If you’ve never cruised before, finding your ideal itinerary is easier said than done. The amount of choice in luxury cruising is almost as vast as our oceans themselves. From the size of your ship, to the length of time on land and the quality of cuisines, each line offers something unique. So, to help you navigate these uncharted waters, our sea-savvy travel experts have highlighted some key considerations to make before you set sail for fulfilment over the horizon.
Size does matter
It may be a cliché but that doesn’t make it any less true. Our selected luxury lines have ships in a range of shapes and sizes, and how little or large you go has a big impact on your experience. With a total carrying capacity of just 170 guests, smaller sailing ships like the Star Clipper offer a more intimate and romantic feel to your voyage. But although its cosier size and tightknit community vibe are a big plus for many, people looking for onboard variety may want to consider something bigger. At the opposite end of the scale, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship, able to accommodate over 6000 passengers at a time and often described as a city on the sea. But if that sounds too large or impersonal, then there’s a wealth of happy medium sized vessels, such as the Seabourn Quest, that should float comfortably inside your goldilocks zone.
More of a destination or more destinations?
From first timers, to fanatic frequenters of the seven seas, our reasons for enjoying a cruise always differ from one person to the next. However, broadly speaking, we’ve found that there are two main types of traveller. There are those of us who want to see as much of the world as possible, coupling an appreciation for how much there is out there to explore with just how precious little time we have by comparison to explore it. Most cruise lines account for this and have done their best to develop destination driven itineraries to accommodate, but pay close attention to arrival and departure times in ports because some ships are seen as a destination in and of themselves. If you’re looking to really familiarise yourself with a few places in particular, then Azamara are renowned for their destination immersion, often featuring late night stays and overnights, spending more time in port than any other line.
Solo, couple or clan?
The wide array of choice in luxury cruising means that every kind of traveller is catered to. If you’re looking to cruise as a family with youngsters, then larger ships tend to harbour the child-friendly atmosphere that you’d hope for. Royal Caribbean’s fleet have a wide array of facilities for kids, from waterslides, zip lines and surf simulators, to miniature golf courses, arcades and entertainment. For couples seeking a quieter cruise, there are a number of adult-only cruises on the market, but most small and medium sized ships tend to receive coupled or solo guests almost exclusively. Not surprisingly, cruising is the most popular way to holiday by yourself. It’s a fantastic way to meet new people and see the world. It may sound daunting at first, but you’re almost guaranteed to find other people who share an independent appetite for fun and adventure on any given cruise.
What really floats your boat?
All puns aside, what you enjoy most really matters. Fortunately, you needn’t spend hours researching which ships suit your interests – that’s where our expertise comes into play. All you need to do is tell us what you really want from your cruise and we’ll find the most perfect line for you. Foodies will adore Celebrity Cruises, as they dedicate a huge portion of deck space to an abundance of onboard restaurants, while Oceania benefit from acclaimed TV chef Jacques Pepin’s watchful eye over their culinary arrangements. Fans of theatre and stage shows will be enthralled by Norwegian and Royal Caribbean’s evening entertainments, while water sports lovers have their pick of aquatic toys with which to enjoy the open sea.
Finally… where do you want to go?
From Alaska to Antarctica, east to west, the old world and the new, our cruises span across every continent around the globe. Between them, our luxury lines visit hundreds of ports in almost every country you could imagine, meaning that the only difficulty that you’ll encounter while selecting your first cruise is narrowing down where on Earth you’d like to see and be. Whether it’s the mystique and magic of Southeast Asia, the fine wine and ancient wonders of the Mediterranean, Australasia’s incredible landscape or the larger than life cities of North America calling out to you from across the sea, there’s a luxury cruise itinerary out there with your name on it.
If you’d like more information to aid you in finding your ideal first cruise, feel free to dip your toes and test the waters with a call or email. Our passionate cruise experts are only too eager help you discover the captivating culture of cruising that keeps them, and thousands of others, coming back for more.