It can be daunting to head off on a cruise for the first time. You aren’t quite sure what to expect or whether you will like it. That’s without taking into account the vast amount of choices on offer. To give you a steer in the right direction, we’ve put together a list of the best cruises for beginners. Whether you’re a solo traveler or setting sail with your family in tow, looking for tranquility or non-stop activities, we’ve got you covered.
Marella was previously known as Thompson, a big name in the travel industry. The company has taken all of its travel knowledge and injected it into its cruises. If you’re worried about cost, you’ll know what you’re getting as everything is covered in one package. You can enjoy fabulous food, drink and entertainment without getting your wallet out once. There are six ships in the fleet which can take you around the Mediterranean or the Caribbean. Opt for one of the newer ships if you want more amenities. Whichever you choose, though, you’ll be in safe hands.
Fred Olsen Cruises
As a family-run cruise line, Fred Olsen know how to create a cosy and friendly atmosphere on board. The line up is pretty traditional and comforting. Expect set meal times, formal dinners and cocktail parties. You won’t be restricted on locations, as the cruise line has ships that sail across the globe. Whether you want to go to the South Pacific, the Americas or on an around-the-world adventure, Fred Olsen can take you there while you take a dunk in the pool or play cards with your newfound friends.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
As one of the largest cruise lines in the U.S.A., Royal Caribbean knows how to make families feel at home. The ships have programs and activities designed for all age ranges. For your littlest first-time cruisers, Royal Babies and Royal Tots will keep them out of trouble while you relax. Meanwhile, the Adventure Ocean youth program will distract the older ones from their phones and make learning fun. When you’re all together, you’ll have plenty at your disposal. Think virtual reality adventures, ice skating and laser tag. That's to go with all the pools, slides and splish-splashing you’d expect on a cruise. The only problem will be that you won’t want to leave.
If you’re worried about not having enough space or all the perks you usually treat yourself too on a vacation then look no further than Seabourn. This may not be your cheapest option, but you’ll be sure to sail the seas surrounded by luxury. The vast majority of the suites have private verandas so you’ll have peace, quiet and a fantastic view whenever you desire. The setting is intimate and understated, yet the ships have the highest space per guest of any cruise liner. Soak your worries away at the luxury indoor and outdoor spas, sample tasting menus and pitch up for a round of golf. With endless destinations to choose from, impeccable service and luxury throughout, if your first cruise is with Seabourn, you’ll never look back.
Viking River Cruises
Heading off on your first cruise doesn’t mean you have to be at the mercy of the ocean waves. While most seas will be calm, especially on a large vessel, you’ll find even more tranquility cruising down a river. Viking River cruise ships are like floating hotels, much more intimate than the large cruise liners with an entertainment overload. You’ll spend your days visiting different towns and cities and will often dock up for the night right in the middle of the action. You’ll spend much more time exploring local areas than you would on a seafaring cruise, meaning that you can ease yourself into life on deck a little more gently.