First cruise holiday

Your first cruise holiday

Everything you want to know about your first cruise holiday

Are you considering your very first cruise holiday? Rightfully so, as a cruise makes for the ultimate holiday feeling. But what is a cruise holiday really like and what should you expect? We will tell you all you need to know about your first cruise holiday!

Your first cruise: how does it work?

A cruise ship offers all the facilities of a luxury holiday resort, except at sea. On board, you will find your cabin as well as countless facilities including restaurants, bars en entertainment. Some cruise ships even have go-kart tracks, ziplines or a complete water park! Day in, day out, you will find entertainment for all ages, even when spending a day at sea. On a cruise holiday, you get to explore various destinations in the region of your choice. You will usually travel to your next destination at night, allowing you enough time during the day to spend ashore and get the most out of your holiday.

Costa Cruises

What activities does a cruise ship have to offer?

There is never a dull moment aboard a cruise ship. As mentioned above, cruise ships come packed with a near infinite dose of luxury, entertainment and relaxation. Will you be unwinding at the spa, testing your luck at the casino or splashing around the swimming pool with water slides today? The choice is all yours! Most ships are also equipped with a theatre where exciting shows are sure to make your heart skip a beat. Furthermore, a cruise ship has various bars and (speciality) restaurants serving dishes from all over the world with something to enjoy even for the pickiest of eaters.

What cruise is right for me?

As with hotels, every cruise ship is a little different. Each cruise company has its own fleet with its own character. Ships by Costa Cruises, for instance, boast a relaxed atmosphere and amazing food options, while ships by MSC Cruises feature a wide range of activities and entertainment - perfect for a cruise with children. Or experience a more traditional cruise aboard the Cunard fleet. To find out what cruise line suits you the best, take a look at our overview of cruise lines.

Where do I sleep on a cruise ship?

Your accommodation during your cruise holiday is also known as a cabin. When booking your cruise, you can choose between various cabins. The most affordable option is an interior cabin, which is situated on the corridor and does not offer a sea view. You will not have to compromise on comfort, however, because interior cabins tend to have the same facilities as all other cabins, such as an en-suite bathroom, plenty of storage space and sometimes even a small seating area. If you want to wake up to a beautiful view every morning, go for an exterior cabin or a balcony cabin. All cabins on a cruise ship are comfortable and boast a luxury interior, but the suites really do stand out. A suite on a cruise ship often comes with a bedroom, en-suite bathroom, living room and a spacious balcony.

Costa Cruises - Aperol Spritz Bar

Is a cruise holiday all inclusive?

You can leave your wallet in your pocket for most of your cruise holiday. Almost all cruises come with all on-board meals and snacks included. For even more convenience, you can book an optional beverage package. Did you know you can save by booking your beverage package in advance? In addition, almost all facilities on board are free of charge, including live shows, swimming pools and sports facilities. Still, most cruises are not fully all inclusive and several things are not included in the price, such as tips. Tipping the service staff on a cruise ship is mandatory at most cruise lines and a fixed tipping amount of around 10 to 20 dollars a day can be charged.

Check out the overview of tipping requirements

How do you pay aboard a cruise ship?

As you can see, lots of things are included in your cruise holiday package. Still, you may want something extra on site that is not included in the price. Such as a massage at the spa, an interesting excursion ashore or tax-free shopping on board. All your expenses are settled on your cruise pass. You get one cruise pass for each cabin, which is linked to your credit card and registers all transactions on board. The night before disembarking, you will receive your total bill for verification. If you do not agree with the invoice, you can file your objection before disembarking.

What to bring on a cruise holiday?

Packing your suitcase for a holiday is always a challenge; what should you bring? Most cruise companies have a certain dress code on board. It is good to know what type of cruise you are booking and what dress code applies. Luxury cruises often have a more formal dress code, although more and more companies are opting for an informal dress code or none at all. However, this does not mean you can simply chuck some old sneakers and trousers with holes into your suitcase. Even though the dress code on the ship may be informal and you can wear almost anything during the day, there are still some rules for you to take into account. Especially during supper, dress clothes are required and wearing swimming attire or flipflops at the restaurant is not permitted. Some cruise ships also organise gala nights on a regular basis where the men wear a suit or smoking and the women come in a cocktail dress or gown.

What to take care of before a cruise holiday?

From passports to travel documents and excursions ashore, there are several things you need to take care of before departing on your cruise holiday. Take a look at our Top 10 tips for your first cruise holiday for the best insider tips and be even better prepared for your journey. Find information on other frequently asked questions in our FAQ.

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