5 Tips for First Time Cruisers


You’ve decided to go on a cruise! Congratulations! Cruising is a fantastic way to quickly see many destinations without having to repeatedly pack and unpack.

infinity pool with viking

Photo courtesy of Viking

Learn about your ports of call.

It’s very important that you read up on where your ship will be stopping. If you plan to get off the boat to explore the city, it’s good to be knowledgeable. Knowing the currency exchange rate is important to know if a price is a rip off or a good deal. Some cruise lines I’ve sailed with have offered port talks and destination information from historians as well as local experts. These are valuable to attend. It’s also valuable to seek out information ahead of your cruise. Youtube, HolidayRunaway, Travel blogs and guide books are all good sources of information. The more you know ahead of time the better prepared you’ll be to explore a new city!

Pack Smart

Many times, I’ve seen friends cruise and bring too many pairs of shoes or jackets and pants they didn’t wear. One smart thing to pack is a small personal umbrella or a lightweight rain jacket or disposable poncho. From Alaskan Cruises, Caribbean, and Northern European cruises a surprise rain shower is always possible.



When you’re on a cruise food is everywhere! This is a double edge sword. From full course meals to all you can eat buffets Cruises keep you well fed. This will lead you to eat more than you normally would. On past cruises I have left the cruise having gained weight and also having lost weight. This is ultimately determined by what you eat and how much you move. Hit up the gym if you would normally. If you’re not a gym goer never fear not all hope is lost. Make sure you spend time swimming in the pool and walking around the ship. Doing these can still help you work off all the extra food. Also indulge a little. Let loose a little and enjoy yourself. Order a second or third entrée at dinner! If you just can’t choose what you want, get it all.

cruise deck

Research Your Ship

A few days or more before you embark on your ship take some time on the cruise lines website and explore your ship. Write down or memorize the key points of interest. When everyone else is getting settled on the ship you will be able to go and explore and master the layout of the new ship. This will give you a huge head start on everyone else. You will feel like a winner for not being lost on the ship and you’ll feel settled faster.

Drink Package

Do the math on the drink package and read all the fine print. On some cruise lines it’s a grand bargain and on others it’s a total rip off. Some cruise lines have limits on how many drinks you can get per day with your package. It also depends on if you’re all going to be drinking or just you. Cruises will require all members of a cabin to buy the drink package.


I Hope these tips will help you on your first cruise! Enjoy your sailing. Cruises are a great way to see multiple places in a convenient manner. Check out why you should sail the seas with Viking.