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Not sure if cruising is for you? We talk cruising preconceptions and top tips


If you’ve never cruised before you might be wondering what to expect. Will you feel all at sea (at sea) or dive right into life on board? Of course, there’s no substitute for trying it for yourself but before you do, we hope we can go some way to allay your fears. We’ve done our research to find out some of the preconceptions our guests had before their first cruise holiday and think it’s time to unpick some of the common concerns…

There’s no substitute for trying it for yourself

We’ve done our research to find out and unpick some preconceptions

Will it be as relaxing as a land based holiday?”

If relaxing to you means lazing by the pool or diving into activities, sinking into a good book or catching a few zeds, sipping a refreshing cocktail (or two), dining on amazing dishes and settling in for some quality entertainment at night – we’ve got you covered! If you join us in Southampton, you get to avoid the stresses that an airport can bring. From parking the car and checking in, to having your luggage delivered to your cabin – we try to make your holiday as effortless as possible. You can be on deck with a G&T in no time, knowing your holiday has officially started before you’ve even waved goodbye to Southampton. And we deliver you directly to each beguiling destination – all you have to do is wake up, rested and ready to explore.


“It’ll be crowded and chaotic, we’ll spend our time in queues…”

Our ships are designed to give you an abundance of choice and space so that you can always steal yourselves away for a quiet moment. We offer a huge selection of dining and entertainment venues, which means guests are spread right across the ship and everyone has plenty of choice. You wake up in each new destination freeing up your time to do as you please. On port days, we try to make disembarkation easy to give you as much time as possible to explore ashore too, whether we dock directly in port or use a tender.


“Will the ship be packed with lots of lively children?”

We offer a ship to suit every need. We have ships which are exclusively for adults, others which are family friendly. There are quiet areas or those that are perfect for family fun. We also offer free children’s clubs, family entertainment and lots of activities to suit all ages. You can choose the right ship for you and also take note of ships travelling in the school holidays, to make sure your holiday suits your needs.


“Will a cruising holiday be too regimented for me?”

Our holidays are all about choice. There are plenty of restaurants whenever the moment strikes, on-board activities (or sun loungers for simply relaxing), dazzling entertainment shows plus room service for cosy nights in your cabin – you choose what you want to do at all times. There’s no pressure on you to do anything, just what a holiday should be.


“It’ll be all organised tours and shared experiences with strangers.”

You can choose what works best for you. Some guests love a shore excursion to maximise their time in each destination. Other guests like to explore on their own. In some cases, you can walk directly into city centres, or hop on the shuttle bus (free for Select Price guests) when the port is a little further away. If you’re looking for some socialising on your holiday, shore excursion, activities or club dining can be great options. Or if you prefer to keep yourself to yourself, that’s fine too. It’s your holiday.


“It’ll be strict and stuffy on board – what even is a ‘dress code’?”

There’s no need to get dressed to the nines every night. But like any holiday, some nights you want to make a bit more effort; glam it up, head for cocktails and a special dinner. By day, the usual holiday wardrobe of shorts and t-shirts or dresses is great. And if you do fancy a spot of old-school glamour, every cruise holiday includes a Gala Evening, where you can enjoy a special evening with an exclusive five-course menu created by Marco Pierre White.


“There won’t be enough time for me to explore each port.”

Research has shown us that people who haven’t cruised before think it’s just a whistle-stop tour with only 3-4 hours in each port. In reality, we offer half days, full days, evenings and overnight stays to try to make sure our guests enjoy anywhere from five hours to two days in each destination. If you’re exploring independently, a little planning goes a long way to ensure you live port days to the full; squeezing in an extra coffee or gelato, visiting the must-see sites, tackling that 24 kilometre bike ride…


“I won’t have time to get an authentic feel for each place.”

We know how important experiencing each destination is. We’ve spent years exploring the globe and want our guests to have the time to see the magic of each chosen destination. We offer a wide range of immersive shore excursions to help you delve a little deeper whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, a culture vulture (or perhaps all three)... And with evenings and overnight stays in some ports, you have more time to mix independent exploration with an organised tour – the best of both worlds. You can watch the sunset, dine out in the city’s best restaurants and wander back to the ship when you’re ready to hit the hay.  


Have more questions? Visit our advice centre today


Our top 3 tips for newcomers:

1. Make use of the Horizon newspaper, delivered to your cabin each evening. It lets you know everything happening on board the next day – perfect for checking show times and considering your options.


2. Take some time at the beginning of your holiday to check out the restaurants and bars on board so that you can hit all the spots you don’t want to miss.


3. Attend a free port talk to help you make the most of your time ashore.