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.

READ MORE:  Tips For Solo Female Travelers in Morocco

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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49 thoughts on “Cruise Tips for First-Timers: 6 Things to Know Before You Go”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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

  6. 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!


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