Cruise tips for first timers

When you’re thinking about taking a cruise for the first time there is a lot to take onboard, and that’s before you find out if being at sea is really for you. The choice of cruise ships is increasing every year, and the amount of cruise companies means even more choice.

Then you have the destination to think about and whether to fly/cruise or go direct from a local port. All these decisions can be daunting at first, but there is help.

The best success for booking your first cruise is to take baby steps, focus on each task and write a to do list. First you should decide where you want to go in the world, once you have a destination it will narrow your choices down. Some cruise lines are limited when it comes to where they go.

Popular destinations include the Mediterranean, Antarctica, South America, the Baltics, Australia, and of course the Caribbean.

You will also need to know what is included in your cruise price, most cruise ships include all food, although you will have a charge for certain dishes and speciality restaurants.

Some cruise companies offer drink packages, and from our experience this almost always saves you money. Even if you do not drink alcohol, the cost of bottled water, tea, coffee, soft drinks and non-alcoholic cocktails can add up.

Remember to take some seasick tablets with you, or other options like bands. You may not need them, but when there is rough sea these items can sell-out fast on ship.

Book early or book late – when you book early with some cruise companies you get deals not offered at a later time, this includes free parking and onboard spending, although if you book last minute you can get extremely discounted prices, but then you might not get where you want on the ship.

Book the middle of the ship – everyone will find different spots they like on cruise ships, and this includes certain decks. But most will find that booking a room on the middle of the ship is best, and this is thanks to less movement that is really good to have when the sea is rough.

There are many online resources for cruise ship tips. Royal Caribbean has a plan your cruise section on their website, in this section you will find nearly everything you need to know. If that’s not enough, then you can find out about different cruise ships from real people in forums, like the one on P&O’s own website here.

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