Although not all cruise lines and ships are alike, there are things passengers come to expect upon travelling. From planning ahead to cruise food, here are some of the best tips when cruising to ensure you get the best holiday possible.

1. Do your research – the ship you choose matters

Couples suit smaller cruise lines with boutique luxury ships that offer top shelf service and exotic port locations. European cruise liners tend to have gorgeous ship designs, with food and service being a hit or miss. Larger vessels under cruise lines including the Royal Caribbean, Carnival and P&O tend to cater towards large groups, families and budget-friendly travellers. Different cruise lines and even cruise ships carry different amenities, ship design and décor and different deals.

2. Get to know the crew

The staff on board are working extremely long and exhausting hours and sometimes a smile or a friendly conversation can be more than enough to brighten their day. Most crew genuinely enjoy the interactions with passengers while some prefer to stay in the background – however the ship is internationally diverse and a long way from home, so try your hand at an easy conversation as you might be surprised. You could also enjoy a few small perks due to your kindness, including free water bottles or an extra chocolate on your pillow – a small gesture but thoughtful, nonetheless.

3. Get involved

Cruise ships offer many planned activities, shows and games – get the most out of your money by doing as much as you can onboard. Even if you look or feel silly partaking in all the events offered to you, remember it is part of the experience and you might regret more that you opted not to do it.

4. Don’t get carried away at the buffet – or do, it’s none of our business

Although it can be tempting to never stop eating because of the unlimited food up for grabs – it’s important to eat in moderation. The last thing you want to do is be sick in bed because you couldn’t control your appetite. Instead of opting for thirds or fourths, check out the gym that is usually on the scenic bow of the ship with state-of-the-art equipment and hourly fitness classes. Perhaps even relax in the spa that is 18+.

5. Be prepared for lines and work around the busyness of a cruise ship


Getting on and off the ship, lining up for dinner seatings and show times can be a bit of a wait and somewhat frustrating when it feels like you have been waiting forever. Unless you’re on a small, boutique ship where there are minimal lines, then it is important to plan ahead when you’re deciding where to go at certain times. If you opt for a set dinner reservation, be there around 10 minutes early. A nice tip if you plan on getting off the ship and would like a sleep in – go for it. Lines for tenders taking you off the ship are a little less busy around lunch – making it an ideal time to enjoy a good few hours on the islands before heading back to the ship without having to wait so long, plus you get to have a lie-in!  

What are some of your travel tips to make the most out of your cruise? Let us know in the comments below.

This article was written in partnership with Over60.