Taking a cruise has become a hugely popular way to enjoy a holiday away from home, but because it is so different to the norm, it can feel daunting for those who have never tried one before. Don’t worry though, as once you step onboard you’ll immediately start to feel more comfortable and you’ll quickly make yourself at home – even more so if you read through our guide on what to expect from your first-ever cruise holiday.

Your Cabin

If you’re used to standard hotel rooms, you might be surprised to find that your cabin onboard your cruise ship is probably going to be a little smaller than where you’ve stayed before. Unless you pay extra and upgrade to a superior room or even a suite, you’ll need to be aware of how much space you have. But it doesn’t really matter, as most of the fun is to be had in other areas of the ship and you won’t be spending much time in your room. Take a look at some packing tips, so that you don’t bring too much with you.

The Food

There is a huge amount of food available on a cruise. In most cases, this will be in an all-you-can-eat buffet style, as part of an all inclusive package. If you wanted to, you could eat at these buffet restaurants for every meal and never have to pay extra for anything, but if you want to try something different, look to the other restaurants onboard. This cuisine might range from sushi to steak and everything in between but you might need to pay extra for it.


Depending on the kind of cruise you are booking, there will be plenty port excursions to try. Most of the time you will be left to your own devices and can do whatever you want to, as long as you are back onboard by a certain time (make sure you set your watch by the time on the ship, as this is what the crew will go by). There might also be pre-arranged tours, so if you are interested in a particular aspect of a city, for example, you should book as early as possible to avoid missing out.

Dress Code

There is a dress code to adhere to on a cruise, but it’s not all dinner jackets and ballgowns, so don’t worry if that’s not what you feel comfortable in. The usual dress code is smart casual for men and a smart dress, skirt, or pair of trousers and a top for women. This is just for dinner though, so wear what you want to for the rest of the time you’re onboard.

If you’re about to embark on your first-ever cruise holiday, you’re in for a treat. And just a little bit of planning on what you’d like to do while onboard will ensure that you get the most of your dream getaway.


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