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Cruise ship vacation ideas

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Have you been thinking about a cruise ship vacation?

You want to go on a cruise but which cruise ship do you choose?

So you have decided to go on a cruise ship or are at least thinking about it! Maybe you have already chosen a cruise line, but don’t know what itinerary to choose. Well, there are a few basic questions you will want to ask yourself like “Where do I want to go?” and “What amenities/options are must-have?”.

Caribbean Cruise Ship

Maybe you want to go to the Caribbean and while your days away in crystal blue water, high temps, and plenty of sunshine. If you love beaches and snorkeling a Caribbean cruise is a great choice. Make sure to check out what excursions your cruise ship offers as well to ensure it meets with what you’re interested in doing.

Or maybe you want to go somewhere more exotic like Belize, Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, Dominica, and Grand Antigua.  Maybe you want to stay in the US and if that is the case you must do the East Coast itinerary which includes places like Maryland, Maine, and NYC.


Our first cruise last summer was with Carnival Cruise Lines and our cruise ship was the Carnival Magic which left Orlando and took us on a Western Caribbean cruise. One of our cruise must-haves was to have a room with a balcony. While the rooms are a decent size with the three of us in one room and our luggage, having a balcony gave us some breathing room. Plus the views couldn’t be beat.

This view of Key West was taken from our balcony on the Carnival Magic.

Cruise Ship - Key West

Canadian or Alaskan Cruise Ship

If you want to cross the border but don’t want to go to the beach you can head to Canada. Or if you want to skip the heat altogether you can take an amazing Alaskan cruise. The best part of cruising is the options are endless!

Mediterranean Cruise

You could try a cruise ship in the Mediterranean calling at such destinations such as Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, and other Mediterranean countries. Yes, they have incredible beaches but what you really want to do when you get there is soak up the culture!

Eat some amazing Greek dishes while in Greece, have coffee by a little cafe in France, and of course, you could go for pasta in Italy but the real star of the show would be some of their amazing desserts. Make sure to stay in local areas that are safe!

European Cruise

There are other places to cruise in Europe such as Norway, cruising up the coast and fjords visiting isolated communities in the deep-sea valleys on the west coast of Norway. The scenery is dramatic and by cruising above the arctic circle you can experience the land of the midnight sun. This sun never sets in the summertime but in wintertime, it never rises. Because of this, you need to make sure you only cruise this area in the summer. Norway is super awesome but Alaska is just as nice! You can get the incredible scenery, amazing wildlife, and cooler weather without traveling by sea for days on end!

Cruise ship

Panama Canal Cruise

Some cruise ships in the US spend the winter months cruising the Caribbean and the summer months cruising the West coast of Alaska. These ships need to reposition themselves during the fall and springtime and do this through the Panama Canal. These cruises are highly recommended due to the unique experience of the Panama Canal. The US completed the canal in the early part of the last century although the canal was started by the French.

The canal starts at the Gatun locks at the Atlantic side of Panama and travels to the Pacific side which lowers ships over 50 feet in the series of Miraflores Locks. The Panama Canal is one of the wonders of the engineering world. Being on a cruise ship while going through the Canal is a very special experience. Only so many people get to experience it every year, that makes it one of the highest sought after cruises! Sometimes they are booked way in advance!

Panama Canal Cruise
Panama Canal

River Cruise

A cruise does not just take place on the sea though and you could try cruising the rivers of the world. How about the great Mississippi river from New Orleans to Little Rock, St Louis or Pittsburgh. Companies also have theme cruise ships covering themes such as the Civil War, Steamboat racing and special Fall cruises. Also, in Harford County you go on a cruise ship around the Chesapeake while enjoying an all-you-can-eat crab feast or you can head to Ocean City where river cruise options are just a tip of the iceberg!

River Cruises in Europe

You could also try a cruise ship in  Europe and cruise on the river Rhine, Elbe, Danube, Seine and Rhone rivers to name just a few, or you could try your hand at captaining your own boat on the canal systems in France or the UK. Donít forget further to the east of Europe there are many other countries offering river cruises. There are also rivers such as the Nile and Amazon as well.

Traveling by sea has never been more exciting. Not only do we have amazing places to visit but a lot of cruise lines have built mega cruise ships which are like high-end floating resorts. One of the best and brightest in the Carnival Vista. It has award winning shows, many food options, and a lot of fun activities. You can visit the places you have always dreamed of while sailing in luxury.

Check out our travel review Family Fun at the Carnival Magic Ports of Call

Cozumel Snorkelling
One of our underwater snorkeling photos from Cozumel
By on July 3rd, 2017

About Powered by Mom

I’m Michelle aka Powered by Mom. I’m married with one daughter, my hubby was my high school sweetheart, our two dogs Nyx and Cleo and our cat Oliver. As you can see we’re a family of animal lovers. We love to travel when we can, try different food and activities all over the world and enjoy being together. My passions are writing, travelling, creating new recipes, encouraging people to adopt not shop and just to enjoy life while we can.

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38 thoughts on “Cruise ship vacation ideas”

  1. I have never been on a cruise vacation. I have been on a couple of luncheon cruises when I worked with a couple of clients. I have always wanted to go on one. Everyone I have talked to that have went on one has said that they had a blast! I appreciate this article! I’ve never had the different cruises explained to me like this. I pinned this for when the opportunity arose, maybe I can make the right decision on which one I would go on. Thank you for sharing!

  2. We have never been to cruise ship vacation but we are planning to go this year. Thanks for these great ideas.

  3. Going on a cruise is a serious dream of mine like bucket list serious. It would be so fulfilling to me to do something as magical as go on a cruise! My dream destination being either alaska or the Caribbean!

  4. I took an Alaskan cruise just over 10 years ago. I’d love to do another cruise but I just can’t seem to decide where and with which line. And it seems I might be on my own this time (ugh) because for some reason, none of my ‘people’ are very interested in cruising, despite my best efforts to convince them otherwise.

  5. I would love to go on another cruise. It has been since the 90’s since the last one. I would love some tips about finding great prices.

  6. Going on a cruise in my estimation is one of the best ways to enjoy a vacation. You have everything at your fingertips and the food is good and the ports are wonderful. It is a good way to see a lot of places in a short amount of time.

  7. We’ve done 3 cruises already – Hawaii, Alaska, and the Caribbean. We are looking at one for our 25th anniversary in a couple years. We are leaning toward Hawaii again!

  8. I’ve always dreamed of taking a cruise. Greece or the Aegean Sea area is where I’d love to cruise, but the European River Cruise idea would be great, too.

  9. My sister goes on a lot of cruises, usually with her church group or friends. I’ve been to the Caribbean but that was in the 90s and seems to be a little more scary now with the higher crime. I think I’d like a river cruise though. I don’t get sea sick thankfully.

  10. My husband has been on a cruise and wants to go again. The idea doesn’t appeal to me even a little bit-to be locked up on a ship all day and all night for a week sounds like being locked up at home only without all my conveniences to make it easier.

  11. I have been thinking of taking a river cruise because I have heard so many positive reviews from friends. The Panama one is one that everyone I know has thoroughly enjoyed.

  12. My hubby and I would love to go on a cruise but I’m glad I read this first! It is important to know what you want out of the cruise; where you go and the temp is important to us, are passports needed, what is included in the price of the trip and what would we be paying extra for, etc. Glad you posted this!

  13. I want to go on a cruise so badly. I love the ocean and being in the midwest, we are nowhere close. Hubby thinks it is silly, I dont. I want to go!

  14. I love going on cruises. So many things to do and places to go. So much great food. So relaxing. I haven’t been on one in a while. This article has got me thinking again. Thank you so much for this great information. God Bless

  15. A cruise is one thing I have always wanted to do but most likelt wont. Hubby was a Marine for many years and went on their cruises. Me? Lemme go!


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