it is important to consider seasonality. Cruises are a year-round occurrence, and the season you set sail will have an impact on your overall experience.
Winter in Europe is very different from a spring cruise in the Caribbean.
The ocean conditions, the prices, and the attractions available will all depend on the season that you travel.
More Advice on Choosing a Cruise…
Do you need more help choosing a cruise that fits your travel needs? If so, we have got you covered. Make sure to consult our detailed and expertly-curated Travel Guides to find out more about the hottest destinations in 2020 and beyond.
How to Make the Most Efficient Use of Space on a Campervan Holiday
Campervans are a great way to get out and see the country, and the wider world. They’re economical, they’re accessible, and they can be customised to your particular needs. But there are a few inherent drawbacks. You’ll want specialised insurance before heading out on the road, and you might find parking and drive-through fast food a little bit more awkward.
Then there’s space. Almost by definition, a home that’s on wheels is going to be noticeably smaller than one that’s fixed in a single position. Consequently, the space available will be much more limited. Anything we can do to get the most out of the room we have available, therefore, is going to make life on the road that much more comfortable.
Overhead and Underseat Storage
The space in the corners of your caravan interior need to be leveraged. Cupboards and draws beneath seats, and over counters, will free up the room that you can use elsewhere. Just be sure that you aren’t stowing anything too heavy above head height – as you don’t want it to come crashing down when the caravan comes to a halt.
Use Bins in the Kitchen
Just like any domestic kitchen, organisation can help you to get the most from your caravan’s. Nested baskets come in very handy; use them to divide your essentials up. You might have spices in one bin, herbs in another, and hot drinks in a third.
Doors and Walls
The classic storage-hack is to attach items to available empty surfaces. This might mean walls, or it might mean the space on the backs of cupboard doors. You might hang up knives, jars, or utensils. Think about the staples that you’ll be reaching for most often, and how easily you’ll be able to get hold of each of them.
If you want to be extra clever, you might go for magnetic strips. It’s better to go for plastic containers than glass ones, too – that way, if you drop something, you can be sure you won’t have dangerous fragments lurking in the many hidden spots in your caravan.
Vertical draws help to get the best from smaller kitchens. You’ll be able to reach in from either side and pick out whichever item you’re looking for – which effectively means twice as much accessibility as a normal drawer. Make sure that you’ve got sliding locks installed; that’ll make sure they don’t spring open during transit.
A bed consumes a great deal of room in your caravan – but you won’t want to compromise on comfort by sleeping on the sofa. Think about a bed that can be folded up and stowed away easily. This might mean something that’s modular and collapsible – or a Murphy bed that can be simply picked up and folded seamlessly back into the adjacent wall.
How to Spend a Sunny or Snowy Weekend in Sochi
Caption: Sochi’s sandy beaches and blue sea are something we might associate with a Caribbean getaway.
Snow and Sochi are not always two things we associate with one another. Sochi has a sub-tropical climate and is one of Russia’s best-known beach resorts. However, just a short trip inland is the famous ski park of Krasnaya Polyana. In one weekend you can sun yourself on the beach and pick up your skis in the mountains. The incredible range of activities on offer makes this a bucket list destination for many. Here’s how to spend 48 hours there.
Stay at Rodina Grand Hotel & Spa
The Rodina Grand Hotel & Spa is undoubtedly the most luxurious hotel in Sochi. All of the rooms look out either onto the beautiful black sea or to the immaculately kept subtropical gardens. While the views out are stunning, the rooms are even more special. Each room is only furnished with natural materials, marble bathrooms, precious wood furniture, and leather upholstery. Royal interior designers were appointed to ensure that the hotel was up to the most exacting standards, and it shows.
Stroll Along Sochi’s Promenade
Sochi’s climate is perfect for beach-goers. The city boasts a long, well-kept promenade, which provides the perfect place to enjoy a morning stroll. Start at the port where you’ll see enormous cruise ships, as well as some privately owned superyachts. If you get lucky then you might even witness a regatta. After you’ve enjoyed the port, make your way along the rest of the promenade, taking in the Olympic Park as you go. Once you’ve found the best bit of beach, stop off and soak up some rays. Perhaps have a swim to build up an appetite, then dry off and take a short walk up to the restaurant for lunch.
Eat at Vysota 5642
Caption: There are lots of traditional dumpling dishes at Vysota 5642 but Khychin might just be the most delicious.
Vysota is a spectacular restaurant near the beach. It’s owned by famous restaurateur Arkady Novikov, who was determined to make this place a foodie destination. If you fancy a taste of home then the burgers here were immediately voted the best in Sochi, bringing together freshly ground, properly seasoned beef and simple toppings. However, if you want to try true Circassian cuisine, then the menu will not disappoint. The Khychin are delicious, combining beet leaves with cheese in a paper-thin casing. So too is the chicken in sour cream. All of the ingredients are sourced locally, from foraged herbs to chickens that have lived an almost wildlife.
Visit Krasnaya Polyana
Krasnaya Polyana is a ski resort just an hour away from Sochi. You can buy a day’s ski pass and enjoy the slopes to your heart’s content. Or if you aren’t particularly sporty, there’s another big draw up here, Casino Sochi. The European Poker Tour is one of the most hotly anticipated events to come to Sochi in recent years and will be returning again in 2021. The Casino Sochi has played host to the tournament and has seen some interesting occurrences in its time. Besides holding regular events it also has a huge selection of table games and slot machines. The building itself is beautiful, with richly decorated interiors, so whether you’re playing the slots, skiing the slopes, or soaking in the scenery, Krasnaya Polyana is definitely worth a visit.
Sample Some Sochi Wine
Russia is most widely known for its vodka, but it has a surprising wine history. Sochi is the region that produces the most wine, some 60% of the country’s output, thanks to its southerly location and warmer climate. Russian wine is fascinating for those with a real interest in wine and delicious even for those who haven’t. Abrau Durso is a short trip away and offers tasting sessions and vineyard tours for real enthusiasts. However, if you’re pressed for time then most of the restaurants around town will be glad to tell you about the local wines on the menu. Of course, if you’d rather there is always a good selection of vodka too, so no need to choose one or the other!
A Trip To Qatar In 2022
While although international travel is not on the agenda in this current climate, one would hope that the world will return to a sense of normal by 2022 and if it does, it means football’s biggest party will be sending out its invites.
A party that will be hosted in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar and although FIFA’s decision may have initially raised some eyebrows, there’s no doubt that plans for such large festivities are being anticipated all over the globe.
It is the first time that the crown jewel of world football has been staged in the Middle East and although that adds an element of pressure to the Qatari organisers, they are ready to put on one gargantuan show.
Breathtaking sculptures can be found all over Qatar 😍
From the airport, to the cities and even the desert!
How many works of art will you discover?
— Qatar Day- Pulse of Nation (@qatarday) September 17, 2020
Of course, the show needs its headline names and with 32 teams earning qualification for the tournament over the next couple of years, the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi will be ready to display their talents on the biggest stage of all.
Even though we are still two years removed from the first game of the tournament, the bookmakers are still taking bets on the eventual winner and at present, France and Brazil are topping the odds to get another cup at Qatar 2022.
France will certainly be considered as favourites and after success in Russia back in 2018, Paris Saint-Germain’s Mbappe will be ready to lead his side to back to back trophies and a third overall title for the country after previous jubilation in 1998.
With that said, a lot can change between now and November 2022, as form and fitness will dictate who will be able to mount a serious challenge and who will end up being left behind as nothing more than an also-ran.
When it comes to who wins the competition, that is not something we will know for quite a while and although the start of proceedings seem still a long way away, that should not stop you from making your own travel plans.
Even though Qatar has a relatively small landmass when compared to previous host nations, it is still ready to open its arms to football fans in all corners of planet Earth and with 80 countries enjoying the ability to travel visa-free, that will be one less headache for you to worry about.
While when it comes to headaches, alcohol is still something of a sensitive issue within Qatar and although it is largely forbidden in day to day life, there will be the usual fan parks in place, in order for you to enjoy a beer or two.
In addition to that and if you are not in the vicinity of a fan park, you will be able to celebrate or commiserate with a beer in any of the licensed hotels or restaurants, but do check if such venues are in possession of the necessary license before booking.
Much has been made of the weather and with that in mind, you may want to swap the alcohol for water and keep the hydration levels at their maximum, especially when you consider the expected temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius.
The weather may be conducive to wearing less clothes than back home, but if making the trip to Qatar do please consider the local customs when it comes to clothing and for men, a pair of knee length shorts should be sufficient to keep the heat at bay and keep you comfortable.
By comparison and for the female of the species, a little more caution may be required and therefore the advice is, to dress modestly in public – a remit which advises against showing your shoulders or wearing a short skirt.
Before the tournament begins, nine stadiums will be newly created and three will be renovated, which means the seven host cities of Al-Daayen, Al-Khor, Al-Rayyan, Al-Shamal, Al-Wakrah, Doha and Umm Slal will be ready to host the 64 scheduled fixtures.
With this advice, all you need to do is book your flights and with the likes of British Airways, Qatar Airways, Iberia, Sri Lankan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Japan Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways operating in the area, there is nothing from stopping you joining the party in 2022.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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