How to Choose a Cruise for the First Time

If you've never been on a cruise before, it's easy to feel somewhat lost in the process. With so many cruise lines, ships, itineraries, cabin options, destinations, and prices to consider, making the right decision can feel like a daunting task. All first-time cruisers feel this way and it's understandable that selecting a cruise is more complicated than choosing a resort, but the experience is worth asking yourself the tough questions.

Whether your dream vacation consists of visiting a tropical or exotic destination, dining casually or in gourmet restaurants, enjoying activity-filled or relaxing days, you will find a variety of cruise lines and ships to choose from.

1. Carnival Cruises

As a line that caters specifically to first timers, many consider Carnival to be one of the best cruise lines for first time cruisers. A lot of that has to do with vacation value. If you’ve never tried cruising before, you may not feel comfortable spending what you normally would on a land vacation. If that’s the case, Carnival is a great option offering some of the cheapest fares at sea. The line also offers tons of three to five-night cruises providing opportunities to save both dollar bills and precious vacation days as you dip your toes into this new form of travel.

2. Princess Cruises

The cruise line that owned the original Love Boat still clings to the notion that cruising is the ultimate in romance. While midsized and large ships might not be your idea of intimacy, Princess turns on the charm with alfresco balcony dinners for two, adults-only sun decks with spa-like atmospheres and several alternative dining venues perfect for date night.

3. Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean’s ground-breaking Oasis Class, Allure of the Seas is a fantastic choice for your first time Royal Caribbean cruise. With a host of incredible features and sensational entertainment on-board, the ship is great for those looking to keep busy and be wowed.