Check out the 6 best cruises for first-timers!
By Ilona Kauremszky
In the past you thought about taking your first cruise. Sometimes you dragged your heels, thinking it’s not your scene. Sometimes you said, “I’ll wait.” Think again.
There are cruises for first-timers. Take a look:
1. Norwegian Sky
The millennials aim their selfie-sticks to this Caribbean-bound vessel. Known for short 3-4 day itineraries with stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, this boozy ship serves all inclusive alcohol at no additional price. Did we mention sports bar, theatre with nightly shows and loads of other onboard activities? It’s arguably among the top cruise intros for morphing this demographic into longtime cruisers.
2. Delfin Amazon Cruises
A recent addition to the swanky Relais and Chateaux collection, this boutique cruise is ideal for family and multi-generational travellers. The target audience is all ages giving families a rich immersive experience in one of the most densely populated wildlife regions on earth. Swim with pink river dolphins, enjoy a cooking class, explore an animal rescue and rehab centre of river animals with the kids, and lace up the sneakers for a thrilling canopy walk above the Amazon Rainforest. It’s luxury boutique river cruising at its finest, giving first-time cruisers big wows of a lifetime.
3. The Hurtigruten
For first-timers take a stress-free cruise that removes black tie formal dinner wear from its dining requirements. There is no formal dress. It’s not a party boat or travelling circus either. In this relaxed ambiance, the focus is on the experience on what’s going on outside. The fleet of 11 relatively small ships have 12-day itineraries to Norway’s most popular destinations. See breathtaking natural beauty, meet the locals and if you travel outside the summer season, prepare to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
4. Viking River Cruises
For motion sickness-prone travellers, the motion felt on river boats is significantly reduced. It’s a river not an ocean so you won’t encounter huge ocean waves. Also, the river boats travel at a slower speed than ocean ships. Viking in particular is known for destination-centric itineraries that focus on cultural immersion. Plus, with largely all-inclusive pricing, first-time cruisers don’t have to worry about racking up a bill of expensive incidentals.
5. Holland America Line
So you don’t have a travel buddy, don’t let that be an excuse to avoid taking your first cruise. For solo travellers, this legacy cruise company has a Single Partners Program which includes hosted parties for singles, followed by singles-themed cocktail parties and games. Plus two Holland America ships (Koningsdam and Prinsendam) offer single cabins.
6. Carnival Horizon
Look for a newer ship or one that has been refurbished within the past two years to help kick-start your cruising vacays. “There’s nothing worse for a first-time cruiser, than envisioning how great and luxurious cruising is only to find themselves on an old and warn out ship just waiting for drydock,” advises cruise blogger Ilana Schattauer. Enter Carnival Horizon. Carnival’s newest ship has all the bells and whistles, spacious new interiors and plenty of onboard entertainment. This brand also appeals to a broad range of vacationers who want a fun escape without breaking the bank.
Now isn’t it time to finally set sail?