Cruise Tips for First-Timers: 6 Things to Know Before You Go

Cruise Tips for First-Timers: 6 Things to Know Before You Go

We traditionally send off a new cruise ship by smashing a bottle of champagne against its bow. Sadly, there’s no such tradition for first-time cruisers. All they get is the excitement of being introduced to this unique form of travel — and the stress of not exactly knowing what it entails.


We can’t offer you champagne, but we can offer some tips and advice for first-time cruisers.

There is a cruise line to fit your personality

Even if cruise lines seem similar at first, they all have their own perks and quirks. Picking the perfect ship is like choosing the perfect love match … it’s complicated.  So how do you choose the best cruise ship for your very first cruise? Do your homework & find the cruise line that fits your lifestyle and budget.

carnival cruise


Budget properly

When planning your trip, be sure to budget for extra expenses like alcohol, specialty restaurants, spa treatments, and gratuities. Most cruises are not all-inclusive.


Board early or late

At peak hours, boarding lines can get ridiculously long. If you do it smart even embarkation can be a fun experience. It’s generally best to be among the first or last on since both groups miss the bulk of the crowds.

oviation of the seas


Planning is key

So much to do, so little time. Plan your daily activities so you don’t miss anything! In between meals, port stops, evening shows, and relaxing by the pool, you’ll be surprised how little time you have to take advantage of everything your cruise ship has to offer.


Always ask a staff member for help

If you need anything don’t hesitate to ask. The ship’s staff are very accommodating, and they often go out of their way to accommodate your requests.  The crew is fun to talk too!

carnival cruise


Time Flies

Think that the difference between a 5-night cruise and a 7-night cruise is just two nights? Think again. Shorter sailings are great for a quick getaway, but if you’ve never set foot on a ship before, trust us when we say you need a full week to enjoy everything a cruise has to offer.


There you have it! Hopefully, these cruise tips will help you plan an amazing first-time cruise. Do you have any of your own tips, please share them in the comment box below.



About the author:

This post was written by Shannon Mckee, founder of Access Cruise Inc. Access Cruise Inc is a Miami based cruise marketing and sales consulting group, specializing in product and business development within the cruise industry.



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Author's Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the company in question before planning your trip.

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This Post Has 49 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Juliet Amor

    The elaborated views you gave on this post really makes taking a cruise such an awesome idea.

  2. Avatar

    Great post!! We just booked our family’s first cruise, on Norwegian Epic – can’t wait (though it’s a year away…)

  3. Avatar
    Elizabeth O

    I haven’t been on a cruise in ages and so this is a great list of reminders for all travelers.Asking for help and budgeting wisely is key.

  4. Avatar

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. We have to take our daughter to cruise for her 13th birthday and this will come handy

  5. Avatar
    Samantha Flores

    Love going on cruises! So relaxing and everything is easy to enjoy when you’re on the ship. Great tips for those who have never been!

  6. Avatar

    Thanks for sharing this, I’ve actually never been on a cruise before. This was such an informative post!

  7. Avatar
    Honest Reader

    I have never been on a cruise before, but these are great tips if my husband and I ever decide to go! I believe that finding a ship that fits your personality is so important!

  8. Avatar

    I’ve never been on a cruise but wanting to go on one in 2019! So thank you so much for sharing your tips, bookmarked for future use 🙂

  9. Avatar

    Great Tips. I would love to add taking precautions while you are on board. We were going to Ireland from Scotland & that was first time cruising. I had vomiting sensation throughout and couldn’t enjoy it. So if you are like me then better take anything that works for you. Apart from that overall, it was a great experience.

    1. Wellington World Travels

      Yes! I remember my first cruise, I was so sick and didn’t enjoy the first part few days of our cruise. Great tip! Thanks

  10. Avatar
    Jolie Starrett

    Great tips! We love cruises and just got back from one last week.

  11. Avatar

    been planning on a cruise, long time…

    Looks like, you did the research for me.

  12. Avatar
    Toti and Alessia

    We are wandering to do a cruise somewhere, this is a good place where find some tips. Thank you will keep in my mind this post

  13. Avatar
    Ivan Jose

    To go on a cruise is one of the dream activities of my wife and me. I would love to bring my son with us. Thank you so much for these very practical tips.

  14. Avatar

    Woow!! Very nice travel post you have shared here!! Love it!! thank you & I wish to be on crusing soon : D
    cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  15. Avatar
    Blair villanueva

    Cruisinh is sometimes i always wanted to do. You are right, cruising would be awesome for a week.

  16. Avatar
    Neil Alvin Nicerio

    Pity, I haven’t had the chance of cruising in my life. I do hope that I get that chance someday. 🙂 Thank you for the helpful tips.

  17. Avatar
    Chantelle Hadden

    I’ve been planning on a cruise around the Mediterranian for about a year now, so this is rather handy. Thanks!

  18. Avatar
    Keshia Richmond

    I love cruises and the author is so right, there is a cruise to fit ever personality.

  19. Avatar

    The idea of going on a cruise always seemed a little daunting, but this post has put my mind at ease. Some brilliant tips.

    1. Wellington World Travels

      Yeah. I know what you mean. We’ve only been to 2 cruises. We always and still prefer flying.

  20. Avatar

    Great tips! I would never have thought to arrive early or a little later. I also didn’t realize the 2 days would be that big of a difference. Thank you

  21. Avatar
    Luna S

    Thanks for all of the tips! I’ve never been on a cruise but I hope to be able to go on one someday.

  22. Avatar
    Mrs Type A

    Such great tips. I’ve never been on a cruise before, but this advice makes me more confident in trying it out. Love the photos of you with the little ones…I bet they have a blast!

  23. Avatar

    Great tips! I have only been on a cruise once and I was younger! I hope to go again!

  24. Avatar

    I have never been on a cruise and would love to try one. Thank you for this post!!!!!

  25. Avatar
    Rachael Stray

    I’ve never been on a cruise but this checklist would be so useful to keep in mind.

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