First-time Cruisers - Your Cruise Guide!

First-time Cruisers always have a lot of questions. Below we have a number of articles, and we have done our best to present them roughly in the sequence you need, however we realize that by the time many people get here they are not always "just beginning" - they have figured our a few things.

So, we will try to answer the most basic questions first - but we also have different articles to address more complicated "first-time" topics in detail.

You don't need to read everything in this section to get started, but there is a wide a variety of articles here on different topics, so please take your time and look at as many articles as you can. If you are looking for a quick answer - PLEASE register with our forum and ask a question ion the "first time cruisers" section.

Happy Cruising!

Basic Articles for First-time Cruises

First-time Cruise Advice for 2013

Cruising has changed! Updated First-time Cruiser advice for the modern world of cruises.

Travel Agents or Self-Service

Should you book your own cruise or use a qualified travel agent? The facts you need to make this decision.

Top Seven Cruise Tips

An invaluable list of suggestions on how to make your cruise the best it can possibly be

Best Cruise Cabin Location

by Pete Peterson What difference does the location of your stateroom make - on a moving ship more than you realize

How to Pack for ANY Cruise

Every week someone in our forums will ask "I am taking a cruise to [fill in the blank]. How should I pack?"

The Real Guide to Cruises Under $200

The cheapest cruises come on brand-name cruise lines - not small lines you've never heard about. Don't get ripped off

15 Unexpectedly Essential Items for Your Cruise

Our own experienced CruiseMates devise a list of essential items to bring on every cruise   Go>

Five Advantages of Cruise Vacations

Five aspects of cruise vacations that differentiate them from other vacations you probably did not know

The Before-You-Cruise Checklist

A week by week, pre-cruise planning guide to all the odds and ends needed for your seagoing vacation. Part 1

Before-You-Cruise Checklist: Part 2

Here's what to take care of during the days just before your schedule departure. Part 2.

What to Do if Your Passport Expires

You didn't check until the last minute - and your passport expired. How to get a new one fast and other options.

Cruise Secrets Revealed!

By Paul Motter Special Cruise Tips; what every cruiser needs to know to get the best out of their cruise choices

Picking Your First Cruise Ship

A guide to help first-time cruisers differentiate and select their first cruise line and ship.

Saving Money During the Cruise

The experienced CruiseMates cruisers tell us how to save money on shipboard charges during a cruise.

Overcoming the Motion of the Ocean

Should you avoid cruise travel due to fear of seasickness? How can those prone to the symptoms curb the effects?

Important Travel Lesson - Passports

Your cruise can be denied for the simplest of reasons, like forgetting which pocket you placed your passport.
07-19-12

Seven Ways to Save On a Cruise

Take advantage of these helpful suggestions in order to get a great deal on your next cruise.
07-17-12

Ten Cruise Secrets You Need to Know

By Paul Motter A 10-chapter guide book for beginners and experienced cruisers: 1. Selecting a cruise   2. Getting there   3. Your first ship   4. Timing your purchase to save 5. Finding discounts   6. Stateroom selection   7. Saving money on board 8. Save on shore tours   9. Sea Sickness and health at sea   10. travel agents. This guide exposes all of the tricks of the cruise trade so you can cruise like an expert.

Timely Feature Articles of interest to First-time Cruises

Anyone Read The Cruise Contract
by Kuki
Your acceptance of the contract is implied by your booking.
7-03-13

Theme Cruises: A Primer
by Judy Cuervo
A glimpse into the world of theme cruising, a concept that has exploded
7-02-13

How to Book Shore Excursions
by Pete Peterson
What are the key aspects to booking independent tours?
6-27-13

Hurricane Season Realities
by Kuki
Lowest prices of the year are often available during hurricane season.
06.19.13

Cruise Insurance Considerations
by Paul Motter
Feel confident during your boat drill by getting cruise insurance!
6-04-13

Oceania's Cuisine - Best at Sea?
by Paul Motter
Marina is the first ship purpose-built for epicureans.
6-03-13

Nickel & Diming on Cruise Ships
by Paul Motter
A history of cruise line strategies for getting more money from you onboard
5-19-13

Hawai'i Cruising by Norwegian
Sponsored by Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America: The "Only Way" to see the entire state of Hawai'i in just seven days
4-22-13

Travel Agents or Self-Service

Should you book your own cruise or use a qualified travel agent? It depends on the quality of your advice.
4-9-13

Cruiser's Culinary Cheat Sheet
by Janice Wald Henderson
Have you ever been stumped by a word on a cruise ship menu? Here is your cruiser's culinary cheat sheet.   Go>
3-25-13

Top Seven Cruise Tips

An invaluable list of suggestions on how to make your cruise the best it can possibly be
3-20-13

First-time Cruise Advice for 2013

Cruising has changed! Updated First-time Cruiser advice for the modern world of cruises.
1-25-13

Ten Cruise Secrets You Need to Know

By Paul Motter A 10-chapter guide book for beginners and experienced cruisers: 1. Selecting a cruise   2. Getting there   3. Your first ship   4. Timing your purchase to save 5. Finding discounts   6. Stateroom selection   7. Saving money on board 8. Save on shore tours   9. Sea Sickness and health at sea   10. travel agents. This guide exposes all of the tricks of the cruise trade so you can cruise like an expert.

Five Advantages of Cruise Vacations

Five aspects of cruise vacations that differentiate them from other vacations you probably did not know
09-24-12

Best Cruise Cabin Location

by Pete Peterson What difference does the location of your stateroom make - on a moving ship more than you realize
1-28-13

Picking Your First Cruise Ship

A guide to help first-time cruisers differentiate and select their first cruise line and ship.
08-10-12

Top 10 Tips for First-Time Cruisers

How to find the best cruise ship for your personal style and save money.
06-28-12

How to Pack for ANY Cruise

Every week someone in our forums will ask "I am taking a cruise to [fill in the blank]. How should I pack?"
04-24-12

The Real Guide to Cruises Under $200

The cheapest cruises come on brand-name cruise lines - not small lines you've never heard about. Don't get ripped off
08-03-12

15 Unexpectedly Essential Items for Your Cruise

Our own experienced CruiseMates devise a list of essential items to bring on every cruise   Go>
10-11-11

The Rise of E-Cruising

As predicted 13 years ago, every single cruise booking made today now has an Internet component
10-08-12

The Before-You-Cruise Checklist

A week by week, pre-cruise planning guide to all the odds and ends needed for your seagoing vacation. Part 1
Before-You-Cruise Checklist: Part 2

Here's what to take care of during the days just before your schedule departure. Part 2.
The Truth About Single Cruising

You can find romance on the high seas as long as your looking in all the right places.
08-24-12

What to Do if Your Passport Expires

You didn't check until the last minute - and your passport expired. How to get a new one fast and other options.
12-21-12

Important Travel Lesson - Passports

Your cruise can be denied for the simplest of reasons, like forgetting which pocket you placed your passport.
07-19-12

Seven Ways to Save On a Cruise

Take advantage of these helpful suggestions in order to get a great deal on your next cruise.
07-17-12

Best Cruise Ships

The best ships for solo cruising, romance, travel, relaxation, entertainment, food, pampering, bargains and families.
07-03-12

Kuki Blog Update! First Trip To Europe - Do It On A Cruise

One will find a cruise vacation through Europe to be considerably less expensive than a land vacation. Go> 08-02-12


Cruise Secrets Revealed!

By Paul Motter Special Cruise Tips; what every cruiser needs to know to get the best out of their cruise choices
03-21-12

Picking Your First Cruise Ship

A guide to help first-time cruisers differentiate and select their first cruise line and ship.
03-13-12

Saving Money During the Cruise

The experienced CruiseMates cruisers tell us how to save money on shipboard charges during a cruise.
03-06-12

Overcoming the Motion of the Ocean

Should you avoid cruise travel due to fear of seasickness? How can those prone to the symptoms curb the effects?
01-06-12

The Dreaded Cruise Ship Virus

Although not unique to cruises, the Norovirus is often associated with ships but is still avoidable onboard.
12-29-11

Tipping Guidelines for Cruisers

While some cruise lines are all-inclusive, most others expect passengers to reward gratuities according to proper cruise etiquette.
12-22-11

First-time Cruise Advice for 2011
Cruising has changed! Updated advice for the modern world of cruises for today's first-time cruiser.
8-30-11

Cruise Reservations - Basic Requirements
Two budding cruise writers have sent us their recommendations for cruisers; Tips for first-time cruisers, and how to stay fit on a cruise ship.   Go>
1-12-09
 
Cabin Categories: Which are Most Popular and Why
Cruisemates readers have different reasons for selecting one type of stateroom over another, and it isn't always related solely to price.   Go>
8-27-08
 
A Refresher Course for First Time Cruisers
CruiseMates' Cruise Director Kuki revisits his advice on what to expect and how to prepare if you've never sailed before.   Go>
8-25-08
 
Berlitz Guide for 2013 Arrives
Doug Ward's Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships is considered the cruise industry bible
09-20-12

SCUBA Cruising Guide
by Mike Keleher How to use regular cruise ships for exciting and exotic dive vacations - a special reader-submitted article for certified SCUBA enthusiasts.
09-10-12

Cruise Reservations - Basic Requirements
For beginning cruisers, here's a primer on the essentials: passports, transfers, cruise tickets and what's included in a cruise reservation.   Go>
1-12-09
 
3-Day Cruises
3-day cruises offer quick relief for people who need to get away. Need a vacation now? Try a 3-day Cruise.   Go>
1-12-09
 
Your Cruise Has Been Refused!
People with cruise tickets are sometimes denied boarding at the last moment, losing not only their vacation time, but their cruise fare as well.   Go>
6-27-08
 
Passport Rules Getting More Complicated
Carribean cruise passengers will still be able to get by without a passport, but we don't recommend it. 5-12-08
1st-time Tips: Cruiser to Cruiser
A Cruisemates reader, Maree Conway, offers an original article on HER first-time cruise tips, from one Internet cruise enthusiast to another. 1-26-07
Tips For a First-Time Cruiser
Professional cruise journalist, Jon Siskin, offers suggestions on how to arrange your first cruise, from pre-planning to saving money on board. 1-24-07
Finding the Right Travel Agent
Factors to consider include price quotes, service levels, cruise expertise and should you book directly with cruise line? 8-10-06
Your First Cruise: What To Expect
Cruise Director Kuki clears up some of the mystery about ships and cruise protocol. May 3, 2004

  • Message Boards: First-time Cruising

  • Feature Articles:

    INTRODUCTION

  • Your First Cruise: What To Expect
  • Cruising Myths & Misperceptions
  • Is Cruising For Me? FIRST-TIME CRUISERS Q & A:
  • Taking better Pictures
  • Probing Luggage Problems BOOKING YOUR FIRST CRUISE
  • Understanding Cruise Costs
  • Finding the Best Price
  • Finding the Best Travel Agent
  • When Should I Book?
  • Cabins - How Do I Pick One?
  • What is a "Guaranteed Cabin"?
  • Picking an Itinerary CRUISE TIPS
  • Tourist or Traveler?
  • Powering your Plug-ins
  • Gamble like a Pro
  • Packing - Make it Easy
  • Pre- and Post-Cruise Stays
  • Tuxedos? Necessary?
  • Which Dining Time Is Best?
  • Recommended Articles