The Definitive Guide To All Things Cruising

May 26, 2015

Who’d of thought going on holiday could be so confusing? A holiday, especially  a cruise holiday, should be all about relaxation – shouldn’t it?. The problem with cruising though (if indeed problem is even the right word) is that there’s so much to take in…

Dozens of different cruise lines…

Then each cruise line can have up to twenty different ships to pick from…

Couple that with the fact that there’s literally hundreds of different destinations you can cruise to…

Should you go on a fly cruise or try a cruise only option from your home port? (Do the terms cruise only and fly cruise even mean anything to you?)

What are the dress codes like on the ship you’ve picked?

What’s the policy on gratuities?

Are you having heart palpitations at the thought of planning your first cruise now?

Well relax!

We’re not trying to scare you off cruising (quite the opposite in fact), what we’re trying to point out is that because there’s so many options there’s a perfect cruise holiday out there for everyone… You just need to find it!

If you are worried about it probably the easiest place to start is by talking to someone. We’ve over a hundred specialist cruise consultants, each with years of cruising experience behind them that are always happy for you to just ring up and chat about which cruise would be perfect for you – You can reach them here 

If you’re the kind of person that likes to research things online yourself however we hope our Definitive Guide To All Things Cruising will be of some help….


General Advice

FoodDining on a Cruise – Should you eat in the Main Dining Room, a Specialty restaurant or the Buffet? What kind of food can you expect? Can you see the menu’s before you go. All these questions and more are answered here.


Cruise Cocktail

Drinking on a cruise – Are drinks expensive on a cruise ship? Is it all-inclusive? Can you purchase drinks packages on-board? Which bars will be better for a quite drink? We answer all these questions (and any others you can think of) here.


H20 ZoneFamily friendly cruising – Cruising has an unjust reputation as being a holiday for when you’ve retired and whilst that may once have been true it’s not anymore (and hasn’t been for a long time). There are so many ships out there specifically geared up to family’s that you’ll be spoilt for choice!


An A-Z of life on-boardA-Z – We’ve been at this and a long time now and in that time we’ve created a guide for practically everything you could think of…. From packing check lists to which ships do and don’t stock condoms; from guides on smoking polices to gym facilities. If you can’t find the information you need here then you probably didn’t need it in the first place!

Christmas on a Cruise ship
Soldier Christmas decoration on QM2
– Think cruising is only for the summer holidays and the hot weather? Take a look as to what Christmas looks like on a cruise ship


Popular Cruise Lines

P&O VenturaP&O Cruises – Everything you could possibly want to know about P&O, all in one place!



Britannia 2P&O’s Britannia – We take a closer look at P&O’s newest ship, the Britannia and ask what it has to offer modern cruisers.


Thomson exteriorThomson Cruises – Flying from over twenty local airports around the UK is a big plus point for Thomson cruises. You can see which airports they use and everything else you could ever need to know here.


Thomson Cruises in video Thomson Discovery– Reading about a cruise is one thing, seeing pictures is better but perhaps best of all (short of actually being there!) is watching videos about it. You can see what a Thomson Cruise really looks like here


The Thomson DiscoveryThomson Discovery – Thomson recently expanded their fleet with the Thomson Discovery, a ship they bought from Royal Caribbean. The team  took a look to see what this new ship had to offer.


Royal CaribbeanAerial Oasis of the Seas - At Sea off Miami shoreline Oasis of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International – Boasting one of the most modern and innovative fleets at sea, there’s always something new to do on a Royal Caribbean ship… as we discuss here.


Royal Caribbean fleetRoyal Caribbean in video – From their rock climbing wall to their main dining room; from simulated sky diving to the casino; it’s not quite the same as being there but hopefully these videos will tide you over till you do get on-board.


Anthem of the SeasAnthem lift art – We took a sneak peek at the ship advertised as the most technologically advanced cruise ship ever and boy were we wowed! You can find out exactly why here.


Lawn clubCelebrity Cruises Celebrity Cruises are Royal Caribbeans ‘older brother’. They’re a five star product specialing in modern luxury (think boutique hotels at sea). You can read our full guide to them here.


All three Cunard QueensCunard Cruises – Cunard; perhaps one of the most famous cruise lines of all time! They’ve been doing this a long time now (they recently celebrated their 175th anniversary) and a cruise with Cunard let’s you tap into that heritage and tradition, whilst still being pampered hand and foot of course!


Cunard through timeCunard in video – Sorry but we don’t have any videos of Cunard from 175 years ago! You can however see what to expect on a modern day Cunard ship here.


MSC Cruises MSC back to UK– MSC are a Mediterranean cruise company offering a much more ‘international’ flavour to their cruises than you’ll find on most British or even American cruise ships. That’s not a bad thing, quite the opposite in fact, it just means they may not be for everyone. Why not take a look at our introduction to MSC and decide if they’re for you…

Duchess on PrincessPrincess CruisesPrincess Cruises are known as the destination experts with ships deployed as far flung as Alaska and Australia and then right back home on your doorstop in Southampton. If you want to explore the world then you should definitely be  looking at Princess!

Princess Cruises, Royal princess Naming CeromonyPrincess Cruises in video – As you can imagine for a cruise line that specialises in destinations, some of Princess’ videos are stunning! You can take a look at some of the best here.

NCL BreakawayNorwegian Cruise Line in video – NCL invented freestyle cruising; what you want, when you want it. You can explore what a freestyle cruise is like a lot more in these videos


Holland America

Holland America in video – Holland America are another cruise line that specalises in destinations. They’re a five star cruise line that offers a relaxed, informal atmosphere on-board; Holland America themselves describe it as country club causal. You can see what it looks like here.


Traditional Cruise Lines

Cruising has evolved a lot of the last ten, fifteen years with ships getting bigger and bigger and offering more to do as cruise lines try to meet the rise in demand cruises have enjoyed.

However, many people still look for a different kind of cruising; a cruising that hearkens back to an earlier time. If that sounds you than you may be interested in some of the following cruise lines…

Traditional cruisingA guide to traditional cruising – What is traditional cruising? Who offers it? What’s it like and will I enjoy it? If you’ve ever asked any of these questions then may we suggest you take a read of our guide to traditional cruising.


Fred olsen logoFred Olsen in video – Fred Olsen are certainly the most well know of traditional cruise lines (although by no means the only one!). You can see what life is like on-board a Fred Olsen ship here.



Cruise and MAritime logoCruise and Maritime Voyages –  The second of Britain’s traditional cruise lines has to be C&M voyages. Cruising from Tilbury in London, as well as other local ports all around the UK, they’re a great choice for anyone that doesn’t want to make the trek all the way down to Southampton.


The Marco PoloMArco Polo – If you’re thinking about a cruise on the Marco Polo then this guide should tell you everything you could possible need to know


Reception on MagellanThe Magellan – The team were lucky enough to be present at the launch of the Magellan, C&M’s latest ship so we got a good chance to snoop around. You can see what we found out here.


Luxury Cruise Lines

luxury diningThe Definitive Guide To Luxury Cruising – OK, so this one might be cheating a little but we already had a definitive guide to luxury cruising! Rather than list everything again here, why not go take a look – You wont be disappointed; when a cruise line describes themselves as luxurious they really mean it!


River Cruise Lines

River in the shape of a heartThe Definitive Guide To River Cruising – Sorry, we’re cheating again! We already had a guide to all things river cruising and here it is… just for you!


Niche Cruising

Some cruise lines do their hardest to avoid categorisation. Whether that be because they offer expedition cruises to far flung and hard to reach destinations or they’re a mix of luxury, traditional, main stream or something else all rolled into one, they’re hard to pin down to just one thing. These cruise lines tend to be known as niche cruises and for those in the know can offer a once in a lifetime holiday – You just need to know where to look (hint – here!)

Hurtigrutencanoe with hurtigruten – Hurtigruten are a Norwegian cruise line offering cruises to the ‘real’ Norway. Much, much smaller than a standard cruise ship they’re fleet ranges from being able to carry just 300 people right up to a 1,000 – a far cry from the mega ships you may be more familiar with! This enables them to cruise down Fjords other cruise lines just can’t reach.

Polar bearHurtigruten in video –  It’s all well and good saying Hurtigruten can take you to the ‘real Norway’ but just what does the real Norway look like? We try to answer that question here.


Cruise Destinations

The definitive guide to cruise destinations – This is the last time we’ll cheat we promise! Everything you need to know about where you’ll be cruising to.


Hopefully our guide should have answered all your questions. If it hasn’t though you could always try our cruise Q&A section here.