Best First Time Cruise Lines for Newbies

You want to have the best possible time on your first cruise. However, some cruise lines do a better job of welcoming newbies than others.

As a result, you want to be very careful when choosing a cruise line for your first cruise. Generally, it’s best to stick with one of the reputable and popular brands.

So, which cruise line is best for a first-time cruiser? Let’s look and see!

How Many Days Should Your First Cruise Be?

For your first cruise, it’s typically best to keep it short. By short, we mean three or four days. These are long enough to get a taste for cruising but short enough that if you hate it, it’s tolerable.

We know some cruisers who chose a week-long cruise for their very first sea adventure. Unfortunately, they didn’t enjoy the experience. Not only did they not enjoy it, but they also spent a lot of money on the cruise.

Keeping your first cruise short allows you to save money and test the waters. If you enjoy it, you can book a longer adventure later.

However, remember that the weather, sea conditions, and the quality of the ship can significantly impact your trip. Don’t let one bad experience cause you to dismiss sailing forever.

People walking up to two large cruise ships docked at port.

Where Is the Best Place to Go on a Cruise for the First Time?

The Bahamas is the best place to cruise for the first time. Many of the ports that travel here depart from Florida. Unless severe weather impacts the area, the waters are generally fairly calm. While the ship may move some, you won’t have to worry nearly as much about motion sickness.

Additionally, the Bahamas are relatively close to these ports. The ship will likely go slowly, reducing motion and movement on the boat. However, bringing motion sickness medicine just in case is a good idea.

Best First-Time Cruise Lines for Newbies

The best first-time cruise lines for newbies are generally the big names in the industry. These have a track record for providing a premium guest experience. Let’s dive in!

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is one of the largest brands in the cruising industry. They currently operate 26 ships, which are also some of the largest. They have destinations and itineraries worldwide, including the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Asia, and Australia.

The company has been operating since the 1960s. They’ve experienced incredible growth over the last 60 years. They offer a variety of staterooms to help cater to various demographics.

You’ll find everything from couples on their honeymoons, families on vacation, and those enjoying retirement.

No matter your demographic, they’re a phenomenal option for your first cruise. Find an itinerary that works for you, and get excited. They want to help you make the ocean your home.

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Disney Cruise Lines

Aireal view of a Disney cruise ship with people on the main deck. This is one of the best first time cruise lines to take.

Disney Cruise Lines is another popular option for the best first-time cruise experience. They currently have five ships, but a sixth will set sail soon. As you might expect, this cruise line caters to various demographics, but families are its bread and butter.

They have everything from two-night cruises to 14-night epic adventures. They depart from New Zealand, Australia, Florida, Texas, Hawai’i, and more. You can hit the open seas with Mickey and the rest of his gang.

If you’ve experienced anything Disney, you know everything they do is over the top. Their cruise line is no different. This is a luxury experience, no matter what type of stateroom you book. They’ll wine, dine, and treat you like royalty during your vacation.

It’s important to note that these experiences aren’t typically the cheapest. They’ve earned a reputation for being one of the more expensive options. While there are times when they’ll offer incentives, it’s typically during the shoulder seasons when kids are in school.

Carnival Cruise Lines

A Carnival Cruise ship in the Bahamas with people in the water around in. This is one of the best first time cruise lines to take.

Carnival Cruise Lines is another big player in the game. They have 24 ships in service and offer voyages ranging from two to 31 days. While their Caribbean cruises are their most popular, they also offer sailings to Mexico, Alaska, the Bahamas, Europe, and Hawaii.

As they’ve been operating since 1972, they’re well-established in the industry. Their ships come with many of the state-of-the-art features passengers look to enjoy.

The franchise has a more party vibe than Disney Cruise Lines or Royal Caribbean. However, they’ve done a great job in recent years to cater to various demographics. You’ll find a little bit of every age on their ships.

Tips for the Best First-Time Cruise

As we said, we want your first time on a cruise ship to be the best experience possible. Here are a handful of tips you can use to help ensure it is everything you want for vacation.

Pack Wisely

While packing is essential no matter where you go on vacation, it’s seriously important on a cruise. Once you board the ship, you won’t be able to make a quick run to Walmart to grab any items you forgot at home. Most ships have a small convenience store onboard, but you’ll pay a serious premium for most items.

Don’t wait until the last minute to pack your bags. This will only increase the chances that you’ll forget something. Instead, in the weeks leading up to your trip, list everything you want or need to bring with you.

Only check off the items once they enter your suitcase or travel bag. It’s also wise to include any important reminders on your checklist.

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Here’s What to Pack for a Cruise to the Bahamas.

Arrive Early

One mistake you don’t want to make is to be late when it’s time to board the ship. Unfortunately, cruise ships will leave without you, including at other ports.

You should always plan to arrive early at the port and build in time for emergencies. You don’t want unforeseen events like flat tires or traffic congestion to cause you to miss the boat.

Additionally, if you’re flying to the port, plan to arrive the day before and get a hotel. The only thing predictable about flight schedules is that they’re unpredictable. A delayed or canceled flight could throw a wrench in your plans and cause you to miss your first cruise.

Cruise ships lined up at a port with a large city in the background.

Participate in Activities

Once onboard the ship, make sure you participate in the activities. This is a great way to meet your fellow cruisers. You’ll meet people from all over the country on these adventures, and hearing their stories can be a fun time. You never know; you may meet your new BFF.

Many of the cruise lines have activity departments that organize a tremendous number of activities. Seriously, there’s practically always something going on.

There’s no reason to be bored on a ship. Activities like trivia, sports competitions, and Broadway-caliber performances are just a few of the events. If you don’t like it, you can leave and give something else a try.

Prepare for Motion Sickness

If you suffer from motion sickness, cruising can be a problem. However, it’s best to plan for the worst than to get caught by surprise.

You’ll often see passengers wearing special patches or bracelets. These can be very helpful in reducing the feelings of nausea. You certainly don’t want to spend the entire time feeling ill.

MQ Motion Sickness Patch,20 Count,Non Drowsy Sea Sickness Patches Behind Ear for Cruise Ship Travel, Waterproof Car Sick Patches Fast Acting & Long Last 72H
  • SAFE AND EFFECTIVE – 100% Natural Herb, without side effects and causing drowsiness
  • SIMPLE TO USE – The motion patch can be used behind the ear or on the navel
  • FAST ACTING – Attach MQ motion sick patches 10 minutes behind ear before the travel, last about 1-3 days

Don’t Over Do It

Some of the best advice we can offer is to avoid overdoing it. Just because something is going on doesn’t mean you must attend or be a part of it.

Remember, you’re on vacation and need to relax, too. Make sure you build in time to rest and recharge your body. You don’t want to return and feel like you need another vacation.

Additionally, you don’t want to overdo it with alcohol. Many cruise lines offer alcohol packages that allow for seemingly unlimited alcohol while on board the ship. If you’re not careful, you may say or do some things that you regret. 

Have the Best First Time Cruise Experience

We hope you have the best first-time cruise experience. Take time to soak it all in and enjoy every minute of it. Take notes and record what you wished you brought with you or that you had done differently.

These tidbits can be helpful when you book your next cruise. It’s easy to fall in love with cruising. Before you know it, you’ll practically be a professional.

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Last update on 2024-05-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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