Top tips for first-time cruisers

It’s prime time for booking a cruise – here’s what you need to know.

Every year between January and March, the cruise industry releases its biggest sales and promotions for the cruise season.

According to the Cruise Industry Ocean Source Marketing Report, almost one in every 18 Australians chose cruising as their preferred holiday choice, due to the extensive range of ships and itineraries available.

If you are looking to book a relaxing holiday without the stress of checking-in at airports or travelling with luggage, cruising might be for you. Here are some helpful travel tips to ensure that your first time on a cruise is enjoyable.

Test the waters with a short cruise

Before committing to a long voyage on the seas, book a short weekend cruise to test the waters. Major cruise lines often offer sampler cruises for one, two or three nights so that you can get a feel for the cruising lifestyle. 

Do your research before booking a cruise line

Every cruise line is different and designed to target a niche market. Make sure you do your research before booking to avoid any disappointments. Some cruises are specifically-designed for families, adults-only, luxury or the party scene.

Cruising is not just about getting from point A to B. Ocean liners are described as floating cities whereas river cruises are smaller with an emphasis on cuisine, history and culture. Research the ship so that you know what activities are available on and off board.


Being stuck on a ship with seasickness or motion sickness is any traveller’s worst nightmare. First time cruisers should always be prepared as the ship is bound to sway at times. It’s recommended to stay hydrated and take over-the-counter motion sickness medications if you struggle with nausea. If you are confident that seasickness will be an issue, then try and book a cabin on one of the lower levels as these have less movement.

Explore the drinks package

Many cruises lines offer passengers a drinks package to help avoid a huge bar tab at the end of your trip. If you are planning to party on your cruise, you can save a small fortune by purchasing one of these. Some may appear expensive at first, however you will be surprised how quickly the cost of drinks can add up throughout the day. Charging everything to your room key also takes the stress away from purchasing everything individually.

Explore the ship

Cruise ships are enormous, so spend your first day on board getting to know where things are. Walk around the ship’s deck and take note of where the toilets, restaurants and activities are. Familiarise yourself with your cabin location too, as it’s easy to get lost. 

Plan a day off the ship

Do yourself a favour and give yourself a break from the boat when you can. Book one of the many excursions available and stretch those sea legs. Just remember to follow the itinerary as fellow cruisers won’t appreciate it if you return to port late. 

Pre-book your excursions

There’s often a great range of excursions available on and off the boat. Take away some of the stress and pre-book the excursions online in advance. Some popular cruise excursions may have limited space so it pays to secure a spot so that you don’t miss out.


From family-fun to ultimate luxury, secure your dream cruise with RACQ Travel. Book by 28 February 2019 to enjoy fantastic savings and special offers during RACQ Travel's Cruise sale. Plus, RACQ Travel will match any advertised price from a cruise supplier.