Funchal Madeira

A holiday is an opportunity to explore wonderful new places and cultures, whilst relaxing and washing away the stresses of everyday life. As you all well know a cruise complements this philosophy and can set you up for a holiday that will live long in your memory once you are back home, however, how can you make the planning phase as easy as possible? Well, we’ve got the answers.


Research Your Trip

One of the best things you can do to ensure you are choosing the right cruise for you is to research. Perhaps the most important deciding factor for any holiday is the destination, where is that place that you have been dreaming of going to? With cruising, you do not have to pick just one destination, but you ship can take you to a host of different destinations. Cruising itineraries can range anywhere between two nights to 120 so it is always best to list areas of the world you’d like to go to and then take a look through itineraries to find your perfect match.

Cabins are another important research factor for every passenger. While some passengers think of their cabin as their own personal haven and somewhere to relax, others simply see it as a room to sleep and store luggage. Location on the ship is also key for those who suffer for sea sickness with cabins that are mid-ship and lower down enjoying less movement than the rest of the ship, however, for those who love fresh sea air a balcony cabin can offer you the perfect private view every day and can be worth spending a little bit more. 


Book well in advance for easier payment

Piggy Bank

This applies to any holiday, not just cruises, but if you book well in advance, you give yourself plenty of time to pay the balance. Paying for your holiday can be one of the most stress-inducing parts of the process, so allow yourself plenty of time. It is always important to ensure that you have your budget set in advance of researching your cruise. With cruises ranging from short introduction cruises to Grand World Cruises, budgets can vary hugely between them. Once you know your ideal price you can add that to your destination choice and start looking at times of year to see what suits you best.

 For those who are able to book well in advance, there are often some great deals to be had with CMV, and you don’t want to miss out on any potential savings. Requesting new brochures as they come out can give you some amazing introduction offers which are some of the best savings for our passengers.


Home Pick-ups

Home Pick ups

Your journey to the port can be one of the big causes of pre-holiday stress, you just want to get to the ship and enjoy yourself!

For most passengers, the options are usually to drive yourself to the port, take a chartered coach from central London, or book public transport. However, if you book your vacation through certain companies such as Grand UK Holidays, they currently include free home pick-ups on all of their ocean cruises with CMV, taking away one of the most stressful aspects of travel.

Knowing someone else will do the driving and organising of your journey to and from the port makes for a seamless and easy-going start to your holiday. 


Plan your suitcase

Plan your suitcase

If you like to be super organised, a list will become your best friend. Make sure you research the weather of our destinations as it can vary from 35 degrees in Dubai on a World Cruise to -10 degrees in Iceland on a Northern Lights cruise. Once you know what you’re packing for, make an initial list of what you will need and then over the course of a few days check the list again and add or remove as you need to ensure you have the perfect amount of luggage for your trip.  when arriving at the port it is always important to ensure that you have the below items in your hand luggage, larger suitcases are checked in on arrival at the port and are quickly whisked off to your cabin on arrival, so it is always best you keep these items to hand as you will need them for check-in and security:

  • Passport, travel insurance and booking confirmation!
  • Pursue/Wallet - you will need to register a credit or debit card for your cruise card. Essential medication.
  • Mobile devices - tablet, phone, camera.
  • Toiletries - sometimes, after a journey to port, it can be nice to freshen up slightly before discovering the ship.

At CMV we offer hairdryers, outdoor towels, umbrella’s and tea and coffee facilities in certain cabin grades so you can see what else can be left behind at home as it’s already in your cabin.


Book Extras Early 

Book extras early

You’ve done your research, you’ve seen the excursions available and checked out everything the ship has to offer, but how many of these are bookable in advance? A lot of them you’ll be able to book before you even depart, allowing you to plan your own itinerary for the holiday, be it a massage to truly spoil yourself, or enjoy that trip to the exhibition you’ve been desperate to see.

Whatever you decide upon, booking in advance means you are guaranteed a space and won’t be left disappointed.


So there you have it, 5 top tips to ensure you have a relaxing holiday before you’ve even set sail. How do you achieve a stress-free cruise? We’d love to hear your advice and experiences.


Image credits: Andrew NeelMarco VerchClem Onojeghuo,  Eric Rothermel,