I forget whether Shakespeare or Churchill said it, but it remains as true as ever: you never get a second chance to experience a first cruise. That initial holiday at sea is truly special, something to treasure for all time.
So if you haven’t cruised before and are checking out what’s available, or you’ve already booked that maiden voyage and are counting down the days, let’s consider what a first cruise might mean for you.
Well, for a start, it’s going to open up a whole new world of amazing experiences.
City by the sea
Your previous holidays will doubtless have taken you to some interesting resorts, but those places will have had one thing in common – they will all have been stationary.
Cruising, on the other hand, offers you something different. Yes, you still get to visit those stationary places of interest, but now you also have access to a moving resort.
The reality is, your cruise ship is a city by the sea. It offers a whole spectrum of entertainment and leisure possibilities, all designed to keep you happily occupied, even while crossing a giant ocean.
This allows you to make far more efficient use of your holiday time.
Eliminate the hassle
Whether you have stopped to explore a great destination or you are on the move between great destinations, you remain in holiday mode throughout.
The hassle normally associated with travelling is all but eliminated.
What you get instead is the most full-on, concentrated holiday experience you can ever have. And because it will be your first time, the impact on your senses will be greatly heightened.
Dos and don’ts
But even though you know it’s going to be memorable, you still want to ensure you get the most from it.
It pays, therefore, to talk to friends, neighbours, colleagues and relatives who’ve already cruised, and quiz them about their experiences and their recommended dos and don’ts.
It’s also a good idea to do your homework about the places you’ll be visiting, so you can make the most of your time ashore and really appreciate the special qualities of each port of call.
If you’re still looking to learn as much as you can about everyday life at sea, you might also review a few of the thousands of videos that cruisers have posted online.
These will not only answer some of the questions you might have, but will also give you a good idea of what you are likely to see and hear as your holiday unfolds.
Many of these videos have been submitted by first-timers like you, so their perspectives and attitudes to life at sea will be closely aligned with yours.
A first voyage
For example, if you’d like a run through of what a typical cruise entails, you might take a look at this young woman’s first voyage from Southampton on the Independence of the Seas. It even includes the drive into the port.
A hype-free tour
Or maybe you’d just like a hype-free guided tour of a typical cruise ship, done from the viewpoint of an ordinary punter. If so, this cruiser’s footage from Carnival Spirit, during a holiday to Alaska, could be worth viewing.
And finally, if you’ve ever wondered what a cabin suite on a cruise ship might look like, this next video taken on board the P&O Aurora should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Savour each moment
These three are just a tiny selection of the huge array of amateur YouTube videos depicting life at sea.
I have to tell you that some of them are truly terrible, and a few are even worse. However, if you’re prepared to sift through the mountain of options, every so often you will come across a passable effort.
Whatever happens, when the time comes for you to set sail be sure to savour every moment of your first cruise. The chances are high you’ll remember it with affection for the rest of your life.
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