Planning a Caribbean cruise?

If you're craving adventure but also relaxation, a Caribbean cruise is hard to beat. Cruises were once available to only the wealthy, but have become increasingly affordable due to the competition in the travel market.

Some top tips on planning your cruise

No two cruises are created equal! A good starting point is to compare the countries and islands that are scheduled on the cruise's itinerary. Some of the most popular stops are Bermuda, Belize, the Bahamas, the Caymans and Jamaica, but many cruises also visit Puerto Rico, Cuba and even Mexico.

Price compare at least five different cruise lines. Popular companies for Caribbean cruises include Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian, Carnival and Disney.

Remember to book your flights as early as possible. Air tickets tend to increase in price as the departure date nears, so book early to save big.

Remember that shopping facilities on board cruise ships tend to be a) expensive and b) limited. Therefore pack your bags wisely! Some often overlooked items that are useful for cruises are: a smart outfit, walking shoes and umbrellas.

Carefully check passport requires before you book, and re-check 3 months before you're due to depart. Immigration can change at short notice and the last thing you want is to have to cut your trip short due to red tape.

If you have any special dietary requirements, contact the cruise line's customer service ahead of time.

Tips aren't normally included in the price of your cruise, so use your own discretion.

And finally, remember to always take out a good insurance policy to cover your cruise. Happy travels!

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