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First Time Cruiser from Africa

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Hello guys, I am a newbie cruiser (obviously) which I suppose comes with its own requirements to learn but I am also from and resident in West Africa which is another thing. I am planning to take my first cruise from July, 2019 as the first step towards re-discovering myself (going through a life changing event) and would appreciation recommendations - Cruise Lines, Destinations, Packages and such. I have a number of friends (mostly from my hiking and professional groups) who have expressed interest in cruising so after my first I hope to be able to help others achieve their dreams as well. For me, this is going to be a big part of my life here on out, there is not  much else I would rather be doing. So would you help me? 



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Hi, Terry, and welcome to Cruise Critic.


Are you looking for cruises from west Africa (I seriously doubt that there are many) or expecting to fly to a different part of the world?


July isn't far away, and you need to get busy to avoid finding cruises that are ideal but already booked-out.


In July I'd suggest somewhere in Europe, perhaps the Mediterranean. There's a big choice of cruise lines and destinations, either round-trip like Barcelona to France & Italy & back to Barcelona, or one-way cruises like Rome to Greece & Croatia and ending in Venice.


But you really need to narrow it down a bit yourself.
Mebbe suggest cruise lines or itineraries that look good to you and ask our opinions on them, rather than us starting off with a blank sheet of paper.


BTW, are you planning to cruise on your own or with a partner or friend?

Unfortunately cruising is expensive for singletons - most cabins are doubles and the cost for one is usually the same as the cost for two - and sometimes more than that.

So check out Norwegian Cruise Lines.............. .

"Five of the line's 15 ships tout high-design, single-occupancy "studio" cabins: Norwegian Escape,Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway, NorwegianGetaway and Pride of America. The Cabins: NorwegianEpic has a generous 128 solo studio cabins onboard, while Norwegian Escape offers 82 studio units."



JB :classic_smile:

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You are going to have to fly to a port with a selection of cruises leaving from there.  Somewhere in the Med, probably.  The first thing I would so is go to www.cruisetimetables.com and from the list of departure ports, check out a few and the ships sailing from there, and their itineraries.  Then check airfare to those ports.  Cost is going to be a major factor since you are cruising solo,  And since you are more interested in the cruising experience than the itinerary, choose the one that best fits your budget.  Keep in mind that there are some less expensive lines that have onboard language something other than English or your native language.  Spanish and Italian, for instance.  You don't have much time for this research, you won't have a great choice of cabins.  Time to get moving!  EM

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Hey Terry,


Just to let you know that you the passenger are responsible for any visas you require or ensuring your passport meets entry requirements. You can be denied boarding if you don't have the correct documentation.


The cruise line will have a page stating travel requirements, but usually just say its your responsibility.


You can either go to embassy websites of the countries you are going to visit or there are sites on line which will list all the countries your passport will require a visa and those countries you don't need one.


I would check before paying any money to a cruise line. If you call a cruise line and ask don't trust what the operator says as they are only in a call centre reading off of a script.


If you have an EU passport you can safely sail from Europe on most itineraries.


The Mediterranean and the Caribbean have the most ships and so will be cheaper than going to areas that either have a short season or have fewer sailings (Baltics/Norway/Alaska).


I don't know your tastes but as a first timer I would try a medium sized cruise ship about 2000 pax.


Also not all cruise lines are the same, there are basically 2 groups American style or European style (a third would be Australian but this would probably be too far away and its winter in July).

so have a think and decide what type of style or atmosphere you would like.


I hope this is helpful & have fun on your first cruise.

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Welcome, Terry... you've received some help already on this page, so hope that you'll return with a little more information about your needs and hopes. We'll be waiting. 🙂

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Thanks JB,

Have done some research and found that there aren't cruises out of West Africa so you are right about that. I wouldn't mind flying to another country to board. Closest locations are South Africa but most likely I would need to go further. 


I am looking at cruise lines now but there isn't much to judge them by except reviews and brochures. For the route, since I would like to get started sooner than later, you are again right Med is the likeliest especially one that docks at Venice. 


I may have to cruise solo, I need some alone time (am going through a family crisis). 


Again, thanks for reaching out.



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Thanks for the tip about alternative languages on some cruise lines, I am already brushing my poco italiano but would stay off non-english cruises for now.


Thanks again,


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Thanks for the heads-up on visas and choice of cruise lines, already looking now. Will revert with any further inquiries on some of the points you raised or anything confusing.


Thanks again.

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If you are going to sail alone, be advised that very few lines/ships have single occupancy cabins.  The prices quoted are per person, minimum of 2.  The single supplement can be as high as 200% , although deals can sometimes be found for less.  

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