Tips for booking your first cruise

23 Jan 2018

If you’ve never cruised before, what’s taken you so long!? A cruise is the perfect holiday for everyone. It’s important to consider a few options before you book a cruise. Here are a few tips for first time cruisers…

What type of cabin?

Unlike when booking a hotel, you have several categories of accommodation and then those categories also have multiple different choices too, such as the positioning and size. For a first time cruiser it can be a minefield in choosing the right cabin. First, it’s important to think about the basics. Would you prefer a Balcony, be happy with an Outside window, make do with an Inside, or would you like to splash out on a luxury Suite? Even if you know what type of accommodation you’d prefer, it’s good to check the prices of other cabins, as upgrading from an Outside to a Balcony for example may only be a small amount more (or even less in some cases!)

When do you want to go?

Depending on the destination, it’s important to consider when you’d like to go. This not only depends on the weather and seasons, but also when cruise lines deploy their ships. Unlike a regular holiday, where you’re able to fly most days throughout the year, cruise ships have deployment schedules and move around the world. Summer is the peak season for cruises from the UK, but if you look for a cruise from the UK in the Autumn and Winter, you’ll find fewer options as most ships have re-positioned to warmer climates such as the Caribbean. It’s important to be flexible on dates. Although some cruise lines have repetitive weekly timetables to the same ports, such as MSC Cruises in the Mediterranean or Royal Caribbean in the Caribbean, most cruise lines will offer several itineraries to a destination, but varying itineraries to different ports.

How long for?

The most popular duration for a cruise is either 7 or 14 nights. These are the ideal times to be able to see the best of a destination, while also remaining affordable. Cruising from the UK offers great convenience, such as no luggage restrictions or waiting around at airports, and while that’s fine for short Northern European cruises, there are limitations on where you can visit further afield. If you want to explore the Mediterranean, it takes around 3 days to get there through the Bay of Biscay and through the Strait of Gibraltar. Buy the time you enter the start of the Mediterranean it would be time to turn back. It’s just not doable on a 7 night cruise. The convenience of cruising from the UK means you’ll have to spend more money on a longer duration cruise. The ideal duration for a Mediterranean cruise from the UK is around 14-17 nights. Flying to join your ship means you’ll enjoy a more port-intensive itinerary, without encountering several sea days beforehand. Of course if you love the idea of a relaxing few days at sea, you can still enjoy immersive itineraries from the UK.

Book with Ocean World Travel

With Ocean World Travel, you’re in safe hands. We’ve been cruise specialists for over 20 years and can find you the best deals and share personal advice, while delivering exceptional customer service. We’ll be there every step of the way, from answering any questions you may have, to wishing you a personal ‘bon voyage’ before you go, and checking how everything went when you return. You can relax, knowing your holiday is fully protected and your personal cruise expert just a phone call away to answer any of your concerns or questions.

Call 0800 368 9059 to discover the cruise life for yourself!