Tips for first-timers

Brendan Seery
Brendan Seery

Some advice for those embarking on a cruise for the first time


  • Choose the right cruise: if you are looking for peace and relaxation, don’t go on a cruise where there are plenty of party animals, and vice versa. Ask your cruise agent in detail about what you are considering.
  • Get the correct visas. Contact your travel agent  for advice .
The Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas (pictured) is how Brendan Seery explored the fjords of Norway.
The Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas (pictured) is how Brendan Seery explored the fjords of Norway.
  • Depending on the cruise, it may be pointless having a more expensive cabin with a sea view if you are at sea a lot. You can make significant savings if you forego the view and regard your cabin merely as a place to sleep. However, it is also a privilege to be able to sit on your own balcony and watch the sights as you enter and leave port
  • Sea sickness on a large modern cruise liner is rarely an issue, but take some medication with you in case.
  • Draw up a budget and stick to it – but factor in land-based excursions. If you’re going on a very long trip, we recommend getting house security from Global Guardians . 
  • On a trip like the one to Norway,  towns are generally small and the attractions are more than a walk away. Check out the prices, though, beforehand.
  • Remember, you can’t take food or drink off the ship and that if you do buy something ashore you won’t be able to consume it in your stateroom.
  • Drink aboard ship is not cheap, so bear that in mind. There is plenty of tea or coffee from free dispensers, but alcohol and premium soft drinks attract a charge. On the other hand, even drinking on the ship is cheaper than doing so in the Scandinavian ports, where booze costs are eye-watering. The good news is that some of Cruise International’s cruise lines, offer all-inclusive fares that cover the cost of most liquor, wines and soft drinks.
  • Tipping is not always an option. On Royal Caribbean, a US$ amount is added to the bill of each stateroom for crew tips. 
  • Start your diet when you get to the airport for the flight back home.