Top tips for those new to cruise

Seeing the world, or parts of it, by cruise is more popular than ever as people realise just how fantastic it can be to float from place to place, discovering more than one destination in a single trip.

 As Travel Counsellor Dinah says, ‘There’s a cruise ship to suit everyone, and yes you can get off at every port, as many times as you like!” If you’re in any doubt over whether a cruise is right for you, there are mini cruises of just a couple of nights that will help persuade you.

Top tips for those new to cruise

The sheer choice can be dizzying, but Travel Counsellors have the personal knowledge and combined expertise to help you choose the right one for you. There are brand-new vessels with ever-more innovative facilities, new itineraries, and surprising destinations alongside much-loved ships and tried and-tested itineraries to classic destinations.

You can pick from boutique options or veritable floating cities, both at sea and on some of the world’s most iconic rivers, all around the globe. Expedition cruises are also increasingly popular as ways to explore some of the world’s most remote regions, including the Antarctic.

A cruise is also an amazing family and multi-generational holiday option. As Travel Counsellor Emma urges, ‘Take the whole family! Cruising is perfect for everyone, so bring the grandparents, too. There are enough activities on board to keep everyone entertained.”

If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve asked some of our Travel Counsellors for their top tips for those new to cruise.

How to choose the right cruise

You could spend countless hours scouring the web for options, looking at different destinations, itineraries, and ships, but you risk disappearing down a rabbit hole, as there is just so much choice out there. Emma’s fantastic advice is to chat to your Travel Counsellor about your favourite holiday on land and that will help them recommend the right cruise holiday for you.

Book early for the best experience

Emma also points out that cruise lines plan their sailings one or two years in advance, and the best deals are usually reserved for early bookers. But it’s not all about savings – by booking early, you’ll also ensure you get the cabin of your choice. You can even book your shore excursions and other extras well in advance, making sure you don’t miss out.

Onboard eating and drinking

Yes, you really can eat 24 hours a day. On many cruise lines, you can eat your way around the world as you travel, in restaurants offering different global cuisines. On most, menus are dictated by the regions you visit and feature local specialities. Travel Counsellor Mandy adds, “If you don't see something on the menu you like, don't sit in silence – tell the waiter and they will come up with an alternative.” She adds, “Yes, you will gain a few pounds, but you are on holiday. Just use the stairs as much as you can, it keeps you fit!”

Practicalities and etiquette

As Mandy stresses, “It's not a boat, so don't call it one - especially in front of the captain!” She also has the following practical advice: “Don’t get stressed out about what to pack. Yes, ships have posh nights, but remember you are on holiday, so pack your holiday clothes.” She also advises. “Make sure you bring a credit card to register against your cabin for things you may buy. You can use a debit card, but a credit card is better.”

Travel Counsellor Gemma adds: “Always pack a small bag to keep with you, including your swimwear and a change of clothes. Your luggage will be taken straight to your cabin when you embark, but this can take a few hours, so if you have things with you, you can start to enjoy the facilities straight away.”

To book your first cruise or for inspiration and advice, call your Travel Counsellor today.

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