Cruising Itineraries: Everything You Need to Know
Updated: April 19, 2023
When it comes to cruising, there's no one-size-fits-all itinerary. The best cruise itinerary is the one that meets your personal preferences and interests.
To find the perfect cruise itinerary for your, start by doing some research. Look at different cruise lines and compare their offerings. Once you've found a cruise line you're interested in, look at its various destinations and see which one is the most appealing to you.iStockphoto.com / benstevens
A cruise itinerary is the action plan for your cruise. It tells you where your ship is going to be and when. It's basically a map of your cruise and is essential for planning purposes.
If you're the type of person who likes to plan activities in advance, you definitely will want to study your itinerary before you set sail. That way, you can ensure you're at port when all the best excursions are happening. Of course, even if you're not the planning type, it's still handy to have an itinerary on hand.
Here’s a sample cruise itinerary using popular cruising destinations:iStockphoto.com / extravagantni
Let’s say you decide to take a Mediterranean cruise. Your cruise will start with two days at sea, which gives you time to settle in and explore the ship.
Then it's on to Portugal, where you'll spend a day at port before setting sail for Spain. After a day of sailing, you'll arrive in Gibraltar, where you can explore the famous Rock of Gibraltar and visit the British colony there.
From there, it's on to Morocco, where you'll spend two days at port exploring the bustling city of Tangier.
Afterward, you'll head back out to sea for a day before arriving in Malta. In Malta, you'll have a chance to visit medieval castles and ancient temples, as well as enjoy the hot summer climate. From Malta, the cruise will head to Italy, stopping first in Naples then Rome. You'll have two days in Rome to tour some of the city's most famous sights, including the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. The last stop on the cruise is Greece, where you'll spend a day in Athens exploring the Acropolis and other ancient ruins. Then it's back to sea for the journey home.
With this sample itinerary, you'll get to experience some of the best that Europe has to offer while also spending time relaxing on the ship.AAA
AAA.com/Cruises is a great place to go to find a cruise itinerary. Not only are there a wide variety of cruise itineraries, AAA has a team of experts who can help you choose the right one for you.
And if you're unsure where to start, the cruise finder tool can help you narrow down your options by destination, date and even cruise line.AAA / Julie Ouellette
Where a ship travels to and when is set by the cruise line, but you can customize your shore excursions and ship activities.
If you book a cruise through a AAA Travel Agent, not only can they help you find a cruise that fits your budget, they can assist in choosing an itinerary with destinations that suit your interest and select shore excursions. Travel agents also offer you expert advice, like when to travel for the best deals or for the best weather.
There’s usually enough flexibility built into cruise itineraries, you can mix and match activities to create your ideal cruise experience. Most cruise lines offer various excursions at each port of call, so you can pick and choose which ones to do. Additionally, many cruise ships have onboard activities and entertainment options to enjoy at your leisure. So, while you can’t customize the destinations on a cruise itinerary, you can tailor the experience to your specific needs and interests.iStockphoto.com / baona
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Cruise Itinerary
Before you choose your cruise itinerary, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, consider your budget. There are cruises to suit all budgets, so find ones that fits yours. Second, think about where you want to go. There are cruises to all sorts of destinations, so you'll need to narrow down your options. Once you've done that, you can start looking at itineraries and seeing which one appeals to you the most. Finally, don't forget to factor in shore excursions and onboard activities. These can add a lot to your cruise experience, so include them in your itinerary. With these things in mind, you're sure to choose the perfect cruise for you.AAA
AAA Travel provides peace of mind when you travel — before, during, and after your vacation! AAA Travel has teamed up with some of the industry's best cruise lines to provide you with added amenities, AAA Vacations® 24/7 Member Care, and the Best Price Guarantee. Your next cruise vacation starts with AAA, your complete travel solution. Visit your local AAA Travel Agent or book at https://www.aaa.com/tripcanvas/category/cruises.