If you are looking to book your first cruise, the choice of cruise, where to sail from and what to see may be overwhelming. There are cruises for everyone these days, whether you are a culture lover, you like adventure or you are looking for a family friendly cruise. So here are some tips to help you choose your first cruise.
Think Of Experience You Want
From small river cruise ships with an intimate environment with a couple of hundred guests to large all singing all dancing cruise ships with over 5000 passengers, cruise ships vary so much with facilities and services on offer. Some of the best like a Celebrity Cruises ship will offer a premium service and modern luxury, whilst if you are on a budget there are other more moderately priced cruises too.
River cruises often focus more on the destinations, have amazing scenery but have fewer facilities on board, however, you do get a more personal experience. Many river cruises focus on cultural events and have a range of speakers or small group activities on board. Ocean cruises will have a range of facilities from theatres to robotic bartenders, spas to a casino. You need to think of the experience you want from a cruise and choose accordingly.
Where Do You Want To Go?
The destinations are key to your cruise. If you want to visit lots of countries that are far apart then an ocean cruise is ideal. There are ocean cruises that cover everywhere from the Carribean to the USA, from the Canary Islands to Europe. Whilst a river cruise will sail only on a river, for example down the Rhine, Danube, Moselle and Suez Canal.
Examine What’s Included
When you book a cruise you need to examine the cost versus what is included. Some cruises will include all your alcoholic and soft drinks, whilst with others, you will have to pay separately for drinks or buy a drinks package. Food is almost always included and is often buffet style, but you may have to pay extra for premium A La Carte meals. If you want to go on an organised excursion then some cruises will include some or all excursions but others will expect you to pay extra for these. Also, check if tips are included, you need to buy a tip package or if you can tip staff individually for good service.
Pick The Right Room
There are many different categories of room on a cruise ship. From an interior room with no window to an oceanview room with a balcony to a large spacious suite with a veranda, there are a number of different types of rooms and the cost increases accordingly.
People may also have a preference for where they are based on the ship. If you are prone to motion sickness, the middle of the ship would give you less motion, and overlooking a pool could mean your room would be noisy however it would also mean you are close to those facilities. If you have kids, some cruise ships geared towards families may offer adjoining rooms or themed rooms.
As well as clothes suitable for the weather and suitable walking shoes for any excursions you will have to examine the dress code as well.
Dress codes on board ship vary from ship to ship however there will usually be a number of formal evenings on a cruise ship, such as the welcome party, Captain’s dinner, and farewell party. Many people like going to these events and it’s an excuse to dress up, men will often be in a back tie and women in a cocktail dress, but if you don’t want to go to this then many ships will have a less formal restaurant too where smart casual or casual attire is fine to be worn.
So here are 5 top tips for your first cruise. We hope it’s helpful!