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What Are The Best Cruise Lines for First-Time Cruisers?

What Are The Best Cruise Lines for First-Time Cruisers?

If you’ve yet to go on a cruise, a whole new world of fantastic holiday experiences is awaiting you. Your first-time cruise will undoubtedly be a special one, one which will create incredible memories that last a lifetime.

To help you find a cruise line that fits with the way you like to do holidays, we’ve researched the best cruises for first-time passengers and share how some of the top cruise lines differ. You’ll also find a few handy first-time cruise tips.

How to book a cruise for the first time

If you’ve been inspired to book a cruise for the first time, you may feel a little bewildered when you begin to look at the options available. At first glance, there seems like a lot to consider; the destination, the cruise line and the ship, not to mention all the add-ons!

Don’t fret; it may take a little time to explore the options to understand what you want from your first-time cruise, but it is more than worth it! 

Take a look at the leading cruise lines’ websites to get a flavour of the style of cruise holidays they offer, and read a few cruise blogs (like the ones we share!) that compare different options and highlight what to expect on your first cruise.

And, if you would like some further guidance, cruise consultants, like our team at Cruise.co.uk, are experts at finding the best cruise for first-time cruisers and will always be happy to help.

To start, one of the most important questions you need to answer is…

Which cruise line should I sail with for my first cruise?

happy girl on balcony

The short answer to this question is it depends on what you are looking for from your cruise holiday. Families with children, couples, and solo cruisers likely have quite different requirements. 

Let’s look at four leading cruise lines to explore their varying approaches to cruise holidays and see how their cruises for first-time passengers may suit you. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises for first-time cruisers: Family fun

Opt for Royal Caribbean Cruises for a first-time cruiser if you have a family that enjoys fun and adventurous activities.

Royal Caribbean’s mega-ships, such as those in their Oasis Class, are leading the way with innovative facilities and things to do that are designed to thrill.

From the longest water slide at sea and surf simulator to the zip lines and laser tag, you and your family can enjoy an action-packed cruise holiday with no chance of getting bored!

One of our first-time cruise tips for Royal Caribbean is if you want to make the most of their ships’ features, consider staying onboard during a port day. It will be much quieter, meaning fewer queues and more time for fun!

Celebrity Cruises for first-time cruisers: Forward-thinking elegance

Celebrity Cruises aims to offer a cruise experience with style. It blends the classic with the contemporary, offering modern luxury for its cruise guests. Across its 14 ships, some of which are the youngest at sea, you will find spacious, elegant accommodations, chic design, first-class cuisine and attention-to-detail service. 

Entertainment and activities are considered world-class, including award-winning productions using innovative technology, live music performances and exceptional spa experiences. 

With so much to enjoy onboard and when visiting the spectacular destinations on their itineraries, one of Celebrity Cruises’ first-time cruise tips is to consider a longer holiday. Although they have weekend itineraries, a week or more on one of their ships will give you time to really relax and take time to experience everything they have to offer.

Carnival Cruise Line for first-time cruisers: Next-generation innovation

carnival movies

Some people still believe cruise holidays are meant for the older generation, those who seek a high-class cruise experience full of tradition. Carnival Cruise Line is helping to buck the trend, adding the ‘cool factor’ to their cruise holidays and encouraging millennials to try a first-time cruise.

Think DJs playing the latest tunes, creating a festival vibe for the pool parties on deck, exciting shore excursions and trend-setting port stops. Dining is more relaxed, although there’s no compromise on flavour, and entertainment is geared more towards a younger audience, too, with karaoke, mixology competitions and even trampoline dodgeball.

Carnival Cruises is also known for offering more affordable cruise holidays, which may be more attractive to younger adults. As a first-time cruise tip, Carnival Cruises remind us of their 110% guarantee on their excursions, meaning if you find one cheaper elsewhere, they will refund 110% of the price difference in onboard credit.

Norwegian Cruise Line and Virgin Voyages are two other cruise lines offering a similar vibe to attract a less traditional crowd.

P&O Cruises for first-time cruisers: Best of British


P&O Cruises are billed as the UK’s favourite cruise line; they’ve even won awards to that effect. Alongside their ‘best of British’ approach, bringing familiar favourites, such as dining inspiration from food heroes Marco Pierre White, Olly Smith and London-based José Pizarro, they also offer UK no-fly cruises, sailing from Southampton. 

If you feel stressed at the thought of airports and complying with luggage restrictions, then a no-fly cruise is ideal. You’ll start your holiday as soon as you step on board, feeling relaxed from beginning to end.

One first-time cruise tip from P&O Cruises is that you don’t need to worry about that on their ships! Their service may be outstanding, but tipping isn’t required.

One of the key things first-time cruisers need to know is that every cruise line has a different approach to cruise holidays. Our top first-time cruise tip is to take time to understand these differences so you can book a cruise holiday that best suits your requirements and delivers a holiday that you’ll enjoy to the full.

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