Travel Advice

Choosing Your First Cruise – What Are The Options?

Choosing your First Cruise

Booking a holiday can be quite stressful (in a first world problem sort of way). In the old days, you simply went to your local high street travel agent, they told you where you were going and you just went. But now, it involves hours, if not days of research, so in-depth that the FBI would be proud. And this is what we are up against when it comes to choosing your first cruise, there are so many choices out there and we don’t want to spend all that money only to find yourself having to watch a drunken Limbo competition every night (unless that’s your thing).

So let’s have a look at the options, from the luxury ocean liner to the family-friendly Caribbean cruiser, we’ll leave out the cross-channel ferries.

The Transatlantic Ocean Liner

Transatlantic ocean liners

If you want to experience the glamorous days of ocean liner travel before everyone took the plane then a transatlantic crossing is for you. The Queen Mary 2 is a purpose-built ship designed to deal with the rough seas of the North Atlantic,  its style harks back to the transatlantic heydays of the forties, fifties and sixties.

Although casual in the day, you’ll be expected to dress for dinner with a number of black tie nights so it’s not really the place for you if you want to wander around in a pair of crocs but there again where are crocs ever acceptable.

A Luxury Cruise
Luxury Cruise

A modern luxury cruise

If you want luxury subtly delivered in contemporary surroundings with moderm amenities then a modern luxury cruise could suit you. Companies such as Crystal offer,fine dining, excellent wine, state of the art technology, spacious suites and even penthouses if you want to spend the last of your children inheritance.

A River Cruise
River Cruise

A river cruise on the Danube

We think it may have been Agatha Christie’s ‘Death On The Nile’ which sparked our interest in a river cruise, although we do intend to disembark alive. The idea of sitting on the deck at dusk with a gin, watching local life go by on the river banks sounds perfect.

Death on the Nile

Death on the Nile

River cruises can be a very good way to tour a few countries and do a lot of sightseeing. When cruising the Rhine or Danube there may be two stops in a day and the boats often moor in the centre of the town or city.

To us, one of the best advantages of a river cruise is the lack of motion and no chance of seasickness. Neither of us is that good with sailing and Mr W was once even sick on a boat simulator on dry land.

American Riverboat

A Mississippi Paddle Steamer

One particular river cruise we fancy is on the Mississippi River, we saw one of the paddle steamers which do this trip when we were in Memphis a couple of years ago and it really had some old-style southern elegance.

A Family & Fun Cruise
Disney Cruise

A Disney cruise could be your idea of heaven or hell

Family and fun, two words which can strike terror into a grumpy middle-aged man. Although deep down we’re sure there’s still a little affection remaining for Disney, zip lines and water slides. This type of cruise may not be for everyone but it’s perfect for families There is no chance of you or your kids getting bored on a Disney or Carnival cruise

An Adventure Cruise
Norwegian Fjords

Cruising the beautiful Norwegian Fjords

If lounging by a pool while cruising the Caribbean is not your ideal cruise style or if you want a unique experience set against spectacular natural landscapes then an adventure cruise may be for you. It doesn’t have to be the full ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ to start with, just a leisurely cruise around the Norwegian Fjords and then you can work your way up to the full icebreaker ploughing the Bering Sea.

Alaska Cruise

Glacier Bay on an Alaskan cruise

One cruise we were looking at which lies on the more sedate end of the adventurous scale is an Alaskan cruise was with Bolsover. Taking in the amazing sights and wildlife like Glacier Bay, brown bears and possibly a whale or two.

Choosing your first cruise, what are the options?

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  • Lynne Sarao
    September 29, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    I’ve done a lot of cruises around the caribbean but I’d love to try a river cruise or an adventure cruise through someplace like the Norwegian fjords someday. I can’t imagine spending my children’s inheritance on a luxury cruise though. 😉

  • Hannah
    September 30, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I was just having this discussion the other day – trying to figure out which sort of cruise should be our first! Whilst Alaska sounds amazing from the vista and wildlife perspective, I think we are erring more towards a river cruise (I get a little seasick)! The Mississippi paddle steamer would be a dream!

  • The Travelling Dave
    October 1, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    My first cruise was visiting the Baltic capital cities, followed by a Norwegian fjord cruise. A river cruise and the paddle steamer would be awesome to try next! Although my fiancee would love to do a Disney cruise as her first! so many options!!!

  • Wendy
    October 2, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Our cruises have been on small boats with 15 to 22 people – adventure cruising. I can’t imagine going on a big cruise ship. A river cruise may be the largest boat I would go on. We like the smaller more intimate boat experiences.

  • Medha
    October 2, 2018 at 5:09 am

    I really want to do an Alaskan Cruise! I mean, look at those views! I’ve been on a cruise only once in my life, in Asia. It was Princess Cruises and was amazing. But I don’t want to do a cruise in Asia or Europe anymore. I want to try either the Disney Cruise or based on the destination such as Alaska or Carribean. I love your Alaska cruise picture and the one in Norwegian Fjords.

  • Vicky and Buddy
    October 2, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve only been on one cruise and it was to the Bahamas. I had a great time and personally would love to go on another cruise. I’ve been getting more and more interested in river cruises though. I like that they stop so close to city centers. And like you said, I think it’d be so relaxing to sit and watch locals as we sail slowly by.

  • Chris Bloomfield
    October 2, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    I took my wife on a cruise for our honeymoon and we were hit by hurricane Katrina! I would have liked to be on that ocean liner instead of the cruise ship. My favorite is river cruises. We have been on several and had a great time. We want to visit Alaska and I was contemplating a cruise, but am a little leery because our first cruise was so rough. That shot of Glacier Bay is awesome and I think I would brave rough waters to get that photo myself.

  • Paige
    October 2, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    I’ve never done a cruise, but I a lot of that is because I’m afraid of the ocean. I think I’d really like to try a river cruise, because I like the idea of being close to land. Haha. Although, an adventure cruise in the Norwegian Fjords sounds pretty amazing!

  • Mansoureh
    October 2, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    I haven’t done a cruise trip a lot. I just took River cruises a few times, that weren’t so long. Thanks for sharing this with me. I don’t know why I think I can get bored on a long ride on a cruise. I probably should start with an adventure cruise, since it sounds so intresting

  • Kate
    October 3, 2018 at 2:06 am

    The Alaskan cruise and Danube river cruise both look magical! I’ve always been tempted to take an Alaskan cruise and it sounds like you were able to seem some unique wildlife, which is so amazing!! This is super helpful since I’ve never taken a cruise before and would love to try it!