First time Cruisers: Tips and tricks from travel experts to help make the most of your cruise

Sep 25, 2022
Top cruising tips for first timers from the experts. Source: Getty

Never cruised before? No worries, the team at Travel at 60 have many sea miles under their belts.

Chief Commercial Officer, Wendy Harch, has compiled a list of the top tips and tricks provided by some of our well-travelled team of cruising experts.

Preparation is everything

Kelly recommends you “log on to the cruise line pre-trip website (sometimes called a cruise personaliser) with your booking number and check if you have answered all questions. This will also provide you with your allocated check-in time and allow you to be prepared for any events on board”.

Many of the cruise lines either take your photo as you board or allow you to upload a photo of yourself prior to check-in.

Kelly shares this tip after her recent cruise experience: “Think of the photo you upload as passport photo size. Mine was taken too far away and my travel companions was too close up and we were both put in another line to have photos taken again, which slowed down our boarding process.” The good news is  compared to a passport photo, you are allowed to smile!

Lysanda sums it up well: “If you’ve gone on to the cruise personaliser and completed all documentation, your boarding process will be a lot smoother and faster.”

When you’re packing, Lysanda also reminds us to “think about any medication you need to take and make sure your scripts are filled before you go. Be sure to pack some general medication like headache tablets”.

On ship location

We spend a lot of time discussing cabin type and cabin location with our clients who debate whether they want to pay that little bit more for a midship cabin, rather than one forward or at the ship’s rear (aft).

When you see cruise lines and travel companies advertise ‘cabin from’ rates, they will start with the cheapest rate which are usually forward or aft on the ship. If you want to choose a cabin in the middle of the ship, you should expect an increase in the advertised price.

Martyn, our thirty-year veteran of booking exotic trips all over the world, recommends, “if you are prone to possible sea sickness, take a cabin that is midship”.

Post-Covid, we have seen a large uptick toward more clients booking balcony or above categories. This is driven by two factors. Firstly, people have been unable to travel for a few years and are treating themselves. Secondly,  with Covid still lingering, if you get quarantined to your cabin during a cruise, it would be great to have natural light and fresh air with the ability to sit on a balcony.

Supritha has just gotten back from a quick Sydney to Brisbane cruise and her advice is simple, “Go for the balcony, you won’t regret it”.


Karen and Kelly both recommend you “take the time to explore the ship fully”.  Karen says “there are so many restaurants, cafes and bars to try out”.  This might be easier said than done when there are entire menus to explore at favourite restaurants, let alone entire new restaurants to try!

Brianna’s advice for first-time cruisers is to “attend the shows at night”.  If you are unsure what’s on or how to find out, wander up to the concierge desk and ask them what there is to see and ask if you need to book for any of the shows. They will be only too happy to help you out.

Is cruising the holiday for you?

Just back from a short cruise with her friend, Jenny highlights, “with cruising you unpack once, not having to carry your luggage again, then you can relax as everything is taken care of for you”.

Alastair sums up cruising perfectly, “There are plenty of 2-3 night cruises currently going for great rates. Don’t underestimate how much mileage you can get from a couple of nights at sea. It really is a different world on board; one in which time moves differently and every need is taken care of. Two nights can still have you coming home feeling like you’ve had a huge holiday — even if your only destination was the ship itself. When looking at pricing, compare it to a flight or hotel. You’re getting accommodation; you’re getting entertainment; you’re getting all meals (and in-between snacks on demand). In many cases, ocean travel can be the most cost-efficient way of reaching a destination. Don’t overthink what you’ll do on board, or what you’ll bring along; just go. Cruises are designed to take all the stress and uncertainty out of every minute of every day.”


The Travel at 60 team can book any cruise anywhere in the world for you, pre or post-cruise accommodation and including flight quotes to get you there and back!  Call the team on 1300 414 198 or email us on [email protected] for a quote for your preferred holiday!

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