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Cruise tips for beginners

Posted on March 3, 2016 by Kelly Johnstone
cruise holiday

First time on a cruise? Staysure takes a look at all you need to know to prevent you making a faux pas at sea.

It is clear why cruising is an attractive option for millions of holidaymakers each year. Boarding a cruise ship is relaxing, fun and you get to see a whole host of destinations in one trip without having to keep packing and unpacking. (look into Staysure’s cruise plus cover for all eventualities)

And if this is the first time you’ll be jumping on board a cruise ship, you may find these 10 top tips useful. Bon voyage!


What to take on a cruise trip can be baffling. The main thing to remember is that you need both day wear and evening wear. Some cruise liners will be more formal than others and there may be evenings that require black ties and cocktail dresses. You may also need clothing for activities such as golf, swimming or walking. What’s more, the weather isn’t always perfect, especially at sea, so be prepared for all eventualities. If in doubt, phone the cruise organisers before you set off for advice on what to bring.

Look at whether drinks are included

When booking your cruise it is a good idea to find out whether drinks are included, if they’re not this can lead to quite an increase in the cost of your holiday. On-board drinks vary in price depending on which cruise line you choose, so could add up to quite a bit.


Get a map of the ship

Looking at a ship from the outside, it is difficult to gauge the sheer size of the inside and what amenities and facilities are available. If you don’t get a map at the beginning of the voyage you could end up missing some of the best parts of the vessel, and some of the fun activities going on. In addition, it will ensure that you don’t get lost!

Keep the noise down

There are areas on cruise ships for socialising, and plenty of events going on. However, once you get back to your cabin, leave the noise upstairs. The cabin walls on cruise liners tend to be thin and so it is best to be considerate if you are watching TV or chatting, so you avoid disturbing your next door neighbours.



Taking care of valuables

Whilst you may want to take some jewellery with you on your cruise, like any other holiday, it is important to be sensible about looking after it. However, most cruise cabins have safes for you to keep your valuables in.

To tip, or not to tip

Tipping varies widely depending on what cruise line you book with. Some add a service charge to your on board account, which you pay at the end of your cruise. On the other hand, some leave it to your discretion. As a general rule of thumb, on US-owned ships tipping is typically expected.


Cruise in Santorini

Don’t get left behind

You may laugh, but passengers can get left behind while losing track of time exploring when the ship is docked in port. So always keep a note of when the ship is due to leave and give yourself plenty of time to return.

You may have to share

During evening meals you may have to share your table with strangers. But this can be a positive experience as many new friendships are made over the dinner table on cruise ship. If this doesn’t appeal to you, ask what the seating arrangements are in the restaurant beforehand.


Friends enjoying wine on a cruise

Pace yourself

Many cruises packages are all inclusive, meaning you can drink as much alcohol as you wish, although be wary of the perils of over-indulging! On a similar note, it can be tempting to spoil yourself at the all you can eat buffets, but if you’re on board for two weeks, this is not good news for your waistline – especially with multiple lobster tails, chocolate fondue and cooked breakfasts every morning! Thankfully there are often plenty of activities and facilities on board to help you in the battle of the bulge.

Take advantage of free room service

The majority of cruise lines offer free room service, so why not have a relaxing evening in one night? After all, it’s your holiday! Room service breakfast is also a great start to the day, especially if you have a balcony.