River cruising in Europe. Photo: Supplied
Cruising is an exciting way to see the world and live large while you're doing it. After a recent chat with an expert, Raymond Liebman, who has more than 20 years in the cruising business, we've compiled a list of some of the things that are helpful to know while you plan your perfect cruise.  

1. There are different kinds of cruises

When you deal with experienced cruise consultants, they'll firstly tell you that there are different kinds of cruises. That cater for vastly different interests. Do you want a cruise that will allow you to stop over at some of the shopping destinations of the world? Are you looking to go on an expedition to Antarctica? Or would you rather have a more culture aligned cruise? These are some of the choices that are available to you. Ships also come in different sizes- starting with boutique ships all the way to the massive mega ships.

2. Cruises aren't cheap. Plan your finances.

Depending on where you'd like to go, the price of your cruise will be determined by a number of factors. If it's abroad, then you're likely to spend a pretty penny. Especially based on the exchange rates of the currencies, you'd best find a reputable cruising agent who'll help you find the cruise to fit your idea of what a perfect cruise is, but something that also won't break the bank.

3. Sometimes cruising isn't for everyone. 

It's one of the things that people will not share with you-but sometimes the truth must be told. For people with a severe  fear of water obviously not. But sometimes, even for people without fears, cruising just isn't for everyone.  Perhaps all you need, is  to take a few days cruise as opposed to taking 14 days aboard a ship. The one thing that you can rest assured with is that ships almost always come with top class service, and the experience is that of once of a lifetime. 

4. International cruises come with flights (most of the time)

South Africans have been lucky enough to have cruises that have begun at the harbour in Durban and linked them to the rest of the world. Given that experience, the idea that you may have to connect to another country in Europe in Europe for instance, before getting to your cruise, may just be an interesting fact to know. For specific cruises that happen in other parts of the world, you may have to fly there first-plan for this eventuality. 

5.Broaden your horizons

It's time to think about cruising beyond the things you know already. Leibman said in his experience people were sometimes likelier to gravitate towards a specific destination because it's one they know well and have heard of before. We think: BE BOLD. The whole point on going away is to experience something new, what you wouldn't ordinarily experience. Go for it. Try the different destination and explore. There's no telling what adventures wait for you aboard the hotel on the sea. 

Something to ponder on while planning your cruising holiday: "The ship is a holiday in itself. You can go on the ship and not get off anywhere. Just remember that," Leibman said.