Tips for First Time Cruisers

If you are new to cruising, it’s a whole new (and sometimes confusing) world.  There is so much choice out there, how can you ever make a decision?  Do you go for a classic, traditional and elegant cruise like the new British Ambassador Cruise Line, or something themed and family focussed like Royal Caribbean?

It’s also important to know that gratuities are usually added on to the cost of the advertised cruise price. This can be around £10-£15 per passenger per day, and that includes children. Do keep an eye out for cruises that include gratuities as this can work out cheaper.

Another good deal to keep an eye out for are all inclusive cruises. All your food is included on a cruise anyway, but drinks can be very expensive and you don’t want to have to stint or be careful when you are on holiday. If your cruise is not automatically all inclusive, you can choose to upgrade to have a drinks deal included.  The price of this varies by cruise line.  When you are considering whether this is worth it for you, have a look at some of the online menus to find out individual drinks prices.  The menus might be on the cruise line’s website, or on Google images.  Facebook groups for the cruiseline/actual ship are also a good source of information as people upload menus for you to look at.  For an example, a glass of house wine could set you back £8-£10. 

Then work out roughly how many drinks you are likely to have a day.  This does not have to be just alcoholic drinks either.  Factor in tea and coffee, squash and fizzy drinks.  Although tea and coffee are usually included in the dining rooms at mealtimes, they are not at other times.  Also if you like a posh coffee, mid afternoon then this will also set you back a few pounds.  It’s easy to see how it can all add up and upgrading to inclusive drinks becomes very attractive!

Another important thing to consider if you have family, is how child friendly a cruise line is.  Some of the bigger cruise lines have all the bells and whistles – waterparks, cinemas, bowling, climbing walls etc.  Also check the ages of the on board kids’ clubs if your children are likely to want to go.  If you have children of similar ages, check if they will be in the same club (or not if they wouldn’t want to be!).

Whatever your decision – have a fab time!

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