Travel experts release a guide to help plan your first cruising holiday

Between January and March, or what is known as 'Wave Season', the cruise industry releases its biggest deals and promos in preparation for the peak cruising season. Half of all cruises are booked during this three-month period. But the volume of information can be dizzying for first-time cruisers, notes Travel Leaders Network.

Whether your priority is a family-friendly holiday, a culinary journey or destination-based cruise, here are a few tips on how to book the right cruise for you.

Vessel: Large, ocean liners are floating cities, with the most options for dining, activities and entertainment – best for families with children. Ocean liners most often travel to the Caribbean and Alaska. River cruises are smaller ships that travel close to the centre of cities and towns and emphasize cuisine, history and culture. River cruises are more intimate experiences and are popular in Europe.

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Epicurean Cruises: Food lovers have no shortage of cruises to choose from. Like airlines, cruise brands regularly tap celebrity chefs to bring a dash of star power to their gastronomic offerings. Partnerships include American top chef Thomas Keller and Seabourn; Jamie Oliver aboard the Anthem of the Seas; and Guy Fieri and Carnival Cruise Line. Likewise, wine, craft beer and cocktail-themed cruise itineraries are also available.

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Adventure Seekers: The more intrepid and adventurous traveller may want to look into booking an expedition cruise which travels to remote destinations for activities like deep-sea snorkelling, diving, and other land-based excursions. Expedition cruises are often equipped with sturdy inflatable boats called Zodiacs, which can transport guests out to sea or to land for sightseeing adventures. 

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Family Fun: Traveling with kids and seniors? Look out for cruises that offer a mix of fun and educational activities that can keep everyone happy. These days, cruise ships have everything from water slides, bungee jumping, movie theatres, teen lounges and zip lining to art and cooking classes.

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Image: Shutterstock 

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