Dos and Don’ts for Your First Cruise Holiday


At last after all the waiting, the day of your first cruise has arrived. Amid all that excitement to get on board you are starting to feel anxious because you don’t know the protocol. What are the best things to do, or what do you have to do on your first day on ship?

So as a help, here’s a handy guide of dos and don’ts to help you get stuck into your holiday…

Dos for Your First Cruise

  • Tour the ship: if you have never been on a cruise ship before, when you first walk on board you could become overwhelmed by the sheer size of it, not to mention the maze of decks and corridors. So to get your bearings, and avoid getting lost on your way back to your cabin on the first night, have a walk round. Start at the top and work your way down; this way you won’t get lost or miss anything out. But remember to take the little map with you that you get on embarkation, and remember your cabin number!
  • Visit your cabin, freshen up and say ‘Hello’ to your cabin attendant. It’s nice to build a relationship as you may need him/her to do something for you later in the cruise.
  • Take photos, especially whilst the ship is fairly empty on the first day otherwise you may not get the same clear picture during the cruise.
  • If you haven’t got an All Inclusive package and you want one (or you need that important ‘Soda Package’ for the kids) then make sure you do this on the first day as they may not be available later in the cruise. There are some fantastic value packages that will save you a small fortune on most cruises, so make time to check them out.
  • If you want to have that special meal in one of the speciality venues, or have a spa treatment you book early to avoid disappointment, as they tend to get booked up.
  • Go to the muster drill.
  • Finally, head outside for the sailaway. It will really get you in the mood and set you off on an exciting foot for your cruise ahead.

Donts for Your First Cruise

  • Panic: there are plenty of helpful staff to point you in the right direction if you get lost!
  • Head straight to the buffet: it may be some time since you had breakfast but everyone tends to head here first and it can be busy and hard to find a table! In most cases other venues are open for lunch so maybe explore these instead.
  • Take the lift if you don’t have to! From personal experience the lifts will be packed and may take ages to come, although the lifts at the front or the back may be quieter. So use the stairs if you can and of course that also helps in getting your bearings on ship.
  • Presume your cabin will be immaculate and in full working order. It should be, and in the majority of cases it is but on a small number of occasion things can be missed by the cabin steward. So just search him out and he will resolve for you very quickly.
  • Skip the muster drill. This is so important for everyone, even if you have done 100 cruises before! If you are off exploring you may be tempted to give it a miss, but this is a vital part of the cruise and you MUST attend!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a good starting place for those of you who haven’t yet experienced a cruise.

Most importantly, this is your holiday and a time to relax and wind down so remember that your holiday starts from the moment that you embark ship!

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Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Daniel Dudek-Corrigan


About Author

Stuart brings significant travel industry experience to the Cruise 1st blog. Specialising in first-time cruise advice and cruise industry trends, Stuart runs his own cruise blog alongside working for Cruise 1st.

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