If you’ve never been on a cruise holiday before, an amazing experience awaits you.
It may feel different from your usual holiday, so that’s why we’ve compiled our top tips for first-time cruisers.
A little preparation goes a long way, so read on to know more about making the most of your ocean-bound adventure — from choosing the type of cruise to suit your tastes to getting your travel insurance in place.
Have a taster
If you’re not sure whether a cruise is for you, why not get a taste of life at sea with a short cruise?
Many companies offer short cruises of two to four nights, which are ideal for anyone who’s wondering about committing to a longer journey.
If you’re sailing from the UK, you’ll be able to find a short cruise to near neighbours like Ireland, France, Belgium or the Netherlands. This will give you an idea of whether the real deal is for you.
Choose the cruise for you
Decided that cruising is for you? Nowadays, there are lots of different types of cruises, ranging from those with a party theme aimed at the young crowd to those aimed at families and sightseeing tours.
Do your research to know which cruise suits your holiday goals best. And know that timing is crucial. If you’re planning a relaxing break, avoid the school holidays when cruise ships will be full of lively families.
Get your documents ready
Checking into a cruise ship is a bit like turning up at the airport for a flight, so it’s essential that you have all the right documents ready.
If it’s an international cruise, you’ll need your passport, visas if required and vaccination certificates (which are a must wherever your cruise is heading).
But be sure to check with your cruise company way in advance of your departure date which items you need…it’s never too early to get organised!
Plan your activities
Plan ahead so you have a good variety of activities to enjoy on and off shore.
You can book all kinds of entertainment on board, from spa treatments to cocktail parties and dinners in speciality restaurants.
And when your ship docks at planned stops, you can book guided tours to help you make the most of your itinerary.
But be careful to pace yourself. There’s no need to book activities every day. Part of the appeal of cruises is that there are many facilities on board like pools and sun loungers so you also have the option to take one day at a time.
Know your budget and understand money
If you’re going on an all-inclusive cruise, make sure you understand exactly what is included in the price.
For a cruise that isn’t all-inclusive, draw up a budget before you set sail of your expected costs for extras like spa treatments, activities like fitness classes and service charges.
Make sure you understand your drinks package too. Some may only include drinks up to a certain value or a restricted number of types of drinks.
And know that most cruise companies operate a cashless system. You register a card when you check in and everything you purchase on board will be charged to that account, so make sure you have the funds to cover your bill.
If you’re new to sailing, you may be nervous of stormy weather and getting seasick. As well as stocking up on seasickness medicine, there are steps you can take to minimise the chances of a rough ride.
You can opt for a cruise that has frequent port stops to minimise sailing time or go for a cruise that stays close to the coast like a trip to the Norwegian fjords.
Or you can even choose a destination like the Arabian Gulf, where ports are close together, so there’s not so much sailing time.
As soon as you’ve booked your cruise, get yourself a travel insurance policy. The earlier the better is the key, as some policies will cover you for situations before you’ve set sail — for example, having to cancel because of illness or bereavement.
Your travel insurance is best found through a travel insurance comparison service, just like ours!
Our simple-to-use tool allows you to search for exactly what you need, whether that’s a single or annual multi-trip policy, travel insurance with Covid cover or even cruise holiday insurance!
And if you’d prefer to chat through your options with a friendly adviser, just contact us. We pride ourselves on providing a comparison service for travel insurance to UK customers, with no borders when it comes to age, pre-existing medical conditions or type of holiday!
Ready for life on an ocean wave?
If you’re ready for life on an ocean wave, it’s time to start planning! Make a checklist of all the practical things you need to do before you set sail — including securing travel insurance — and look forward to heading off into that sunset!