Thinking About Booking Your First Cruise Holiday – What You Need to Know

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When it comes to holidays, cruising has become one of the most popular styles of holidays out there. All you have to do is take a look at how many ships are available, and the plans for new ships to be added to the global fleet, and it’s clear the cruising industry is extremely robust. Cruising is an attractive option for many holiday goers, with the main reason being that they can visit a number of different destinations in one holiday. Of course, there are a lot more benefits than just the multiple stops.

While cruising certainly has many benefits, there are some factors that travellers should at least be aware of that may make them second-guess this style of holiday. At the same time there are a lot of myths floating around that can frighten off those first-time cruisers who are on the fence at the moment.

If you’ve been considering the possibility of booking a cruise but you’re feeling a bit scared to go ahead and make the jump and get booking, then you’re going to want to read on. Here we’ll cover everything from the advantages of cruising, what to expect, what to look for when booking a holiday, and common myths dispelled. So let’s jump right in.

Why Book a Cruise?

For some people, booking a cruise is a simple decision, they know what they want to experience so they don’t even think twice. For others it’s not so cut and dry. That’s why it can be helpful to look into the main benefits of cruising.

One of the biggest reasons to go ahead and book a cruise is that you can get incredible value for your money. Imagine what you would spend to stay in a high-quality hotel for a night, travel by taxi to go to dinner, have a fancy meal, and then go out to a theatre show. Now compare that cost to the typical £100-200 a night a cruise works out to. It’s incredible value.

It’s also a great way to see a number of destinations in one holiday so you can then decide which ones interest you for a future holiday. You’ll get a little introduction to each of these cities/towns, which is often enough for you to decide if you want to return.

Now even though you’re touring from one destination to the next, you get to be in the same room and in the same bed every night. You don’t have to worry about packing up each day to head to the next hotel on the itinerary.

If you’re the type who likes to be able to eat what you want when you want, then you’ll also appreciate the level of fine-dining that these cruises offer and the fact there is always something any time of the day or night.

Most cruises have their own personality and theme which is also reflected in their activities and entertainment options, which can add to the experience.

And when it comes to staff, it’s hard to beat the level of service that cruise ship staff provide.

What to Look for When Booking a Cruise

Of course not all cruise deals are the same and not all cruise lines are the same. This is why you need to ask some questions before making a booking. The best way to go about it is to start by setting a budget, and then narrowing down the destinations you want to visit. This will instantly weed out a number of cruise lines and itineraries. From there you can start to be more specific.

As you look at the fare prices, you want to be sure you read the fine print. What does that price include? What isn’t included in the fare that you’ll need to pay extra for? Sometimes there can be hidden costs such as your shore excursions, internet usage, alcohol, spa services, any shopping you do on board, a fee for the ship’s specialty restaurants, and more. It’s best to be clear before you book so there are no surprises.

Another thing you will want to pay close attention to is the size of the ship. The number of passengers that are on the ship can really affect the atmosphere. If you’re looking for a cosy experience that is really intended for adults-only, then a loud and lively family-friendly ship probably isn’t the best bet.

One more thing to be aware of is the dress code on the cruise. This is an area that has evolved over time and the dress code has become more casual on many of the ships, however there are many that still have formal nights where a full suit and tie for the men and fancy dresses for the women are expected.

Common Myths

Just as you would expect, there are a number of myths that are circulating about cruising, with many of them being false. Maybe you’ve heard some of them and they’ve made you question their validity. Here’s a look at some of the more common myths.

Cruising is far too expensive: This is relative, as you can find an expensive cruise or you can find great cruise holiday deals that are far below what you may be expecting to pay. It’s like any other form of holiday, you need to set a budget, shop around, and find a deal that works for you.

A cruise ship will feel too crowded and busy: Again, this is relative, it really depends on the ship you pick. There are many ships that hold thousands of guests, but on the flip side there are smaller cruise ships where there are only a couple of hundred guests. It’s up to you what kind of experience you want to have.

Stomach viruses like norovirus are common on cruise ships: While these types of stories have certainly made it into the news before, it doesn’t mean that it’s the norm. Going on a cruise doesn’t guarantee that you will get a stomach virus. There’s also the fact that you can pick up noroviruses anywhere, it’s not just found on cruise ships. Just as you would at home, it’s best to wash your hands often.

I will feel trapped and bored on a cruise ship, especially during the days at sea: This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, for many seasoned cruisers, they look forward to those days at sea so that they can explore all the ship has to offer. The large cruise ships of today are absolutely loaded with activities, entertainment, shopping, dining, and places to socialise. They often have classes you can sign up for, shows to watch, and more.

Talk to Friends and Family Who Have Been on a Cruise

After you gather all your own research, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to also speak to family and friends who have been on a cruise so that they can share their experiences, tips, and thoughts.

It May Just Be the Perfect Way to Holiday

When it comes to cruising, it is absolutely loaded with all kinds of benefits that other styles of holiday just can’t rival. With that said it may just be the perfect way to holiday for many people out there with many cruise holiday deals waiting to be discovered.