A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Cruise-Holiday Getaway

Planning a Cruise Holiday

A cruise holiday is an opportunity to relax and explore at your own pace. Whether you book an ocean cruise around the world or a five-day river cruise in Europe, there’s a cruise to suit all budgets and interests. But where do you even begin when planning the perfect cruise holiday getaway? In this blog post, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you book a trip that ticks all your boxes. 

Deciding on the Right Cruise for Your Holiday 

From large ocean-liners to intimate boutique ships; to ‘no-fly’ options to all-inclusive packages, there are many different types of cruises and each one has its pros and cons. 

If you choose a ‘no-fly’ cruise departing from the UK – from ports including Southampton, London Tilbury, Liverpool, Dover or Newcastle – your holiday starts without even having to step foot on a plane. There’s also no compromise on the variety of destinations you can visit. Cruise lines such as Saga Cruise, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Ambassador Cruise Line sail as far as Auckland, the Caribbean and Cape Town from the UK. 

River cruises are becoming increasingly popular as they offer travellers an intimate, often smoother voyage than what you might experience on an ocean cruise. River cruise ships tend to be smaller with only 100-200 passengers on board compared to the large passenger numbers you often find on bigger ocean liners. 

Whereas, ocean cruises give travellers access to a varied array of far-flung destinations like Papua New Guinea and Alaska. Some cruise lines even specialise in expedition cruises, with a focus on taking travellers to remote parts of the world rarely visited by others such as Antarctica, the Arctic or the Galapagos Islands.

Whichever cruise you choose, you’re likely to find a river or ocean cruise that offers a balance of activity and relaxation to suit your needs. 

Preparing for the Journey

Giving yourself plenty of time to plan your perfect cruise will help when it comes to packing and gathering necessary travel documents. It’s important to have these things covered so you’re not panicking at the last minute. 

Consider buying an insurance plan that covers cancellations, medical emergencies and trip interruptions. This will give you peace of mind in the unlikely chance something does go wrong. Also make sure to keep your passports, visas and any other cruise-specific documentation safe and secure while on board.

Booking the Cruise – Tips for Finding Good Deals and Planning an Itinerary

Booking in advance often comes with early bird savings. Saga has already released its winter 2025 cruise season so you can register your interest and start to plan. You will find most cruise lines also offer discounts if you book in advance so look out for these promotions. The team at Silver Travel Advisor have access to an array of offers and savings so call 0800 412 5678 to find out more.

While some cruise lines offer a fully all-inclusive onboard package, others require you to purchase items such as drinks, excursions, WiFi and gratuities. We’d recommend purchasing these in advance of sailing as this will work out cheaper than buying onboard. Most cruise lines will offer a bundle which you can add at the time of booking which is good value for money.

Onboard Activities

Cruise lines pride themselves on the entertainment they offer as well as exceptional service. On board, passengers can expect a full programme of live music, entertainment and talks, including lectures from guest speakers, theatre productions, recitals, craft classes, activities and outside deck games.

Some cruise lines also organise many get-togethers to encourage couples or solo travellers to mingle. At a singles lunch or drinks party, you can meet like-minded independent holidaymakers. 

Tips for over 50s Cruising

The prospect of a cruise is hugely exciting. Whether you’ve been on 15 cruises or this is your first time, there’s so much to look forward to from food, excursions and on-board entertainment. Before you board though, it’s worth taking a closer look at cruise line itineraries to ensure the one you book includes destinations you want to see and are comfortable visiting. 

Another tip for senior cruises planning a cruise holiday and looking to travel on a budget is to choose an inside cabin instead of one with a sea or river view. While having a great view is a lovely addition to your trip, inside cabins can be incredibly good value and you’ll only ever be a short walk to the viewing deck, where you can take in your surroundings to your heart’s content.

Some cruise lines offer package deals that include airfare, transfers, and pre-or post-cruise hotel stays. All-inclusive cruises such as Saga, Seabourn and Silversea offer fantastic value for money, giving travellers a seamless voyage from start to finish. 

Making the most out of Shore Visits

Book your shore excursions in advance where possible, especially if it’s a particularly popular site or attraction. You want to be sure you can see everything you want to see on your travel itinerary. 

Choosing the Perfect Cabin or Suite

Picking the right cabin is a great way to elevate your onboard experience. From the low price inside cabins through to balcony suites, there’s a type of cabin to suit all budgets and preferences. It’s also worth bearing in mind the position of the cabin on the ship as this can be key particularly if you suffer seasickness. Look out for cabins located mid-ship or high deck, where you’ll enjoy a smoother voyage without too much motion. 


The perfect cruise holiday getaway is designed to give travellers a sense of freedom while offering many other benefits such as onboard activities, shore visits and social interaction. A cruise is a perfect getaway if you’re looking for seamless services, a dynamic range of destinations to explore as well as plenty of opportunities to fully relax. 

If you have any further questions about booking or planning a cruise holiday, we’re here to help.

For a quote or booking enquiries, simply call our Silver Travel Advisors on 0800 412 5678

1 people found this helpful

Share Article:

Silver Travel Advisor

Leave a comment


Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

Mark Nicholls visits Austria’s snowiest ski resort and stumbles across a chapter of pop history….

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.