10 Books to Help You Plan Your Next Cruise

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Whether it is your first voyage or your fiftieth, planning a cruise takes some research. You want to be sure you are choosing the best cruise line and ship for your travel preferences, visiting ports you will enjoy, and making the most of setting sail with every tip, trick, hack, and shortcut. These great books can help you do just that!

Why Use Books?

There are many different resources available to help with your cruise planning, including blogs, websites, videos, reviews, and brochures. These can all be fine resources that offer different perspectives and insights, but books offer something more.

Books are generally more deeply researched than simple articles and are less prone to bias than first-person accounts such as trip reports or reviews. Books are also more convenient to take along even on your cruise and don’t require an internet connection, mobile device, or battery power to be useful. Ideally, you will want to use a variety of different resources when researching a cruise to make your most informed and confident choices, and books are powerful material to help your cruise planning.

Top Books for Cruise Planning

You could fill an entire library with cruise planning books and still not read every title available. So which books are best to help plan your cruise? It depends on your level of cruise travel experience, where you hope to go, and what type of cruise you are taking. These top picks can be useful for a wide range of cruise planning, no matter how many cruises you have been on.

The Cruise Handbook

This inspiring guide from Lonely Planet debunks many misconceptions about cruises and offers experienced insights to all types of cruises around the world. Nine different authors have contributed their own personal touches to the book, with lifesaver tips, port features, and other intimate details often missing from broad overview books. This is the ideal book if you’re just considering your first cruise or want to plan an entirely new type of cruise to enjoy.

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2021

An overview of nearly 300 vessels from different lines, this is the go-to guide for distinguishing between cruise ships and choosing which line, ship size, and precise ship may be best for your ultimate cruise vacation.

The book also covers the safety of different vessels and offers tips for how to save money as you book your cruise, great advice for any novice or seasoned traveler. This book also offers a free app and ebook for updated listings and information.

Best Cruise Tips: 303 Cruise Hacks Saving You Time, Money & Frustration

No matter which cruise you book, you will want to make the most of it and avoid common pitfalls that can sink even the best-laid vacation plans. This book will help you do just that with a range of straightforward advice and easy-to-follow tips to keep you organized and ready to set sail with confidence. While many of the tips can apply to any type of travel, not just cruises, both novice and veteran cruisers will find practical and helpful advice in these pages.

The Family Cruise Companion’s Guide to Cruising With Kids

If you will be cruising with children or grandchildren, a youth group, or any young cruisers, this guide has all you need to know about making the voyage easier on all ages. Written with the experience of more than 100 nights at sea with either an infant or a toddler, this book features tips for family- and kid-friendly cruise vacations all over the world, including destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Asia, and Australia, with plenty of practical advice for parents and grandparents.

Fodor’s Cruise Ports of Call

A trusted name in travel guides, Fodor’s offers the most comprehensive look at cruise ports of any books. If you aren’t sure where you’d like to cruise, these books are the go-to guides for all cruise ports, from tropical destinations in the Caribbean to European ports of call to setting sail in Alaska and more. Each book includes tips from local experts and detailed ratings on dining and shopping options, museums, attractions, and more so you feel right at home in every port.

Rick Steves Cruise Port Guides

Another well-known voice in travel guides and tips, the Rick Steves books feature all the most popular and practical advice from this trusted travel authority. The books go beyond just port recommendations, however, and also offer self-guided walking tours, useful phrasebooks, and detailed tips for all the most popular European cruise ports of call, including Scandinavia and Northern Europe, Mediterranean ports, and just about any popular individual destination, such as Italy, Greece, Great Britain, and Spain.

Frommer’s EasyGuide to Alaskan Cruises and Ports of Call

An Alaskan cruise is a dream vacation for many cruisers, and this overview from one of the most well-known and trusted names in travel guides can tell you everything you need to know.

Written with a humorous tone but offering practical, easy-to-follow guidance, this book not only highlights the best of cruising in Alaska, but also what not to do. Different cruise lines, individual ships, and ports of call are all covered, making this guide ideal for either novice cruisers or just those new to Alaska sailings.

Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line 2020

Disney Cruise Line has fans all over the world, and whether you’re already making plans to set sail with Mickey or you’re wondering if Disney Cruise Line is right for you, this guide can help.

Not only does the book cover all the cruise line’s ships and its most popular itineraries, including visits to Castaway Cay and Hawaii, but it also offers candid advice for what ship features and activities are easily skipped. A section on Disney’s river cruise options in Europe is also included.

Antarctica Cruising Guide: Fourth Edition

Antarctica may seem like the ultimate out-of-reach cruise destination, but this guide demonstrates just how accessible it can be with photos and maps, as well as advice for how travelers can set sail to Antarctica while minimizing their environmental impact on the sensitive region.

The book includes a field guide to Antarctic wildlife, and offers tips for all types of sailings, from adventure cruises to luxury vessels that have the clearance to visit this dramatic and alluring cruise destination.

Berlitz River Cruising in Europe & the USA

River cruises can be vastly different from ocean-going voyages, but this guide can help you plan the perfect river cruise to see stunning ports, amazing culture, rich history, and beautiful vistas you’d never find from the coast.

This overview guide covers a range of river cruise lines, as well as individual ships,  popular itineraries, and more, all with impartial ratings to help you choose what river cruise will be the most stunning choice for your next sailing.

Even More Books

These are just a few of the vast array of cruise travel tip books available. In addition to checking out these highly recommended titles, look for guidebooks to individual destinations, as well as travel journals and checklists to help you stay organized as you plan. If you know the line you want to cruise with, you can find an overview guide discussing its ships and itinerary offerings to help you plan.

Steering Clear of a Nightmare: 15 Tips for What Not to Do on a Cruise

You can also find simple language dictionaries or phrasebooks so you can communicate like a local no matter where you are, as well as maps with attractions, restaurants, and even walking tours outlined so you can visit ports around the world without missing any must-see sights.

What books are your go-to planning guides for cruising? Visit the Cruise Hive Facebook page to let us know what titles you have to have in your cruise library!

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