My Cruise Experiences + Tips

Saturday, January 06, 2018
One of many cruise photos from our cruises around the Mediterranean in 2011-2013
I have been lucky enough to go on numerous cruises all around Europe with my family via a couple of different cruise lines. We've visited Italy, Sweden, Russia, Spain, France, Portugal and many more wonderful countries over the years. I have published a few posts about cruising on my blog with my most recent being my incredible cruise to Norway last summer which was amazing!

In all honesty, I was quite reluctant to go on a cruise initially as it is something so different to anything I had experienced before but we haven't looked back and since then we have convinced family and friends to go on cruises too, which they have all loved as well. Today's post is a short snapshot into my cruise experiences, advice and tips for those who haven't experienced the wonder of cruises before.

Shop Around For The Best Deal
There are so many holiday and cruise operators out there as well as numerous cruise lines so it can be a little confusing when it comes to deciding who to go with, especially for your first cruise. Cruise Nation is the UK's number one cruise holiday retailer so they are a great place to start with cruises all over the world, particularly the Mediterranean which is an area of Europe that we have visited the most while cruising and it's spectacular!

State Rooms & Destinations 
If you haven't been on a cruise before then I definitely recommend choosing a state room that has a balcony rather than the rooms with a window, porthole or an inside cabin as they can be, for me, a little disorientating. Also one of the best parts of cruising in my opinion is waking up to the sea or a beautiful port every morning from the comfort of our own little private balcony.

Another aspect is your destination which is one the most important decisions, although we have met individuals on numerous cruises who never actually leave the ship! A few years ago we visited Scandinavia and Russia which was one of the best cruises we have ever been on but I would also recommend mediterranean cruises as they typically offer so many destinations in one cruise.

Cruising is unlike so many other holiday options, not only because you are on a ship for most of the time but because you get the opportunity to visit, two, three, six or more cities in one holiday depending on the length of your cruise. If you are looking for a holiday where you can relax, shop on on a ship and explore numerous countries in one holiday with almost everything being included within your price then look no further than a cruise! MSc Cruises offers such a wide range of cruise options particularly around the stunning Mediterranean at reasonable prices!
View from Portofino - 2012 
Formal Nights, Activities & Shopping
There are a few aspects of cruises that might be unexpected to those who have never been on one before such as the plethora of activities onboard, the shops on the ship and the range of restaurants, bars, cafes, theatres and even pubs on cruise ships! Some even have an ice rink, rock climbing wall, parks and more.

You will be so surprised by the number of shops onboard the ship and it truely is like a miniature city on the sea that you will only fully understand and be in awe of if you have been on a cruise! Shopping is easy on the ship as everything from your bar bill to your beauty purchases are added to your room card so there is no need to use money on the ship, only in port.

Formal nights are the only aspect of cruising that I am personally not overjoyed by as I don't like dressing up but it does make for some wonderful...or awkward holiday photos while on your cruise. Usually there are two formal nights which is black tie for men and sparkly, formal cocktail or ballgown dresses for women; however there are other options onboard if you don't want to take part - it isn't as strict as it may seem initially.

Excursions
As incredible as cruise ships are, it's wonderful waking up to a new city almost every morning! With a new city comes a lot of sight seeing and exploring which on the whole you can do on your own but I cannot recommend the cruise line excursions enough as not only does it mean that if you are late back to the ship that the ship will wait for you (we have been on numerous cruises were people have been late and they have been left behind!) but you get a guided tour of the city or cities you are visiting that day. Excursions can range from walking tours which are my favourite kind of excursion to kayaking, hiking, boat rides, coach trips and so many more options! They can be very pricy...but they are so worth it!

Vegetarian & Vegan Options At Sea
Lastly, as I am a vegetarian, I did want to mention my experience with the vegetarian and vegan options on the cruises I have been on as it was something I was quite concerned about on the first couple of cruises. The advice I would give you if you have any dietary requirements is ask for the specific vegetarian or vegan menu on your first day and as soon as you can. I didn't know that there was a vegetarian menu on the first couple of cruises as it wasn't mentioned but I've received it ever since, it's almost like a secret menu that not everyone receives and now the choice is much more varied and I know the meals I eat with definitely be suitable for my dietary choices.

These are just a few points about cruising and my experience of cruising (with P&O and Royal Caribbean) as well as a couple of tips but I could write so many more posts about my experience of various cities, specific cruise lines and onboard experiences; however I hope you enjoyed the little snapshot into the joys of cruising and if you have any questions just leave them in the comments or email me! I have numerous cruise posts on my blog already if you want to check them out!

Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you consider a cruise in the future? Do you have any questions about cruises? 

*This is a sponsored post 

21 comments

  1. I've been considering doing the Fjords cruise, it looks so incredibly beautiful!

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  2. I must admit a cruise is something I’ve never really been interested in but I’m totally swayed now from your post! It actually sounds fab!
    Chantelle x
    www.thegirlinthetartanscarf.com

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  3. I would love to go on a cruise, they always look so beautiful and luxurious!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  4. I’ve never been on a cruise ever but I am always envious of friends who do them and visit so many amazing places x

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  5. I'd love to go on a cruise. The scenery looks so beautiful and I love the idea of visiting so many different places.

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  6. I went on a cruise when I was younger, and it was quite a strange one - I loved some aspects but didn't like a lit. Not something I would do until I am older! x

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  7. It's one thing I have never done before, I would love to try it out!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  8. I’ve never been on a cruise but it sounds so fun x

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  9. Very useful post! I went on a cruise 25 years ago and am looking to do a family cruise next!

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  10. I love cruise holidays! I really want to take my other half on one as he’s never been on one!

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  11. I've never been on a cruise before but I've seen Titanic too many times because I'd be scared it would sink! HAHA x

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  12. I have never been on a cruise but I would definitely consider one in the future! x

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  13. I've never been on a cruise before, but they sound really great!xo

    Char | www.charslittleblog.co.uk

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  14. A cruise sounds lovely! I would love to do one.

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  15. You're pictures are gorgeous! Definitely looks like you had an amazing time xx

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  16. Ah this has got me so excited! I’m going on my first ever cruise this summer to France, Norway and Germany and I’m really nervous but looking forward to it. Will make sure I book a couple of the excursions! x

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  17. This is such a lovely and helpful post! I've never been on a cruise but I think I'd love to go on one, one day! I think it's awesome that you get to see so many places during your cruise xx
    www.imjustagirl16.co.uk

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  18. I've been on one cruise and was so, so excited about it. We did lots of research and the company we went with seemed very accommodating and understanding in terms of my medical conditions and allergies. We spent a long time talking to them about this before we went. Unfortunately, a lot of this hadn't been passed on to the ship staff and the information that was had been ignored. The first night was particularly bad, so much so that if we hadn't been in the middle of the ocean, I'd have gone home. I didn't feel safe at all.

    Reading your post has restored a little faith about the cruising experience. We'll never cruise with the same company again, but we'd consider travelling with another company in the future. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

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  19. I'd love to do a carribean cruise at some point so these will come in handy

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  20. I've never been on a cruise but it does sound lovely x

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