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FIRST TIMER’S GUIDE TO CRUISES

10 TIPS FOR FIRST TIME CRUISERS

If you’ve never been on a cruise before, there’s a lot to learn! There are so many amazing options to choose from and you might not know where to start. If you’re dreaming about going on a cruise for the first time but feeling overwhelmed—don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate it all. Here are the answers to the questions you’ve been asking yourself.

Where should I go?

Anywhere, really. Cruises are one of the best ways to see several locations for less. If you’re craving a tropical getaway, then the classic cruise choice is the Caribbean with multiple island stops. Or, there are Europe cruises that take passengers on a voyage through the ancient world.

Alaska cruises are an unconventional but thrilling chance to explore the Northern wilderness. Think of seeing massive icebergs and orca whales off the ship’s deck. Another snowy adventure is Antarctica, truly one of the most untouched places in the world.

Other options include Australia, Japan and more destinations across Asia and the South Pacific—even the Galápagos. There are also river cruises, like along the Panama Canal.
 
Alaska cruises

How long should I go?

There are many lengths to choose from, but 7 days is the sweet spot if you’re new to cruising, and the most popular choice. 6 days or less is a good preview, and 10 plus days is for the seasoned cruise fanatics among us.

How much to spend?

There’s a cruise for every budget. Ask yourself how much you’re willing and able to spend. If you’re looking for luxury with a lower price tag, consider that many cruise lines offer upgrades and promotions.

What is a cruise like? Relaxing or exciting?

They can be both! If you’re looking for rest and rejuvenation, then consider picking a cruise that has less ports of call and more time on the ship. If you want adventure, then choose an itinerary that has multiple stops where you can get off and explore.
 
Cruise-Croisiere

What cruise line?

They’re all unique. The best cruise line for first timers depends on what you’re looking for. Family fun, adventure, romance, history—there’s something for everyone.

We have guides on top cruise lines by destination. Check out our most popular partners in the Caribbean and Hawaii and what they offer!

What ship?

Just like every cruise line is different, every ship is too. Look at what the ship has in terms of venues, restaurants and unique features. All cruises have food included in the price and offer a variety of international cuisines and dietary options, from classic Americana burgers and fries to fresh salads and sushi.

All ships have spas and gyms, but some have extra fun features like rock climbing walls, casinos, water slides, flow riders, bumper cars and so much more. There will be different entertainment options too; like Broadway shows, magicians, figure skating performances and standup comedy. The possibilities are endless!

Are cruises safe?

Of course! Rest assured that our cruise line partners are committed to your well-being at sea through cleanliness standards and safety measures.

For each cruise line’s specific health and safety protocols, see: Pro-tip: Visit our Travel Ready Hub for more updated information on what you should know before booking any vacation.

How should I book?

A travel agent is traditionally the best bet for a cruise, but in this digital age booking online is quick and easy. You can here!

When should I book?

As with most things in life, the early bird gets the worm—or fish if we’re speaking nautically. The earlier you book the better in order to get a more desirable room and a better promotion. We know plans change though, so part of our Cruise Promise is that flights are 100% refundable up to 24 hours prior to departure.

Pro tip: Get even more flexibility with our travel protection options!

What type of room?

Reading about different room categories can be like deciphering a language you don’t speak. For a first-timer, it can be tempting to go with the lowest price interior cabin without a balcony or window. Take it from any experienced cruiser, it’s worth it to get a sea view and a private balcony, as nothing beats ocean air and the scene of pulling into a new port. And you’ll appreciate the extra space!
 
Cruise cabins

WHAT’S NEXT

Now that we’ve covered cruising 101, check out our latest cruise offers to find the perfect package to get you started. Happy sailing!