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BellaOnline's Cruises Editor

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Planning Your Cruise

The secret to a great, stress-free cruise is having the right resources and planning in advance. Learn how to save money on your next cruise, eliminate problems, and make your vacation the best ever.

10 First Time Cruiser Mistakes To Avoid star
Cruise vacations are a bit different than your typical land-based trip. For first-time cruisers, choosing the right ship and planning their vacation can be a bit overwhelming. Here are ten of the most common mistakes first-time cruisers make and some tips on how to avoid them.

5 Bucket List Cruise Experiences star
In todayís world, the emphasis is on collecting extraordinary experiences rather than things. This is particularly true for ardent travelers. If youíre in the market for an exceptional cruise vacation filled with lifelong memories, put these voyages at the top of your bucket list.

5 Ways To Plan An Awesome Culinary Cruise star
Cruise vacations offer a wide range of appealing dining and culinary options, both on land and at sea. In fact, culinary experiences are ranked as one of the top aspects of a cruise vacation. If you want to turn your cruise vacation into a true culinary experience, here are five suggestions.

7 Appealing Aspects of European River Cruising star
River cruising is a leading travel trend according to recent surveys. Travel experts expect the strong growth in river cruising to continue and itís easy to understand why. Here are seven appealing aspects of river cruising to consider when comparing this experience with an ocean cruise vacation.

7 Flight Tips For Your Next Cruise star
Cruises can often be an easy vacation option. Getting to the ship can be a bit stressful, however, if youíre planning to fly to your embarkation port. Careful planning is needed no matter what time of the year you're planning to cruise. These seven tips will help get you to your cruise on time.

7 Great U.S. All-Inclusive Family Vacations star
Many cruise-loving parents assume that the best family allĖinclusive vacations are located outside the United States, but thatís not the case. There are a number of great options. If you're looking for a U.S. all-inclusive property for your next family vacation, check out these seven suggestions.

7 Money Saving Tips for Your Next Trip star
Travelers often drive to their vacation destination, whether it's a land-based holiday or a cruise embarkation point. Costs can mount up on driving trips and overnight stays, however, so it's important to plan ahead. Here are seven money-saving tips that will help cut costs on your next trip.

7 Things To Do Before Your International Vacation star
International vacations require a bit more advance preparation than other trips. There are a number of things that need to be done in order for travels to go smoothly. Here are seven things to do in advance if youíre planning an international trip.

7 Tips For An Awesome Cruise With Teens star
Cruises are a popular vacation choice for families with teens. Todayís cruise ships are filled with teen clubs, thrilling attractions and high-energy activities. If youíre planning to take a cruise with teens, here are seven tips to make your family cruise vacation the best ever.

7 Ways To Save Money Onboard Cruise Ships star
Cruising is an excellent vacation value, but everything available onboard is not included in your cruise fare. Itís easy to spend money onboard the ship and there are plenty of options to tempt your wallet. Here are seven money-saving tips to help you stretch your budget onboard your next cruise.

9 Great Ways To Save For Your Vacation star
If youíre thinking about your next vacation, itís important to start saving money now to make your travel dreams come true. There are so many ways to put together money for your next trip. Some may seem small, but they can add up to big savings. Here are nine great ways to save for your vacation.

A New Look For Family Cruise Vacations star
Family vacations have changed over the years, particularly family cruise vacations. Cruise lines have come to understand that families are vacationing differently than in the past. Here are some of the new attractions and amenities being offered to cater to families and exceed their expectations.

Choosing The Right Ship For A Short Cruise star
Short cruises are perfect for today's vacationers. These 3- to 5-day sailings depart from a wide variety of U.S. and European ports, making them easily accessible. When planning a short cruise, it's important to pick the ship and itinerary that best fits your needs and interests.

Coming Back To Jamaica star
Cruises offer guests the opportunity to sample a number of Caribbean islands and then return to their favorites for a longer visit. While itís hard to get to know an island in such a short time, one can get a sense of its people. Thatís one reason why cruise passengers often return to Jamaica.

Cruise On Down To The Florida Keys star
Thinking about combining a cruise from Miami with a relaxing pre- or post-cruise getaway? Drive to the Florida Keys for a few days and enjoy its beautiful resorts, nature-oriented attractions and exciting ecotours. If you're planning to visit, here are five great things to do in the Florida Keys.

Cruising To Puerto Vallarta star
Puerto Vallarta is one of the loveliest cruise ports on Mexico's Pacific Coast. This colonial city has magnificent architecture, great shopping, and excellent opportunities for tours and adventures. In addition, this tropical oasis is a watersports mecca with activities to match every interest.

Cruising With Young Children star
Cruising is an excellent choice for a family vacation, even for families with little ones ages six months and older. Cruise line offerings for young children vary substantially, however. Parents must carefully research their options and choose a ship that will maximize their vacation enjoyment.

Do Machu Picchu Your Way star
When travelers think of journeying to Machu Picchu, most think of hiking the Inca Trail. This classic hike over a period of several days takes trekkers through the Peruvian Andes. There are other alternatives, however, that open the Machu Picchu experience up to a wider range of vacationers.

Escape The Cold On A Short Cruise star
Looking for an inexpensive way to escape winterís chilly temperatures? A 3- to 5-night cruise may be the answer. These cruises depart from a variety of U.S. ports, sometimes eliminating expensive flights. In addition, their comparatively low cost can make them an excellent winter vacation value.

Five For Fun In The Florida Keys star
Thinking about combining a cruise from Miami with a relaxing pre- or post-cruise getaway? Head to the nearby Florida Keys. This chain of islands is known for its nature-oriented attractions, expansive coral reef for snorkeling and diving, soft adventure opportunities, historic sites and more.

Five Resources For Planning Your Day in Port star
There are a number of excellent resources available to help plan your days in each cruise port of call. Using these will help you to get the most out of your cruise experience and save money as well. Research your ports of call far in advance of your cruise, as popular tours can sell out quickly.

Five Ways To Guarantee Satisfaction On Your Cruise star
Taking a vacation to somewhere new can be stressful, but many travelers are interested in trying out new destinations and different cruise ships. Careful planning can make the difference in guaranteeing a fun cruise holiday. Here are five things to do to ensure that youíll enjoy your next cruise.

Get Away From Your Average Cruise star
Families and Type-A cruisers are seeking a variety of onboard options when planning a cruise. Prospective cruise guests should carefully consider their requirements when selecting a ship. Some of the industry's newest ships offer a wide array of amenities, making the ship the vacation destination.

Get Away On A Short Cruise Vacation star
Looking for an inexpensive vacation escape? A short cruise may be just the answer. These cruises depart from a wide variety of U.S. and international ports, eliminating expensive flights and making these vacations very convenient. Learn more to see if a short cruise getaway is right for you.

Get Out On The Water In Maine star
Maine is one of the most naturally beautiful areas in the world, with over 3500 miles of rugged coastline and thousands of lakes to explore. Itís the perfect place to get out on the water, either on a peaceful lake or on the ocean. There are a number of ways to create an idyllic vacation here.

Getting The Small Ship Experience On A Budget star
Many cruise passengers are attracted to small ship cruises. These smaller vessels can often go to pristine spots where large ships canít travel. The price tag for these cruises, however, can be more than some can afford. Here are five tips to get the feel of a small ship experience on a budget.

Make An Impact On Your Next Cruise star
Many of todayís travelers are seeking opportunities to give back on their vacations. Over the last decade, interest in voluntourism has grown significantly. Now, vacationers can opt for a social impact cruise experience that makes these kinds of experiences easy, rewarding and truly beneficial.

Music Cruises Hit a High Note star
Theme cruises are popular with today's cruise vacationers. These events give guests an opportunity to hear their favorite stars in concert and meet other fans with the same interests. A new alternative allows music lovers to cruise and have the same concert experience at a fraction of the cost.

Plan An Exciting Caribbean Escape star
Many vacationers seek out upscale land-based mega-resorts loaded with a wide variety of restaurants, activities and entertainment. Thereís no need to be land-locked any more, however. Some of today's ships offer same type of stellar, high energy mega-resort experiences at sea.

Preparing Credit Cards for Travel star
Credit cards can be one of the safest ways to pay for items while you are traveling. If you are counting on using credit cards for the bulk of your purchases on your trip, there are a few things you should know. Here are some tips for making sure your credit cards are ready for travel.

Take A Drive-In Holiday Cruise Vacation star
If you're looking for a convenient holiday vacation that offers a good value, consider a cruise. Holiday cruises from close-to-home ports will take you to tropical sunny beaches, sometimes for less than the cost of a round-trip air ticket alone. So book now and enjoy a festive holiday at sea.

Take A Tropical Island Escape star
If youíre dreaming of swaying palm trees and beautiful beaches, start planning your next tropical island trip. Small ship cruises and ferry itineraries make it easy to reach spectacular unspoiled spots. Here are five best bucket list destinations that should be at the top of your vacation list.

Taking A Cruise Volunteer Vacation star
If you're looking for an opportunity to give back on your next vacation, think about combining community service with a cruise. A number of cruise itineraries are well-suited for cruising on a mission, since ships visit many ports where schools and other community organizations need help.

Tips for Orlando Pre- and Post-Cruise Stays star
If you're planning a to combine a vacation in Orlando with a cruise leaving from Port Canaveral, there are many ways to stretch your travel dollars. Here are 10 great budget-saving travel tips help you find deals, save money, and get the most out of your Orlando pre- or post-cruise vacation.

Volunteer Before Or After Your Next Cruise star
Volunteering on cruise vacations is growing in popularity with cruise guests. There are many ways to make a difference, from giving back at sea, in ports of call, or pre- or post-cruise with organizations in U.S. cities. Check out these options for volunteering in four leading U.S. home ports.

Weatherproof Your Next Tropical Cruise star
Vacationers often start checking the weather forecast for their Caribbean cruise weeks before their trip, no matter what the season. Lack of sunshine can be a worry, but thereís no reason to stress if youíve planned correctly. Weatherproof your vacation by choosing the right ship for your cruise.

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