A Beginner's Guide to Meaningful Cruises

Make your cruise more meaningful with these tips for new cruisers

Cruises are filled with world-class experiences, exotic ports of call, fabulous onboard shopping, and adventures that can change your entire outlook on the world.

Only on a cruise vacation can you choose to dine on fine cuisine, dance the evening away, fall in love with history, and witness the rise and fall of the sun from atop the ocean. Before you book the cruise that's perfect for you, ask yourself these three key questions:

1. What Type of Cruise Vacation Are You Looking For?

Are you looking for luxury and nonstop VIP-style pampering? Want to spend your time basking in warm tropical sand and sapphire waters, or breathtaking views of icebergs and snowy mountaintops? Want a fun-filled family vacation, or something romantic and intimate? Jot down a list of the desires that would make your cruise vacation meaningful — from cruise destinations you'd like to explore to things you'd love to do — and then start your research. The sooner you figure out what your dream cruise looks like, the sooner you can make it a reality.

2. How Long Should Your Cruise Be?

Would a quick getaway from your day-to-day lifestyle melt your stress away, or are you dreaming of a long vacation where you can absorb the culture and history of a unique locale? You'll find that whether you have a few days or a several weeks, there are cruises that are just right for you. Decide how much time you'd like to spend away, and use that knowledge to guide your search.

3. What's Your Cruise Budget?

When you're trying to decide on the perfect vacation for you, think about how much money you'd like to spend on the experience, and how much you'd like to set aside for any shopping you'd like to do. The best souvenirs can be the photos, stories, and smiles you share with your loved ones when you return from a Princess cruise — and you'll have plenty of those to go around.

Remember, your cruise experience is about you. With a little planning and research, you'll find an amazing cruise opportunity, sail the world, and come back new.

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