When you’re planning a cruise holiday and seeking cruise information, the World Wide Web is your best friend.
There is no way to get more in-depth, accurate, and up-to-date information regarding your cruise line, ship choices, or your ports of call than by visiting some of the world’s most renowned, and most knowledge-dense, online travel communities.
Here are 5 online resources that you should check out before boarding;
Although not dedicated to the cruise industry like the Cruise Club Forum, TripAdvisor deserves a mention for being one of the most in depth, and most trusted online travel communities.
Considered to be the ‘world’s largest travel site’, cruise travellers can find detailed information regarding any ports of call around the world, along with having the opportunity to ask questions to locals and regular travellers who can give a personal insight into the best places to see in the area.
An aspect that many travellers appreciate about TripAdvisor is that restaurants, hotels, and places of interest are ranked based upon the number of good, or bad reviews received.
For cruise passengers who typically have just a few hours to explore each port, this ranking system is an essential resource. It makes it relatively simple to quickly and easily see what others find worthwhile in the area, helping you to make informed decisions and get the most from your time in port.
The photo sections on this site are also another excellent feature.
TripAdvisor provides professional destination photography as well as travellers own photos that have been uploaded, giving you multiple perspectives and a greater idea of what to expect.
The level of informative detail is exceptional.
The Thorn Tree Forum is a sub brand of Lonely Planet, which is widely considered to be the original travel resource.
Having produced more than 100 million travel guides, Lonely Planet holds the record for being the world’s largest and most successful travel publisher.
Again, although the Thorn Tree Forum isn’t dedicated to the cruise industry, it is still a highly valuable resource when planning your time on shore.
Unlike TripAdvisor, the Thorn Tree Forum is suited more to those looking for adventure, so you’ll find many posts and information regarding excursions rather than restaurants or sightseeing activities for example.
The Thorn Tree Forum is actually a very good community for solo cruise passengers, as it’s a great way to arrange group tours with other travellers who will be in the area at the same time.
Similarly, those taking a fly cruise and extending their holiday at one, or both ends, of the voyage, will find plenty of information regarding tours and excursions to help you see the most of your destination.
Excursions are often a huge topic of conversation when considering a cruise, especially when you’re travelling somewhere new.
It’s important to have all the relevant information to make a decision on what you would like to do during your time in port and the best way in which to do it.
Not only will this site provide you with a great range of information, you’ll also benefit from reading numerous perspectives from a wide variety of travellers and their individual experiences.
Local know-how and experience is invaluable when planning a holiday, hence the success of this superb forum.
ALuxury Travel Blog is an excellent traveller resource that welcomes more than 400,000 visitors each and every month.
Passionate travellers from around the world contribute to the website, providing personal recommendations for activities and fun in thousands of destinations.
Although this travel community is great for those who have already booked a cruise, the area where this blog really shines is in holiday inspiration.
With so many cruise lines, fascinating ports, and breathtakingly beautiful regions, choosing your next cruise holiday can be quite a challenge – there’s just so much choice.
A Luxury Travel Blog can really give you some wonderful ideas of where to go and what to see.
With posts ranging from ‘exotic scuba diving destinations’ to ‘the ultimate bucket list’, it’s practically perfect for travellers who can’t decide where to go.
A Luxury Travel Blog tends to focus on places of interest that are a little off the beaten track, so it’s also great for those revisiting some favourite cities, looking for alternative activities away from the mainstream excursions.
A Luxury Travel Blog is a fantastic site for providing inspiration and creating a real buzz about the planning of your next holiday.
It’s a site that encourages engagement and attracts readers through informative and well decorated articles, with a fascinating collection of imagery to match, helping to bring each piece of advice to life.
Although relatively new to the forum scene, the Cruise Club Forum is proving to be a successful area on the web for cruise related discussion.
For cruise lovers it’s the most comprehensive online travel community out there.
Maintained by an enthusiastic and organised administration team, topics and threads are dedicated to the cruise industry alone, providing information regarding specific cruise lines, ships, restaurants, destinations and accommodations amongst many other points of interest.
It’s a truly invaluable resource when planning a cruise holiday. For those who have already booked their cruise, the ‘Meet on Board’ area is a must.
Chat with other like-minded travellers who are booked onto the same cruise, and arrange to meet for a drink or game of pool on board.
You’ll meet new friends from all around the world! Alongside good conversation, discussion and interesting topics, you’ll also appreciate the simplicity and user friendliness of this forum.
The navigation has been set up with the user in mind and the layout makes course-plotting simple right from the start.
Once you’re a member of the Cruise Club Forum you will also benefit from the perks that come with being part of a renowned online community.
The ‘Cruise Deals’ section is always a good place to seek out potential bargain offers for your next cruise holiday, without being thrust upon you in an intrusive manner, that has been an occurrence in the past on other forums.
The administration team are open to regular feedback from members in an attempt to constantly evolve and improve the forum. An example of this is the recent introduction of a gallery section where members can post photo albums of their cruise adventures.
Photos can provide a lot of information and can be a great help when looking for something specific.
The Cruise Club Forum also provides a weekly newsletter to all members, providing updates on hot topics of conversation as well as any improvements and additions that have took place each week. As far as engaging with members and interfacing with their online community, the Cruise Club Forum ticks every box.
EveryTrail is a rather niche online travel community, but one that is becoming more and more fitting to the current state of the cruise industry.
Cruise holidays are appealing to more and more young people seeking adventure and activity, shunning the traditional concept of cruising as a relaxing getaway.
This can be seen in the facilities included on board some of the newer, modern ships.
EveryTrail aims to provide in depth information regarding some of the best hiking trails around the world – and often those which you wouldn’t stumble upon otherwise.
Trails vary from easy-going city centre walks, such as a route along Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, to longer, more challenging hikes such as a full day walk around Hawaii’s volcanic craters.
Users can upload comprehensive directions and photographs, giving you all the information you need to take a walking tour of your destination.
This resource can be used as holiday inspiration, as part of the planning process, or even in the destination itself – the mobile apps mean it’s easy to keep all the necessary information right in your pocket!