Six Things to Know Before You Take Your First Cruise

Six Things to Know Before You Take Your First Cruise

Preparing for your first cruise is a super exciting prospect! These holidays are unique to anything else you will have experienced – it’s like an entire town going on vacation, and cruise providers have become extremely innovative and creative to help you enjoy it and meet all your needs. So, what sort of things should you know before you go? Here’s our insider’s guide:

They’re not all about the formality

Cruise providers and even their ships can differ quite significantly. Yes, there are the traditional cruise ships, such as Crystal Cruises, Cunard and Fred Olsen, where there are formal nights with assigned dining times and dressing up for dinner is expected.

But there is also a fair share of cruise ships today that offer a more casual vibe. Carnival, for example, embraces the relaxed holiday approach with no need for a tux, but still opportunities for elegant nights if you choose. And families with young children are also warmly welcomed on many cruises these days too.

Get on board without getting bored

There’s little chance of you or your children getting bored on a cruise holiday. You may be excited about exploring all the various different destinations, but many people often find that sea days are the best days! Choose from stunning pools with imaginative designs and plenty of pool-side fun for adults and kids to relaxing spas, fitness activities, and creative workshops.

And that’s before we’ve even mentioned the enticing variety of food, the children’s clubs and, of course, the incredible evening entertainment and parties. The list goes on with something to keep everyone enthused.

Cruises are for younger people too

First-time cruisers often have the perception that cruises are just for the older generation. While many retired people do have the time and the budget to enjoy regular cruises, cruise providers are keen to attract a younger audience too.

With high-profile names behind their entertainment and wellness offerings, Michelin-starred restaurants, adventurous activities, such as ziplining, surfing or bungee jumping, and imaginative programmes for kid’s clubs, there’s an abundance of enticing features for all ages.

There’s been a food revolution

Cruise food is no longer just about long buffet lines or stuffy evening dinners; dining at sea has gone contemporary. Cruise providers have recognised the importance of the dining experience, so they are eager to offer something exciting.

Expect to take your taste buds on a culinary journey with worldwide cuisines from Asian fusion to Italian steakhouses, Japanese sushi to vegetarian feasts. The breakfast menus are extensive, and during the day, relaxed venues serve a variety of snack foods, such as pizza, tacos and ice cream. Your only problem will be the choice…and perhaps the odd pound or two you may gain along the way.

Windows are not always included

If you want to gaze out to sea or chill out on your own balcony, you need to book the right cabin. However, many people don’t plan to spend much time in their room, and one without a window often offers an excellent bargain for a cruise holiday.

There’s plenty of space for all

Most cruise ships have the capacity for around 3,000 passengers, with Royal Caribbean launching the largest cruise ship in June 2020, the Symphony of the Sea, holding 6,680 people. However, don’t fret; modern cruise ships have been expertly designed with passengers’ comfort at front-of-mind.

Potentially if you choose an older ship, there may be some congestion in areas such as the buffet and theatres, where groups tend to congregate. But newer ships have got passenger traffic flow down to a fine art and incorporated more deck space, bars, restaurants and facilities to ensure there’s room for everyone to feel at ease.

We’re convinced you’ll love your first cruise. The only other thing they don’t tell you is that once you’ve been on one, it’s highly likely you’ll be hooked!

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