*Tips For Your First Cruise Holiday

Thursday, July 11, 2019
It's that time of the year when we're all thinking about the summer holidays we have planned or we're experiencing wanderlust (I'm the latter) so I thought that now would be the ideal time to write about my experience of cruise holidays and some of my general tips which I hope will be useful for individuals going on their first cruise or if you want to plan a cruise in the future.

I've been lucky enough to have been on seven cruises all around Europe, from Russia, Scandinavia and Estonia to the Mediterranean, Baltic and everywhere in-between. My experiences are based on European cruises with European and North American cruise companies as well as cruises involving flights and cruises from UK ports. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!

Booking & Planning
Firstly, planning and booking your cruise which can be a bit of a daunting experience, especially if it's your first cruise and the terms are a little confusing. My first tip would be to look at all of the major cruise companies to not only compare prices but to become more familiar with what cruise holidays can offer and to shop for deals.

Cruise holidays are personally some of the very best I've been lucky enough to experience, for so many reasons. For example, you are able to experience so many countries/locations within one holiday, it's a safe and convenient travel option and the excursions offered are always fantastic! In terms of the excursions, they are another aspect of a cruise holiday that you'll have to plan for and sometimes book in advance as certain excursions can sell out before the cruise even begins. Planning your cruise, transportation to the ship or airport and various excursions or packages, all needs to be taken into consideration.

Top Tips: Shop around for the best price (usually within school time), look for last minute deals and be sure to book packages and excursions beforehand to avoid disappointment.

Location, Location, Location
As with any holiday, the location is one of the most important aspects and thankfully with cruise holidays, you're able to visit many locations within one holiday. For example, a couple of years ago, we visited four locations within Norway and a few years ago we were able to visit five or so locations around the Mediterranean. Cruise destinations vary so much, therefore you're bound to find an itinerary that suit you, whether it's a polar regions, European, Caribbean or South American cruises to a North American, Middle Eastern or an Atlantic islands cruise.

Top Tip: Before deciding on the locations, make sure you look through the excursions as sometimes there will be excursions outside of the city or region you are visiting. For example, when I went on a Russian/Scandinavian cruise, one of the excursions for Saint Petersburg was to visit Moscow.

Excursions 
Excursions are some of the best parts of a cruise holiday, even though the ships are always incredible, so it's essential to fully look through the excursions available for each location. There are typically between three to ten excursion options to choose from which vary in terms of the time, location, activities and price. Some of the best excursions I've been on have to be the walking tours (as long as the weather is ok!) and they tend to be some of the cheapest as well. Even if you don't want to pay for an excursion, sometimes you might have to pay for transport into the city, depending on where your ship is located in the port so it's best to put aside a little extra money for additional fees. I would personally always choose to go on an excursion as you are covered if you arrive to the ship late - if you are on your own (rather than with a booked excursion), the ship could leave without you (I have actually seen this happen!).

Top Tips: Save extra money for the best excursions, book in advance and take extras with you on the excursion as well as spending money, a power bank and weather appropriate accessories/clothing. We were caught out in the rain in Finland but our walking tour excursion still went ahead so I'm glad we dressed for the weather and bought umbrellas.

My Favourites Cruises & Cruise Destinations 
There have been so many incredible destinations and cruise experiences over the past ten or so years but I think the best cruise holidays I've been on have to include: waking up to the beautiful Norwegian fjords as well as the sunrise over Mount Vesuvius and entering the magical city of Venice on the ship. Some of my must see locations have to be Venice (Italy), Flam and Olden (Norway), Rome (Italy), Saint Petersburg (Russia) and Ajaccio (Corsica).

I am lucky in that my parents began family cruise holidays for us when I was about 17 so I've been to a far amount of gorgeous European cities and I cannot recommend cruise holidays enough, especially if you are like me and you want to see as many sites as you can and to have the peace of mind of everything you need in one place - a beautiful, state of the art, luxury cruise ship.

Have you been on a cruise holiday? If not, would you in the future? 

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20 comments

  1. I've actually never been one of those people who's always wanted to go on a cruise but I must admit the past year or so I've been thinking I'd like to try it at some point!
    Chantelle x
    The Girl In The Tartan Scarf

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing these lovely tips

    Candice x

    natalyaamour.com

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  3. I have never been on a cruise, great tips. x

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  4. I'm dying to go on a cruise xx

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  5. I've never been on a cruise holiday and it wouldn't be my first choice but I would consider it xx

    Beautylymin

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  6. Great tips. I'd love to go on a cruise at some point in my life!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  7. Thanks for sharing these tips. I'll eventually go on a cruise but nit until I am older, I say.

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  8. I definitely see myself going on a cruise one day!

    Jasmine xx



    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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  9. I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to go on a cruise but my husband really wants to!

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  10. I hate the water so I've never really liked the idea of a cruise but these are great tips X

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  11. I’ve never been on a cruise, the idea of all those people on a ship just scares the life out of me. The best I’ve done is a Ferry to Rotterdam ha x

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  12. I'm such a planner, everything has to be planned down to the last detail!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  13. I'm 50/50 when it comes to going on a cruise! Part of me loves the idea of being on a boat with luxury, lots of things to do and seeing different parts of the world! The other knows I can't swim and I have watched Titanic too many times! Haha!

    Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived

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  14. Firstly, that top image is stunning! I’d love to be on a cruise ship right now as a mini break away is really needed. Thanks for sharing x

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  15. We were talking about cruises today at work, I would love to go on one!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  16. This is such a useful post with all of the tips.

    https://littlemissmelanie.com/

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  17. I've never been on a cruise but I'd love to go on one someday. these are great tips.

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  18. I've never been on a cruise before but I'd love to one day x

    Tiffany x www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

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  19. Thanks for sharing ! The thought if cruises scare me a little!x

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  20. I've never been on a cruise but I know lots of people love them!
    E x

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